Ask Fraidy: A Quick Guide to the Different Kinds of Converse Sneakers

Fraidy here. Just so you know, I don’t spend all of my time snoozing in shoeboxes and inspecting my paws. It may look that way, but I actually spend a good chunk of my day answering questions from people just like you! I must look old and wise or something, because people seem to think I have all the answers.

Oh wait, I do have all the answers. I’m Fraidy Cat, after all, and nobody knows more about Converse shoes (and cats) than me.

Here are a few questions I get all the time:

Is that your natural fur colour? Yes! You can’t buy these luxurious locks.

Can I take a selfie with you? Of course! Just let me make sure my whiskers are in place.

What’s your favourite shoe?  The Vans ASPCA cat shoe. No, the Converse Perogy Cat Hi Top. Oh wait, maybe the Converse Cat in the Hat. Ugh! So many cats, so few feet. Four is not enough.

cat in the hat converse

But enough about me. Here’s the most common question of all:

Are all Converse shoes called Chucks?

No! This is an incredibly common misconception. The Converse shoe brand is made up of many awesome styles, and Chucks are just one of them. Here’s a quick breakdown of the different kinds of Converse shoes:

Chuck Taylor All-Stars

Chucks! Hi-top or low-top, these are probably what first come to mind when you think of Converse sneakers. They’re the original basketball shoe and have been around since 1917! You can still get them with the classic canvas upper, but also in leather, suede, wool and even waterproof rubber. Chucks have also been modified into wedges,  and the slimmer-soled Dainty for women. They all have the signature toe cap and the classic Chuck Taylor look.

Converse is also doing a replica of the Chuck Taylor All Star that was produced in the 1970s, with heavier canvas, a slightly thicker sole and a license plate at the back with the retro 70s logo. With a soft cushy insole, these 1970s re-release Chuck Taylors are super comfortable.

 

Converse Jack Purcell

Classic sneakers with a vintage athletic look. Converse Jack Purcell shoes have clean lines, a fun blue sole and a signature blue “smile” at the toe. James Dean was famous for wearing Jack Purcells and was even in advertisements for these sweet kicks.

Jack Purcells were originally a BF Goodrich shoe (yes, the tire company!). As one of the few athletic shoes out at the time, they were made to compete with Converse. Converse bought the rights in the 1950s and have been making them ever since.

In case you aren’t up to snuff with your badminton history (who is?), Jack Purcell was the Canadian National Badminton Champion in 1929 and 1930 and was declared world champion in 1933. When he designed the shoe in 1935, he probably never imagined that it would still be kickin’ 80 years later!

 

Converse One Star

Converse took its style in a new direction with the introduction of the One Star model in 1974. The low-cut sneaker became a skateboarding staple in the '70s and '80s and was also made famous by Kurt Cobain. And now, Converse has given its classic One Star line a contemporary twist with modern hi-tops, lo tops and even boots.

 

Converse Lifestyle

A line of distinctive street sneakers that can take you from day to night in comfort and style. Whether you’re after sporty, retro or fashion-forward, the Converse Lifestyle Collection has the shoe of your dreams.

Want to know more about Converse shoes? Or more about me, the world’s most interesting cat? Then drop us a line or stop by our store in Victoria BC!