Dust off that old pair of Chucks you’ve got sitting in the back of your closet.
Because it turns out, these babies weren’t invented for teenage girls.
Or f*ckboys wearing flannels over sweatshirts.
These lightweight, durable, non-skid shoes were invented for Basketball players…
The year was 1908. This dude Marquis Converse is selling his rubber boots in the rainy streets of Boston.
With his limited sales, Marquis opens the Converse Rubber Company. They specialize in all kinds of things that have tons to do with basketball.
Things like galoshes and car tires.
But Marquis wants to be a part of something bigger.
Something so manly he can go to all of his manly man friends and once and for all say ‘I’m the man.’
That’s what they wore back then??! Knee pads?
And oh, I’m sorry…is that a free throw you’re also UNDERHAND-GRANNY-THROWING?!
Not to worry, Basketball surely has something to make up for all that.
Ah, yes. The humble 1910 basketball referee. Perfectly suited for a first-class voyage on the RMS Titanic.
Anyway, all of that barely passes for basketball now, but basketball shoes at the time looked like this:
Hmm semi-familiar, okay.
Marquis wants to compete.
With his rubber company, he launches a shoe specifically for basketball: The Converse Non-Skid.
Excuse me?? The bottom of the ad. A suction sole shoe… You mean a mini plunger shoe? That’s insane, but we gotta plow on…
Here’s the shoe in real life:
Small problem though: Marquis doesn’t really have a good way to sell his new shoes.
So he starts scouting basketball players in small, independent basketball leagues across the midwest.
The two team up in 1923 so Chuck can be the shoe company’s salesman and brand ambassador.
He’d prance around high schools and colleges running basketball clinics promoting Converse’s non-skid All-star shoes.
He’s so good, actually, Converse and Chuck Taylor become one and the same.
And the shoes are so good they’re pretty much the same basketball shoe 100 years later.
Henry & Dylan 🌈
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