Born in the spirit of independence, breaking out of the boundaries of its original role, further defined by numerous societal movements over the decades and still embraced by popular culture after 95 years, women's Converse shoes are in a class of their own.
Founded by Marquis Mills Converse in 1908, the Converse Rubber Shoe Company went against the grain and began delivering its product directly to stores in Boston. The company’s catalog proudly boasted their independent attitude in 1913 by stating: “Our company was organized in 1908 fully believing that there was an earnest demand from the retail shoe dealer for a rubber shoe company that would be independent enough not to follow every other company in every thing they do.” The company then took up with the young sport of basketball and history was made.
Partnerships were formed with rising basketball star Charles “Chuck” H. Taylor and five-time Canadian tennis champion Jack Purcell. A new National Basketball Association was formed and the high-top sneaker was an instant favorite among the players.
In 1936, women's Converse sneakers were found on the feisty, feminine feet of the All American Redheads — an all-women basketball exhibition team that pushed cultural boundaries and played against the popular male barnstorming teams of that time. Playing up to 160 games on the road, the proud ladies of the All American Redheads won about 50% of those games and Converse was there to cheer them on!
It was during this athletic revolution that Converse felt a deep patriotic tug and shifted focus for a while. The Converse-designed A6 Flying Boot was soon found on the feet of the entire U.S. Army Corps. On the more playful side, servicemen wore the Chuck Taylor All Star for exercise routines and military basketball games.
The 50s brought about many changes in society. Rock & Roll was born and a new style emerged that emphasized blue jeans and high-top sneakers. The ensuing British invasion further solidified this cultural movement and soon Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars were seen across the nation: from Hollywood to the Midwest farm towns to the streets of New York.
Now entering its second century, Converse still proudly celebrates the spirit of independence in which it was founded; unique, original fashion with a Rock & Roll heart and basketball soul. It’s more than a look; it’s an attitude — a feeling of pride and independence. Available in an unrivaled color collection, offering high-top and oxford cuts, as well as slip-on sandal styles, slimmed-down lower-cut versions, and various other styles with features such as leather uppers, padded collars and double tongues, the All Star is forever evolving while still remaining loyal to its original appeal.
It’s been quite a journey for the classic canvas favorite, but the Chuck Taylor All Star has shown incredible staying power, growing in popularity as fast as age. Loyal to its roots, forward thinking in its attitude, women's Converse shoes are here to stay!