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The History of Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars

In 1917, The Converse Rubber Company (which was founded in 1908 by Marquis Mills Converse in Malden, Massachusetts) introduced the Converse All Star as a basketball shoe under the name "Non Skids,” which was a reference to the rubber sole. Even at this early stage, the sole featured the now-iconic diamond tread pattern for increased traction, which made it ideal for active pursuits. Soon after its introduction, a basketball player named Chuck Taylor joined the company and helped redesign the shoe. In 1922, the world’s first celebrity-endorsed athletic shoe debuted: the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star. Taylor promoted the shoe so successfully that in 1932, his signature was stamped onto the ankle patch. In 1936, Converse All Stars were adopted as the official shoes of the Olympics. Over time, they were worn less often on the basketball court. But when the low-top model was introduced in the 1970s along with colored canvas options, Chuck Taylor All Stars crossed over from sportswear to fashion and became a symbol of self-expression. Iconic counterculture figures like Kurt Cobain and Andy Warhol famously wore them, which added to their appeal, particularly in the alternative scene. The shoes have remained perennially popular since the 1970s and are now available in a wide variety of colors and styles, including a platform option.

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