Breaking Down the Comfort-Centric Features Of Converse's Chuck Taylor All-Star Line
Converse's Chuck Taylor All Star is the original basketball sneaker, adored by players and punks, style savants and street urchins alike. It’s also a silhouette that has branched out into many different models, all of which share classic Chuck DNA but add their own performance features.
Currently, there are three touchstone models in the Chuck lineup: the original Chuck Taylor All Star, the upgraded Chuck 70, and the ultra-modern Chuck CX, each of which we've broken down in detail below.
Chuck Taylor All Star
These alterations start from the top of the collar and descend all the way down to the outsole. The seams of the upper have been moved to eliminate annoying ‘hot spots’ on the forefoot, while OrthoLite sockliners work with a polyurethane wedge under the foot for easy comfort. The midsole is slightly thinner than past iterations as well, which serves two purposes. First, as the wearer’s foot sits lower in the shoe, the upper provides an enhanced feeling around the heel and increases lockdown. Secondly, this thinner midsole cuts precious ounces off of the already-lightweight design, making for a feather-light yet still stable build.
Look at it this way: if the Chuck Taylor All Star is a comfy exit row seat on an aeroplane, the Chuck 70 is flying first class. Uppers are made of heavy 12oz textile and have an extra layer of canvas sewn in under the forefoot to prevent any fraying or toe discomfort. Sidewalls are 5mm higher than they would be on a regular Chuck Taylor All Star for greater support.
Despite all these tweaks, comfort remains key. Under the OrthoLite sockliner sits a polyurethane strobel. This is notable, as most strobels are made of tightly woven materials that throw comfort to the wind and do little more than seal the top off from the midsole. In short, having an upgraded strobel is the shoe equivalent of getting all the fixins’ on top of your sandwich or burger instead of ordering it plain. This strobel works with rubber heel wedges, and, of course, the sockliner, for a softness that you may not see but you’ll definitely feel.
Where the original Chuck has been slimmed down, the Chuck 70 is boisterously big and beefy, thanks in large part to a thicker-than-normal rubber midsole and a deep outsole traction pattern.
Chuck Taylor All Star CX
Bringing a classic silhouette into the modern day is no small task for a footwear company's design team. A designer doesn’t want to be too wistful when looking at past models, but at the same time they don’t want to forget what made a shoe great in the first place.
To strike that balance, Converse went under the Chuck Taylor All Star CX’s hood to upgrade it from the inside out. The last update was used to create a comfort-minded shape, and the canvas was given a boost as well thanks to a new material with more stretch and give – but just as much durability – as its predecessors. This stretch canvas is the first of the CX’s three main design points.
The second design point? A CX foam midsole, visible through a translucent outer shell that lets you see the shoe’s inner workings. CX foam is a single-density polyurethane that’s tuned for versatile comfort and impact protection. It can be used as either a partial cushioning setup or a full-foot system, but here it’s the latter. You even get a double scoop of CX foam, as it’s used on the insole as well.
Lastly, the outsole is made from CX rubber, which promises enhanced flexibility. It’s combined with what Converse calls ‘ground contact foam,’ AKA a thin outsole layer that aids with traction and durability.
Each Chuck has its own benefits and style. The best way to find out which suits you? Give 'em a try, no matter if you're reconnecting with a classic or taking the future of the Chuck legacy for a whirl.
The Converse Chuck Taylor All Star, Chuck 70 and Chuck Taylor All Star CX are all available now from Converse.