I remember my first pair. They were blue high tops with white laces, and I was 8 years old. I got them before school started and wore them almost every single day of third grade, paired with socks that were probably too high and overalls or Umbro soccer shorts. My T-shirt usually had something to do with my youth soccer team. Most of the time it was my actual jersey.
It was the coolest I have ever looked. And it all started with Converse’s Chuck Taylors on my feet.
Chuck Taylors are the OG sneakers. The grandfather of sole. The Don Corleone of footwear. There are the sneakers that made sneakers a thing. Watch any teen movie from the past four decades and you’re likely to see them laced onto character’s feet. Try to find someone who has never owned a pair. It’s difficult.
But even classics have to be updated—why do you think there are so many remakes of Pride and Prejudice?—and Chucks are no exception. As cool as they’ve been for almost a century, they’ve also been heavy, with flat rubber soles that are the enemy of foot arches. So Converse decided to do something to lighten the load and up the comfort factor.
Enter the Chuck Taylor II. They’re infused with Nike’s Lunarlon technology (which sounds like something that would be in shoes for robots) in the form of a sockliner that makes the insteps a little less flat. Surprised? Don’t be. Nike actually owns Converse, but until now, had left the Chucks well enough alone.
There’s no need to freak out about the design, though, because not much has changed. The tongue of the shoe is a little more padded, and the canvas is “premium,’’ which makes me wonder what our feet have been enclosed in all these years. You can get them in four classic colors: red, white, blue, and black. If anything, they just look like Chuck Taylor’s millennial grandson: A little more artisanal, a little bit fancier, and not a whole lot different from his grandfather.
So welcome to the world, Chuck Jr. So glad to see you carrying on the family name.
Love shoes? Love New England? Then you’ll probably love looking at these shoes from New England: