words // Nick Engvall
As the Converse Remix arrives at Champs, seeing the ads on the site has got me thinking about what makes the Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star such a special shoe. The first thing I thought of was the history. After all, there aren’t many sneakers that you can name that have been around since 1917. If you asked just about anyone what the most recognizable shoe in history is, it’s a pretty safe bet that most would say Chucks.
There are a ton of really great shoes out there, and in the world of sneakers, many of us know that a lot of them have a long history, especially within the community of people that scours the Internet on a daily basis to share their passion for sneakers. The Chuck Taylor All-Star is bigger than the sneaker community, though.
I remember when I was a kid, my stepdad used to swear by Converse Chuck Taylors. For as long as I can remember, my brother and I would spend time drawing what we thought was going to be the next great sneaker design. We’d go back and forth with ideas, erasing (yes, I’m old enough to remember drawing with pencils) and redoing our designs. We had even created our own brand logo at one point, but at five and eight years old, allowance just wasn’t enough to get things going, even if we skipped out on tithing (hope Mom doesn’t read this).
After we’d finalize our creation, we’d share our new designs with our parents. They were always supportive, but my stepdad would always tell us we should just get a pair of Chucks. The same thing would happen every school year; we’d hit the stores thinking we’d get the newest, brightest and coolest pair of kicks, and Pops would chime in with an, “I’m telling you boys, you just need to get a pair of Chucks.” I’m pretty sure the price limit on our one pair of shoes every year was actually based on what the current price of Chucks was.
While it took me until my teenage years to finally give in to getting a pair of Chuck Taylor All-Stars (sorry Pops, NWA made it way cooler than you did), they’ve become the biggest part of my collection. They have been for over 15 years, and the same could be said for my brother’s collection.
So, there is something about the history of Chucks in my life, but it’s not the history that makes them. It’s simpler than that; it’s the story. Chucks are one of those shoes that nearly anyone, from any walk of life, can relate to and share their own unique story about.