I got a late birthday present for Thanksgiving, a new pair of Converse All-Stars. Classic black with inner green/grey. If my memory serves me right, this will be my ninth pair of Converse shoes since sixth grade. I guess I would have to say the Converse is my “signature piece” of fashion – if it qualifies as fashion – but I honestly believe I wear them because they look normal and they’re comfortable.
The first pair I had in sixth grade were all black – rubber included – and that’s exactly why I wanted them…they were all black. They were actually a size too small, so they didn’t last very long. Not until eighth grade did I get my first “regular wear” pair of Chucks – they were green hi-tops and cost $15.00.
After that I think it was some black hi’s, then I diverged for a pair of black One-stars, which are by far the best
Converse shoe ever made. They lived a long, hard two years and I have yet to find another pair. After that, I think was a pair of blue hi-tops and then a trip to Chicago yield a black leather pair of lows. They were truly unique and also lived a long hard life. After that, another pair of blacks, then a pair of whites – which brings us to the new pair. However, I did buy a red pair but don’t really wear them out in public…and for good reason.
With the newest pair of shoes that are regularly called “clown shoes” it really hit me how much wear-and-tear All-stars need before they actually look good. They aren’t bad off-the-shelf, but they are stark. Of course, any “real” sneaker these days has windows in the heel, springs, air pumps, no laces, and sockets for your iPod. Not my idea of a good-looking shoe. It is hard to find a normal-looking sneaker these days and All-stars are the best option – even if their price has gone up ($40!!).
All-stars the closest thing you get to bare feet and still qualify as a shoe. And they don’t make your feet sweat thanks to the patented sweat holes. The only down side is they are really not a year-round shoe. Winter and rainy seasons make wearing Chucks almost a fine art. One good puddle or snow drift and you’re done for. But at least you can throw them in the dryer and the color doesn’t come off on your socks.
Despite the All-stars’ current retro popularity, I believe they will eventually fall back into the “unhip” realm and prices will drop. However, despite their retro-ness, they certainly are hard enough to find and I still don’t see many people wearing them.
Here’s to the Chuck Taylor All-stars.