Emerging in America during the early 20th century as a groundbreaking athletic style, it was not until the endorsement of basketballer Chuck Taylor that the Converse Hi-Top truly took off. Whilst the shoe became the official footwear of the NBA in the 1940s, within a decade the classic design transcended the basketball court and was soon found on the feet of thousands of American college kids. It was during this 1950s boom that Converse added a white alternative to their traditional black, cementing their status as part of the American teen uniform. Even 1950s cultural zeitgeist Elvis Presley favoured the classic style, and could be found wearing them during several television appearances.
fter a lull in the 1960s as rivals Nike and Adidas surpassed Converse technically, the Hi-Top reemerged in the 1980s as the go-to footwear of the moody teen protagonists of John Hughes’ comedy movies. But it was in the 1990s that the Converse All Star truly became the go-to shoe for subcultural youth culture, epitomised by Kurt Cobain’s grunge style, wearing a pair during Nirvana’s definitive 1993 MTV Unplugged performance.
Since the 90s, the Hi-Top has never really lost pace, Converse constantly expanding from its original black towards hundreds of different patterns, colours and limited edition styles. It is little wonder that Converse remains such a popular style, because, as its varied history demonstrates, it is one of the most versatile pieces of casual footwear that one can own. Whether wearing a classic black Hi-Top with dark blue skinny jeans and a fitted white tee, or mixing things up with a more colourful style, Converse All Stars should be found in every style conscious man’s wardrobe.
But more than just buying an eminently wearable piece of footwear, you are investing in a design so classic, it will never go out of style.