I think I got my first pair of Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star sneakers when I was 9 or 10. Actually, it was two pairs, each a different color (don’t ask me what colors; that was a LONG time ago). I rediscovered them in high school and a few years ago pretty much made Chucks the shoe of choice for 90 percent of my footwear needs. It occurred to me today that if I continue to replace a pair of kicks with the exact same pair every year (standard black canvas/white cap model), then I must really love these things. Here are five reasons why I do:
- All-Stars are timeless. Since their creation in 1917 (well, more like after their later endorsement by basketball great Chuck Taylor), they have never gone out of style. No other type of footwear can claim this. Oh, sure, trendy items come back in cycles all the time, but the All-Star has not, for the most part, changed in nearly 100 years and transcends social-cultural barriers, as equally favored by indie rock kids as metal heads as hip-hop fiends.
- They’re light. This is important, as I am a DANCING MACHINE and other shoes are heavy and weigh down my FANCY FOOTWORK.
- They’re vegetarian- and vegan-friendly. As someone who stopped wearing/buying leather products years ago, it’s hard to find good man-made shoes. Even stores such as Payless, who used to carry a lot of leather knock-offs, are now going for the cowhide. Plus, the canvas-and-rubber Chucks breathe well, whereas vinyl shoes make my feet less than tasty after a long day of FANCY FOOTWORK.
- They’re quiet. And as I am a NINJA, it is important that you do not hear me coming. What’s that sound? Not the sound of QUICK DEATH approaching!
- They go with just about everything. You can dress ’em up with a suit or dress ’em down with some ratty jeans. They’re acceptable in nightclubs and dive bars alike. And as someone who never tucks in his shirt and easily goes from the top floor of a hotel to the dark booth of a punk bar in the same hour, I can always rely on my trusty Chuck Taylors to get the job done.