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Converse High Tops - The Original and the Best

You might be interested to know that the Converse High Tops are the oldest, most popular best selling basketball shoe of all time. Sixty percent of Americans own or have owned at least one pair of these sneakers in their lifetime. I am guessing that percentage is not the number of people who have played basketball so people must buy them just for the enjoyment.

The Converse Rubber Corporation opened for business in 1908 and at that time made only galoshes and other work related seasonal rubber shoes. It was decided soon after that they wanted to keep their employees year round so they turned their attention to making athletic shoes.

The birth of the Converse High Tops

The sport of Basketball was gaining huge popularity at the time so the company developed a shoe that could be worn while playing the game. It took quite a bit of time and after many versions the first All Star basketball shoe was produced in 1917. It originally came in natural brown leather with black trim and at first sales were quite slow. In the 1920's the shoe was made in all black canvas or leather versions.

Converse High Tops were the first mass produced basketball shoe in North America and sales started to take off when Charles "Chuck" H. Taylor lent his name to the product. After many years of service to the Converse company his name was added to the emblem on the side of the All Star basketball Shoe. In the 1970's other shoes companies began to gain market dominance in the basketball arena.

Converse High Tops then became very popular with rock musicians, and others wore them for their distinctive looks, colors, and comfort and as an alternative to the high priced high performance shoes made by Nike and other companies. Converse responded by manufacturing chucks in hundreds of different variations that included prints, patterns, unusual colors, and special models for different age groups.

In the 1980s and 1990s, the Converse Company began to experience hard times and eventually had to file for bankruptcy in 2001. The brand was just to well established to abandon and the new ownership moved the manufacturing of the shoe to Asia. The brand was successfully re-established and the company was eventually bought out by their rival, Nike.

As of today more than 800,000,000 pairs of Converse High Tops have been sold. Unlike other sneakers that lose their popularity, these sneakers still remain fashionable. Converse All Star High Tops are over 75 years old and are still going strong! Since 1949, except for the addition of new colors, original "Chuck Taylors" have not changed one bit -- and I don't know about you but I like that!