We don’t cover shoes very often here, and generally when we do, it’s because someone has packed a computer into one. Converse hasn’t done that, however, and has instead made a very basic change.
You see, this one is worth mentioning not just because it’s the clothing choice for this specific staffer — good luck finding him wearing any other type of shoe about — but also because it makes you wonder how long it will be before we see developmental changes to a Converse shoe ever again.
Converse’s “Chuck Taylor” has been around for a good 98 years, initially debuting in 1917 and used for basketball first before coming a common every day shoe many of us have seen and worn for years, but it’s never really changed design.
Oh sure, the look has changed, and you’ll find many a custom design including fried eggs, The Simpsons, rock legends, Dr. Seuss, as well as basic colours and floral patterns, but the basic design of the show has been pretty much the same.
This week that changes as Converse finally gets with the time and adapts to its Nike ownership.
“The Chuck Taylor All Star is one of the most legendary and iconic sneakers of all time,” said Converse CEO Jim Calhoun.
“The launch of Chuck II is a ground-breaking moment for Converse as we continue to move the brand forward through creativity and innovation, ushering in not just a new sneaker, but a completely new way of thinking.”
Nike’s ownership has been in place since 2003, but that didn’t mean much for the Converse shoes until now.
This week, however, the shoes are getting a dose of modern shoe technology thanks to some cushioning from Nike, which will be using “Lunarlon” padding and microsuede lining, with both of these aimed at improving comfort for walking.
The most important part of this design is the Lunarlon, which is a Nike development similar to another material called “Phylon” made from ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) that has been compressed and pushed into a mould. Lunarlon is a little lighter and apparently distributes impact slightly differently, which means as you walk and run, your free don’t feel quite the same impact on the ground.
In theory, this should mean more comfortable walking shoes, which is fantastic, given that’s what most people are looking for when they buy a pair of sneakers.
As to the look, Converse is mostly keeping it the same, with a simple upgrade on the details.
“We listened and took it to heart that people love their Chucks and want sneakers that are built to enable them to do more,” said Richard Copcutt, General Manager of Converse All Star.
“The Chuck II is the full expression of this consumer obsession, staying true to the DNA of the original.”
Locally, there’s no pricing on this one yet, let alone an availability date, but we’re checking with Converse’s local arm to find out when we’ll get it. We’re hopeful for soon, but seeing local releases for shoes, we’re half expecting next year sometime.
Meanwhile, if you wear Cons and are excited for a change — finally, right? — these will be arriving online from $70 USD from July 28.
And there, we’ll never write about a pair of not-so-techy-shoes every again.