One of the original All Star basketball shoes.
What is the oldest, most popular, and all time best selling basketball shoe ofall time? (As a matter of fact, 60% of all Americans own or have owned at least one pair of these sneakers!) Well it is not the expensive Air Jordans that the Nike Corporation produces!Nor is it made by Fila, Reebok, New Balance, or Adidas. It is the Converse All Star "Chuck Taylor"!
It was in 1908 that the Converse Rubber Corporation opened for business. At firstthe company only made galoshes and other work related rubber shoes on a seasonal basis. But eventually the company decided it was more efficient to keep their work force employedyear round, and began making athletic shoes. With the popularity of basketball, the Converse Corporation saw the need to develop a shoe that people could wear while playing basketball.After lots of research and development, the very first version of the All Star basketball shoe was produced in 1917. The All Star shoe originally came in natural brown colors withblack trim. In the 1920s, Converse All Stars were made in all black canvas or leather versions. The All Star was to be the first mass produced basketball shoe in North America. Itconsisted of a very thick rubber sole, and a ankle covering canvas (or sometimes leather) upper. At first sales were slow. They would rapidly increase a few years later, thanks to Charles"Chuck" H. Taylor.
During World War II, Chuck Taylor served as a captain in the Air Force and coached regional basketball teams, considered an important morale booster for thetroops. And the All Star "Chuck Taylor" went off to war as GI's did their exercises in the white high top chucks that became the "official" sneaker of the United States Armed Forces