Two pairs of Chuck Taylors are sold worldwide, every second. Let that sink in. Two pairs, every second. Worn by almost everyone you know, or at least everyone once had a pair. What is it that makes this shoe, these sneakers so popular? And not only now, but through decades?
In the U.S. they are simply called Chucks. After Chuck Taylor, the Basketball player that chose the All stars as his favorite shoe to ‘shoot some hoops’ and promoted it while playing and later on as a salesman.The hiring of Taylor in the early twenties led to a slight re-styling of the All star making it more suitable for playing basketball.
But why do we love these sneakers so much? Is it the design? The fabric? The ankle patch that gives us a sense of vintage recognition? It is because of its simplicity. Converse decided to do some incremental improvements but never changed the core DNA of the shoe. The consumer expects something in the look, silhouette, feel and performance of the All stars and that is what Converse gives them. They might change colors, or cut but never the feel people have when they put them on. At their peak Converse made approximately over 500 different types of Chucks. The colors would vary, the type of material, height or shoelaces but never more than that.
Christopher Snyder, Design Director Materials at Converse once said that every person that puts on a Chucks Taylor feels unique and an individual and that is the secret of the Chuck Taylor All stars. Simplicity that makes you feel unique in your own style and unleashes creativity. Through the years Converse has been known for their collaborations with artists, musicians and sportsmen. Each of very different background or style but all of those different people had a uniqueness to them. Ice Cube wore Chucks as did Hunter S. Thompson, the Ramones and Kurt Cobain. All different and all wore the same shoe.
Generations wore Chucks, and therefore something as simple as a pair of sneakers can be considered as timeless. It was able to withstand generations’ trends and taste. Still not convinced? The Smithsonian in Washington has a pair of Chucks on display since 1992.
”Converse’s Chuck Taylor All Stars, a true All Star.”