Did you know the Converse Chuck Taylor is oldest basketball specific sneaker? Did you know that it is by far the most popular and best selling basketballsneaker of all time?

HOW ABOUT THE FACT THAT 60% OF ALL AMERICANS HAVE AT ONE POINT IN THEIR LIVES OWNED A PAIR.

That unbelievable statistic raises into the high 80% range when the countless knock-offs are considered. That is just incredible. Unbelievable. In fact, Converse is actually Nike’s secret weapon.

As I wait for my flight, headed to Boston, for Converse’s Chuck Taylor II event – I thought it was a good time to take advantage of the airport’s free Wi-Fi and share a little appreciation for the Chuck.

I remember vividly getting my first pair. I saw the classic black and white high top (originally released in 1949) in a department store while back to school shopping. Something about them must have caught my attention.

I ASKED MY FATHER WHAT THEY WERE AND HE LOOKED AT ME LIKE I HAD FIVE HEADS.

“THOSE ARE CHUCKS” he exclaimed. Before I knew it me and my brother were laced up in fresh pairs. We had no say in the matter, they were already classics and his sons needed a pair. Since then, I have owned over a dozen pairs – easily.

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The sneaker was originally released in 1917. Basketball was coming into its initial popularity and the people of Converse believed it was the ideal time for the world to have a basketball specific sneaker. The sneaker was originally named, “The All-Star” after Converse’s Converse All-Stars, the company’s industrial league basketball team. Throughout the 1920s it would be released in all black exclusively, in canvas and leather varieties.

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Chuck Taylor first encountered the sneaker as a basketball player for the Akron Firestones (makes you immediately think of the LeBron 12 “Rubber City”right?).  He loved the sport of basketball and the Converse sneaker. So much so, that in 1921 he joined Converse as a sales representative. From then on Chuck Taylor would travel the country, hosting basketball clinics and sharing the sneaker with aspiring players. He even worked behind the scenes helping to tweak the design of the sneaker. For all of his efforts Converse added his name to the sneaker’s ankle patch in 1932 and thus the “Chuck Taylor” was born.

It may not be fair to say that without the Chuck Taylor there would be no basketball sneaker. I’m positive there would be, but at the time it was originally conceived and released their was nothing like it.

WITHOUT ITS WILD SUCCESS WE MAY HAVE BEEN WAITING A LOT LONGER FOR OUR NIKE AIR FORCE 1S, OR OUR PRIZED AIR JORDAN 1.

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Over the next couple of days, Converse will unveil the official sequel to the game changing sneaker. As a Nike company, I expect Converse to marry the classic look of Chuck with modern technology and manufacturing techniques. Of course, as of right now that is just speculation… but my flight leaves in about an hour, so stay tuned.

[Article by Rac]