Converse: Not Your Grandfather’s Tennis Shoes

July 30, 2014

By Tab Byrum

I have a thing for shoes and the Converse brand is one I love to wear.  Over the years the bones of their shoes have stayed the same but the creativity in their designs has evolved.converse_1

converse_20James Dean kicked back on set in his Converse Jack Purcells, The Holborn Mag

 Converse shoes have come a LONG way since their inception in 1908 as a winterized rubber soled shoe.  By 1910 the company was producing 4,000 shoes a day and in 1915 they began making
athletic shoes to be worn while playing tennis.

 In 1917 things changed tremendously when Converse introduced it’s now iconic All Star Basketball shoe.

converse_21A Fashion Friend

In the 1970’s Converse purchased the rights to the Jack Purcell sneakers from the B.F. Goodrich company and are still making them today.  Since 2001 Converse has been owned and produced by Nike.converse_3


Converse has completely disappeared from the feet of NBA players but are still very popular with the general public and celebrities, with the likes of Jennifer Aniston and Daniel Radcliffe sporting their canvas trainers.


converse_15Rocker Joel Madden in his camo Converse, solecollector

The Chuck Taylor All Star Basketball shoe for years was only made in black then eventually white canvas, today “Chucks” come in several colors and varying heights.converse_9


Converse has produced several special editions of their iconic shoes, with DC Comics, Dr. Seuss and Sailor Jerry Rum being some of the many design inspirations.


converse_7Keeping up with the animal print trend

converse_16Fashion designer John Varvatos with one of his designs for Converse, Zimbio

converse_10T-shirts and clothing are available from Converse


Converse women’s quilted crew fleece

converse_8I think I need these distressed Union Jack Chuck Taylor high tops

Today we can even design our own shoes on the Converse website, the sky’s the limit.
Converse shoes, making huge leaps in tennis shoe and design history in the last 106 years.

Unless otherwise stated all images are courtesy of Converse

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