THESE OLD DUDES MADE CONVERSE COOL
But before you give yourself any points for being 'rad,' how familiar are you with the rebel trendsetters of the 60s, 70s, and 80s who took those rubber-soled sneakers and turned them into icons?
Long before Wiz Khalifa, Blake Lively, Avril Lavigne or Kurt Cobain made Converse their shoe of choice (P.S. Kurt Cobain was the singer for a punk group called Nirvana... they were pretty good, you should check them out) there were a select group of athletes, musicians, actors and proto-hipsters blazing a trail that leads directly to your feet.
These Old Dudes Made Converse Cool
James Dean was an actor you've probably only seen in photos because watching old movies is way too taxing for generation A.D.D. Put it this way: James Dean was the Paul Walker of his day. A guy many thought had the potential to be a great actor, looked sexy behind the wheel and sadly like Walker, died in a car accident far too young.
James Dean only made two serious movies before he died, but magazine pics of him in Jack Purcell Converse kicks cemented the brand as "beatnik cool" way back in the mid-1950s, before color was invented!
Name your favorite band: Fall Out Boy, the Arctic Monkeys, The Killers, Green Day, the All American Rejects... um... okay, so we might not know that much about modern music -- but that's the point.
The point is, none of those bands, or any of the other bands in your music player would even be possible if it wasn't for The Ramones. Don't believe us? Well ... fine. They re-invented music in the 1970s and their formula for success is still imitated by every wannabe rocker out there. And naturally, they leap around the stage wearing Chucks.
If there was an "official shoe of Rock and Roll" it would have to be Converse. The 1980s gave us the kicks-wearing rock gods from Guns and Roses, Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam - even the guys from Black Sabbath were caught sporting the iconic shoes when they weren't actively worshiping Satan. (By the way kids, all of those are good bands, give them a listen on Snapchat or ... whatever).
Athletes are an interesting sideline to the story. Converse started out as an "athletic shoe," but let's face it: rapper Ice Cube wasn't crazy when he said, "I got Chucks in my suitcase right now, but that s**t gives you flat feet."
As the decades progressed and science caught up with sports, it became pretty clear that there were better options for professional athletes. Sports shoes evolved into meaner, lighter, stronger tools that were specifically tailored for specific sports.
But don't think your grandparents didn't light up the scoreboard in their Chucks.
The man whose name is synonymous with the shoes was basketball Hall of Famer Chuck Taylor. He lent his name to what they called "basketball trainers" back in 1921 and when basketball became an Olympic sport, Converse All-Stars had their moment of the sun after the U.S. began an unfortunately long tradition of beating Canada in hoops at an exciting 1936 gold medal final on a clay-court -- where the United States scored 19 whole points against Canada's eight.
And despite athletes moving towards space-age sports shoes, like Ice, they kept a pair of kicks in their bag.
There's just no stopping this century-plus old icon, and while purists threw hissy fits when Converse became a division of Nike in 2003, those who finished 2nd grade math can tell you it was a good business decision.
Converse has managed to maintain its market dominance and few would argue even the wildest looking All-Stars available on the Baggins Shoes website haven’t been "corrupted" in any way.
Financial giant Bloomberg reported the Converse brand had sales closing in on US$500 million in just the last quarter of 2013!
If you're a betting person (and or if betting is legal where you live and/or if you are over the legal age for betting - conditions may apply) here's a safe bet for you: