Unless you’ve shrunk to the size of a borrower and been helplessly trapped beneath a pair of Reebok pumps for the past fortnight, you will no doubt be aware that Converse released their re-engineered Chuck Taylor’s earlier this week.
Since the late Charles H ‘Chuck’ Taylor’s passing in 1969, the brand’s ‘Don’t fuck with the Chuck’ mantra has stood firm. Until now that is. This is the first time there’s been any change to the iconic shoe since 1932 when Taylor’s famous logo patch was added to the canvas upper. A pretty big deal then.
Following Nike’s multi-million dollar takeover of Converse in 2003, change in some shape or form was inevitable, and that change has finally arrived in the form of the Chuck Taylor All Star II.
Now in appearance the shoe hasn’t seen much of an overhaul, which makes sound business sense. I mean why tinker with what’s arguably the most popular trainer on the planet?
Instead Converse have focused their efforts on improving comfort, with the shoe boasting a micro-suede lining around the inner ankle support, a non-slip padded tongue (this sounds great on paper as the tongue on the hi-tops are renowned for slippage), a higher-quality premium canvas upper, and an inner sole made from Nike’s propriety Lunarlon foam, which is said to distribute impact more evenly across the foot.
Clever stuff, but will Chuck fans take to them?
As someone who’s worn All-Stars for most of my adult life I have to say I’m a little hesitant to jump into bed with the new ‘improved’ version. Why? Well maybe I like the original Chuck. Maybe I like the way the sole falls to bits after 6 months wear. Maybe I like the way you feel every crack in the pavement beneath your feet. Or maybe I’m just stuck in my ways.
Whatever your opinion on the Chuck II, Converse aren’t daft and have thankfully announced they will continue to manufacture the original Chuck alongside it’s futuristic sibling, which surely spells continued global domination for Boston’s footwear institution.
One question still remain unanswered though. What would would Chuck have made of them?