Tag Archives: Chuck Taylor

My Relationship With The Converse Sneaker

-Marissa Tomko

I’m not one for pants. I feel like they try too hard.

I’m not running around breaking public nudity laws though, don’t worry. I would just rather pull on some leggings, or shorts if the weather calls for it. I don’t dress badly, but I’m also no Rache’ll. My style just goes where the wind blows it. For instance, right now I want to look sporty. I don’t know why, I just woke up on Monday and was like, “This will be a sporty week!” Last week though, I wanted everything I wore to match my favorite hoop earrings. So that was fun.

With all of these pant-less fashion ups and downs, there is always one thing that remains constant, one thing that if I’m not wearing, I feel empty and incomplete: my Converse sneakers. I love those guys! Their white hightop-ness just makes sense to me.

When I love something as deeply as I love Converse, I like to know its story. So I tightened my laces, and delved into the history of this iconic sneaker.

According to the Converse website, the Converse company was started by Marquis Mills Converse in 1908. Unlike other companies, Converse was able to send his shoes to Boston stores without using a middle man. In a catalog published in 1913, Converse stated: “Our company was organized in 1908 fully believing that there was an earnest demand from the retail sneaker dealer for a rubber sneaker company that would be independent enough not to follow every other company in every thing they do.” This spirit is still with the company today.

It’s common to hear Converse sneakers referred to as “Chucks.” This is due to basketball-loving man Chuck Taylor. Converse’s history writes him in around 1920, citing him for wanting to promote his favorite sport by helping it thrive through selling footwear. Basketball was Converse’s initial niche, and it’s crazy to think how much the sports shoe has evolved.

In addition to being a shoe worn on the courts, Converse became a symbol of rock and roll in the fifties. The culture of the musical movement was made for the nonconformist. Consequently, Converse sneakers became associated with the free spirits and the rebels.

In the early seventies, the sneaker branded itself with a star stamp. The shoe continued to be made for basketball players, but it also appealed to the non athletes who wanted to be different.

My favorite shoe, the All Star, came into being in 1996. Since then, Converse has continued to sell itself as not just a shoe, but a lifestyle. Converse has become a symbol of fun, excitement, and comfort, things that we could all use a little bit more of if you ask me.