The Converse, which has been around for over a hundred years, is now a pair of casual shoes in each hand. However, did you know that Converse started out as a rubber shoe and even as a weapons supplier to US Army during World War II? Scroll down now, follow editor of following 6 Converse Little Secrets and get to know this shoe brand that has been around since Qing Dynasty in China!
1. Converse launches production of rubber shoes
Everyone has a pair of Converse that actually started as a rubber shoe business! In 1908, US economy was in a depression, at that time people were mostly poor, and many families could not even afford bread. At time, 47-year-old Marquess of Converse believed that market needed affordable, durable footwear, so he founded Converse Rubber Shoe Company and began making rubber wellies and work boots.
Since 1910, Converse company, which has become a leader in rubber footwear market, began to mass-produce shoes. It wasn't until 1915 that Converse began making athletic shoes. "Non-slip" is brand's first sneaker that consists of a rubber sole and a canvas shell, and is also forerunner of All star shoes!
2. Chuck Taylor classic shoe inspired by retailer
As a fan of Converse shoes, you must be familiar with Chunk Taylor All star shoes! However, few people know who "Chunk Taylor" is in these shoes. In fact, Chunk Taylor is salesman and founder of Converse legend, without him there would probably be no Converse today with a couple of people.
After birth of first pair of All Star rubber sneakers in 1917, Chuck Taylor, who was a basketball player at time, decided that these shoes were very suitable for playing basketball. He loves and continues to introduce Converse shoes to his family and friends. Chuck Taylor has also commented on brand many times, hoping to make this pair of shoes more suited to needs of basketball players. Eventually Chuck Taylor was hired by Converse as brand's salesperson and promoter!
The round ankle patch on Chuck Taylor All Star shoes was designed in response to Chuck Taylor's suggestion to "improve ankle wear and support." To thank Chuck Taylor for his contributions, Converse also signed brand's logo and named shoes after him.
3. Once upon a time, Converse shoes were designed for Olympians
Thanks to Chuck Taylor's suggestions for promotion and improvement, almost all basketball players in future will love to wear Converse. At time, Chuck Taylor joined brand-funded Converse All Stars basketball team, and All Star sneaker became a must-have style for basketball players.
The All Star sneakers are so popular in basketball that even Olympic champions wear them! From 1936 to 1968, Converse also became official basketball shoe of Olympics, dominating basketball world for 32 years.
Flashing back to 1960s, Converse has already conquered blue sneaker market! Almost 90% of basketball players wear an All Star on court, even NBA players are no exception.
However, after 1970s, due to emergence of other brands of sports shoes and changes in system of basketball games, original canvas sneakers gradually ceased to meet needs of basketball players who needed more exercise. As many players began to look for shoes made of leather, with a more durable sole and able to withstand intense sports, Converse's halo in basketball world gradually faded.
4. Converse produced military equipment for US military
During World War II, Chuck Taylor, drafted into U.S. Army as a gym coach, did not forget his job as a salesman and tried his best to promote Converse. The All Star then became training shoes for US military. All U.S. Army recruits are required to wear these shoes to participate in sports and fitness.
In-house technology for production of professional rubber shoes allowed Converse to become a supplier of materials to US Army during World War II. The company also produced a range of special rubber military boots, outerwear and protective clothing for military.
5. Design beyond black and white
It can be said that black and white are standard color combination of Converse shoes, and according to foreign media reports, Converse began producing All Star shoes in different colors in 1966, purpose of which is to make team stand out. Converse now offers a variety of colors, prints, and shoe styles to choose from, and in minds of many people, they have become a versatile shoe.
Converse has also kept up with co-branding in recent years, partnering extensively with other trendy brands such as JW Anderson, Off-White and Ambush.
The joint name of Converse and street brand Kawakubo Rei CDG PLAY is one of most famous joint shoe models.
6. Are Converse really slippers?
If you've looked closely at Converse outsole, in addition to durable and non-slip diamond pattern, you can also spot a twill design. According to a Business Insider report, its function is to turn Converse into a pair of slippers.
Why do you want to do this? Under US regulations, if more than half of soles of rubber shoes are made from slippers, they can be considered "slippers." The US rate for athletic shoes made from rubber is 37%, but only 3% for slippers, allowing significant savings on Converse's fare.
These twill soles are actually made from slippers, which is why most people think Converse soles are less slippery and less wear resistant than early shoes!