The Man behind the Converse - Chuck Taylor
I have stared at a pair of Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers every day for the better part of twelve years. This has led to me, one not typically inclined to notice shoes, noticing when someone is wearing a pair. So I can say with confidence that, without looking into statistics, A LOT of people wear Converse. In fact, so many people are still wearing these shoes that I was compelled to finally look at those statistics and a bit of the history behind these insanely popular shoes.
Converse sneakers first hit the market in the 1920’s. Before that, the company manufactured galoshes. Then smartly switched to sneakers, naming their basketball shoes “All Star.” A man named Charles Hollis "Chuck" Taylor, basketball player, salesman, evangelist, helped form the shoes into what we know them as today. Chuck wore the sneakers while playing high school basketball before eventually working for Converse. He modified the style, including adding the rubber patch on the inside to, get this, protect your ankle bone—you learn something new every day—and long story short, made Converse Chuck TaylorAll-Stars the best-selling basketball sneaker of all time. (image from conversercool)
Since then, and here’s where the numbers get interesting, the brand sells 270,000 pairs a day. That’s 11,250 pairs an hour. 188 pairs a minute. 3 pairs a second. Another 188 pairs have been sold since I started writing this. As of 2017, Converse, now owned by Nike, has a global revenue of roughly 2 billion. That’s not bad for a shoe company that started with galoshes in 1908.
Their longevity is undeniable. The fact that these shoes are still cool today, their vintage style nearly untouched, is amazing. Kids buy them for the new school year. I wore them back in the ‘70s. Their popularity is going strong and doesn’t look like anyone is ready to give up their Chucks anytime soon. Now, crocs on the other hand… (References Wikipedia, Converse.com)