Who Was Chuck Taylor?


Converse All Star Logo BlackOMG! Say it ain’t so! Converse the company behind the iconic Chuck Taylor All Star sneaker, started selling the new Chuck Taylor II today.  Why change something that has worked for 100 years?  Well while my brain thinks it’s a bad idea…my feet are saying thank you.

I have yet to try a pair of the new technology with a throwback design Chuck Taylor II sneakers; however, my feet most times fat and sore after a long day in the original Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars are excited.  With Nike technology and dare I say arch support the new version of the beloved sneakers will be better for overall foot health.  The new design is a throwback to when Chuck Taylor’s name first appeared on the sneakers.

All this talk about these beloved sneakers made me wonder who was this guy…Chuck Taylor?  I knew he was a basketball player but beyond that I had no other information.  So thanks to the digital age I was able to get some insight.

Chuck Taylor was not a professional basketball player but played in high school and college.  However, he loved the game.  Taylor as an employee helped to develop the iconic design of the Converse All-Star sneakers.  He gave input to help enhance the flexibility and added the patch that holds the logo for ankle protection (yes, there is a purpose for the patch).  The addition of Chuck Taylor’s name was added to the patch in 1932 and hence became the known forever as Chuck Taylor All-Stars.

Taylor was a great supporter of the game of basketball.  During his early years at Converse he created a yearbook that included highlights of some of the best players.  He also took his love of basketball around to colleges and created basketball camps.  He utilized this format to sell the sneakers that bore his name.  Taylor was well loved and respected among the basketball community.

Even though he didn’t get any compensation for his name being part of the Converse All-Stars; he was said to fully utilize the company’s expense account.  Soon after he retired he succumbed to a heart attack in Florida.  Without the determination of a young man looking for a job at a shoe company…we may not have the iconic Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star sneakers, today.

I think I own approximately seven pairs of Chucks in various designs.  I first fell in love with them when I was 7 years old, while shopping with my mom.  Specifically, they were red high-tops.  Ironically, I do not own red high-tops but I do have low Chucks in red.

Overtime even iconic designs must evolve.  With the addition of arch support and enhanced cushioning, I am sure Chucks II will also be the choice of artists, musicians, students, school teachers, cool people and even basketball players for years to come.  Share your thoughts…are you for or against the new Chucks II?

Sources: http://hoophall.com; http://Wikipedia.com

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