Converse unveils first new Chuck Taylor design in 98 years

Monday, 27 July 2015

It has taken almost a century, and no one would ever expect it to happen, but Converse has finally launched a new design for their iconic Chuck Taylor sneakers. For those fashion traditionalists who shutter at the thought that Converse would even touch the classic design, fear not,

because the silhouette still remains the same. Instead, Converse has chosen to improve the sneakers comfort and feel, with the adjustments to the details all being inside.

Converse has inserted a comfortable Nike Lunarlon (Nike has owned Converse since 2003) sock liner inside of the shoe, along with a padded non-slip tongue, and a perforated micro-suede lining for moisture-wicking breathability. The few other minute changes include a thicker premium canvas with an embroidered All Star logo on the inner heel, as well as debossed, painted eyelets. There is a 15 dollar price difference between the new shoe and the old shoe, but, all that means is the low tops are 70 dollars and the high tops are 75 dollars, so, they are still very affordable.

Converse unveils Converse II

The main driving force behind the change to shoe was comfort. Richard Copcutt, Vice President and General Manager of Converse All Star, said that during their market research they spoke with many creative types including actors, dancers, chefs, and designers to figure out what the one thing they wanted out of their Chuck Taylor's would be. “They told us they loved their Chucks, but they weren’t the most comfortable shoe,” Mr. Copcutt admitted to The New York Times.

With the sneaker culture more thriving than ever, and a culture that is so obsessed with having everything new, it was only fitting that after almost a century Converse would update their design. With so many teenagers getting into the sneaker culture, Converse couldn't keep relying on their history to keep their sales numbers up. A 14-year-old just getting into the sneaker culture is going to be obsessed with what the latest hip-hop or NBA star collaboration is, not with the history of Chuck Taylor's.

Unlike other brands who create new styles and abandon the old in favor of the new Converse has taken a different strategy: they will keep the old alongside the new. The Chuck I and the new Chuck II will be sold alongside each other for those who still prefer the classic style and those who are looking for something brand new. According to Copcutt, Converse is "already working on sequels to this launch", so, maybe a Chuck III could be in the works?

photo:The New York Times