The Converse All-Star was introduced to the world in 1917 originally as a performance sneaker for the elite basketball athlete. But in the century since its inception, the sneaker has become something bigger than what the Converse Rubber Shoe Company could have ever imagined – the most recognisable shoe on the planet!
Over the years, the All-Star was renamed the ‘Chuck Taylor All-Star’ as the company enlisted the professional basketball player as the spokesperson for the shoe in the ‘20s, and a number of subtle changes were made to refine the basketball sneaker before it was retired from professional sports duties deep into the ‘70s. Like the Volkswagen Beetle, the All-Star was always refined but never replaced, and the shaped remained largely unchanged. But as its time on the hardwood drew to a close, the Chuck was picked up by the emerging counterculture movements in art and music, eventually becoming a staple in the uniform for cool guys (and girls) the world over. It was at that point that the humble Chuck really transcended into becoming a timeless icon that still continues to be loved by everyone.
Last year, Converse finally gave the All-Star Chuck Taylor an overhaul to bring the 98 year-old sneaker into the present. Dubbed the Chuck II, the new model kept everything we knew and loved about the original Chuck Taylor and retained that unmistakeable silhouette, but improved in every conceivable way. “The brief was to change everything without changing anything,” explained Converse’s design director Damion Silver. With comfort in mind, every last detail of the Chuck II was refreshed and the result has been welcomed with open arms by Converse fans old and new.
To mark the release of the latest Chuck II ‘Reflective Camo’ Pack, we take a closer look at the two Chucks to break down all the updates Converse packed into the unassuming Chuck II.