For over 50 years, the Chuck Taylor All-Stars made by Converse have outperformed and outsold any other type of basketball shoe – or athletic shoe for that matter. Known on the streets as “Chucks,” this shoe is the most popular and successful shoe in history. As trends toward the retro and the old school come and go, the Chuck Taylor All-Stars have kept step along the way resulting in the sale of 750 million pairs of shoes over the years.
Chucks are the only approved “athletic” shoe for the rock ‘n’ roll and punk scenes. Various other subcultures such as emo, skateboarders and hip-hop have adopted Chucks as their “athletic” shoe of choice as well. And, of course, the fashion scene has paired Chucks with assorted fashion trends and statements over the years too. About the only sport to actually still use these shoes is powerlifting – this is due to the flat rubber sole that makes for a very stable base during squats and deadlifts. Most Chuck Taylor owners have worn the shoe before and most have more than one pair in different colors in their closet. Chucks also lend themselves to being customized by their owners in various creative ways.
Back when Chuck Taylor All-Stars were sold in the old red and white box, an insert was included with the shoes that gave tips on how to buy a pair of Chucks and how to take care of a pair of Chucks. Since the shoes haven’t changed over the years this advice hasn’t changed either.
How To Buy A Pair Of Chucks
1. The “perfect” pair of All Stars (a perfect 10) would be two shoes that are mirror images of each other.
2. The toecaps would be the same size, not too big, not too small, the first set of eyelets would be the same distance from the toecap, approximately 1 to 1 1/4 inches from the toecap.
3. The textured white rubber toe guards around the front part of the shoe should extend the same length on each side or slightly more toward the inside of the foot.
4. The inside “portholes” should be centered and uniform in spacing.
5. The colored band around the shoe should be uniform and not too thick.
6. The round ankle patches should have the word “CONVERSE” centered at the top and over the ankle. The standard ankle patch is white with red lettering for the words “CONVERSE ALL STAR” and the star, the trademark ® and the Chuck Taylor signature in bright blue.
7. The rectangular heel patches (ALL STAR) should be at the center of the back of each shoe.
8. The tongues should protrude at least one inch above the top eyelet.
How To Care For Your Chucks
1. Wear good quality socks. They will absorb perspiration, thus prolonging the life of your All Stars. Good socks also help keep your feet in proper condition.
2. Loosen laces all the way down after wearing.
3. Open shoes and store in a well ventilated place at normal temperature.
4. Products containing petroleum will deteriorate rubber and should not come in contact with the shoe.
How To Lace A Pair Of Chucks
1. When lacing your All Stars, take the time to straighten out the laces so they are not twisted. They will last a lot longer, look better, and stay more securely tied.
2. When lacing your All Stars, adjust the tongue so that it is centered under both rows of eyelets. Your fit will be a lot more comfortable.
3. If you have trouble lacing up through the top eyelets, it could be that your laces aren’t long enough. Shoes with seven pairs of eyelets should have 45″ long laces, shoes with eight pairs of eyelets should have 54″ laces, and shoes with nine pairs of eyelets should have 63″ long laces.
How To Clean A Pair Of Chucks
1. Do not use a bleach or any washing compound containing a bleaching agent as it will decrease the tensile strength of the fabric.
2. It is perfectly safe to use a mild soap and water solution to wash out dirt and at the same time reduce the effect of perspiration absorption. The shoes can be put in a washing machine if desired. (note that this may dilute the color of the canvas, especially bright and dark colors).
3. After washing, the shoes should be dried at normal temperature away from excessive heat such as stoves or steam pipes. Do not dry shoes in automatic dryers.
4. A liquid chalk-type shoe cleaner is recommended for whitening shoes.
5. A wet sponge or cleaning cloth with a little soap if desired can quickly clean up dirt or spills on your toe caps or rubber foxing on the sides of your shoes.