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Friday, September 17, 2010


From the young to the young-at-heart, it seems that every person should own at least a pair of 'Chucks'. Not because it's a fad, but because Chucks are an iconic closet trend.

The classic high- cut shoe has transcended generations and time. If there were any changes made, it would only be the color, cut and print of the shoe. But the material and style still remained the same.

Let's go back in time and discover the brain behind the Chucks: Charles H. "Chuck" Taylor.

You'd probably wonder why Chucks have become so popular, up to the point that it has become a closet staple. Nowadays, it has been loved because of the simple yet sophisticated style that stands out among the sea of superfluous sneaks and rubber shoes, as well as its ease of use because of the lightweight material. But before, it was loved by athletes, specifically the basketball players.

"Times have changed, but Chuck remains the same." (Photo credits:

Charles Hollis "Chuck" Taylor was a popular basketball player in his high school. His skills have brought him to professional basketball where he became part of the original Celtics of the NBA.

During that time, Converse is the popular manufacturer for athletic shoes. Converse has been making shoes for basketball players. The style before is patterned after the traditional look of the shoe. But this time, it's lightweight, and the rubber sole gave athletes that much needed bounce during jumps. It was such a fantastic technology during that time. The shoes produced by Converse was called CONVERSE ALL STAR SHOES.

THE MAN (Charles H. "Chuck" Taylor) (Photo credits:

But Charles wasn't satisfied with the design of the shoe. So he decided to alter the design. As a part- time job, he applied as an employee in Converse. He presented a new look of the All Star shoe. He used canvass, which made the shoes become lighter. And Charles designed the "high cut" shoe, so as to prevent the ankles of the players from being hurt.
And this patch is not just there for the sake of labeling. It was put there because it provided more protection for the balls on the ankle.

To patent his design, Charles just put his name "Chuck Taylor" on the patch.

THE LEGEND (The original style of the Converse All- Star Chuck Taylor Shoes)

The first- ever Converse All- Star Chuck Taylor Shoes was in white. And this is how it looked like.

It became so famous during that time, that Converse became the leading shoe provider for the NBA, and for the other countries who patronized the great American sport.

Unfortunately, Charles didn't make billions with his shoe design. He never received any great commission from Converse's shoe sales. He drove from town to town in his Cadillac, and sold his chucks to the locals. That's how persistent and industrious he is as a worker. He died in Florida in th '60's.

And little did Charles know that his design will sooner or later, become a legend on its own.

Photo credits:

In my opinion, the latest basketball shoes designs are still patterned after the all- star Chuck Taylor shoe. But this time, due to changing needs and the advancements in technology, the high- cut shoe has evolved into a more complex type. The latest basketball shoes are engineered, which makes them perfect for the tough demands of the hard court.

And the good ol' Chuck Taylor was kicked out from the court. It has fallen into obscurity. And it has been associated with punk/rocker/emo dressing at the start of the 20th century.

But still, no one can deny the brilliance of Chuck Taylor. How he made the first- ever high- tech shoes for the hard court, and how his design became the standard for basketball shoes.

Undeniably, the All- Star Chuck Taylors will always be an iconic piece of footwear. It's timeless style and convenience will always have a place in our hearts (and in our closet).

**Info credits:

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