To clarify, this is about skateboarding, not roller-skating. The roller-skate that locks over the shoe (the kind Melanie sang about in “Brand New Key”) was considered dreadfully old fashioned by the time I took to the rink. (I’m “roller-skated to New Kids on the Block” years old.) Skateboarding is a completely different kettle of fish. This is a deck of maple plywood coated with polyurethane with wheels attached to the underside.
Skateboarding was developed back in the Fifties in California as something surfers could do when there weren’t any waves. It was even initially called “sidewalk surfing.” At first, they were just wooden planks with the aforementioned strap on skates attached.
In 1959, Roller Derby produced the first mass-manufactured skateboard. In 1963, they were advertised in Surf Guide Magazine. In the later part of the Sixties, skateboarding had become a subculture with its own fashion sense. Vans and Converse became the most popular shoes among skaters.
In the Seventies, Frank Nasworthy invented urethane wheels and skateboarding magazines were on the stands. Skateboarding became international with skate parks being built in Germany. Alan Gelfand came up with The Ollie in 1978.
The Eighties brought the professional skateboarder and films like Gleaming the Cube. The Nineties brought on the X Games. What’s next for skateboarding? Skateboarding is to be recognized as an Olympic event for the first time in the summer of this year in Tokyo.
While it looks like Vans is responsible for bringing skateboarding to the Olympics and many of the skaters will probably be wearing Nike, Converse is the brand popular with the typical skater. What is it that makes Converse so popular? And do they live up to the hype?
Table of Contents
- What Type Of Shoes Are Converse?
- Why Are Converse Shoes So Popular?
- What Are Converse Shoes Good For?
- Is Converse A Skate Brand?
- What Are Converse CONS Shoes?
- Are Converse Shoes Comfortable?
- Are Converse Shoes Durable?
- Vans Or Converse For Skating?
- Why Are Converse Shoes Called Chucks?
- Are Converse One Star Shoes Good For Skating?
- Are Converse High Tops Good For Skating?
- Are Converse Shoes Good For Longboarding?
- How Do You Know The Original Converse?
- Why Do Converse Shoes Have Two Holes?
- Can You Skate In Any Shoes?
- What Kind Of Shoes Are Good For Skateboarding?
- Should Skate Shoes Be Tight Or Loose?
- Are Skate Shoes Good For Walking?
- Are Skate Shoes Bad For Your Feet?
- Can You Wear Skate Shoes Casually?
- How Long Do Skate Shoes Last?
- How NOT To Ruin Your Skate Shoes?
What Type Of Shoes Are Converse?
They started out making galoshes in 1908. When Marquis Mills took the wheel in 1917, they started making basketball shoes. By 1920, they had the world-famous Converse All-Stars. Along the way, Converse became both form and function. They were worn by athletes and people who wanted to look like athletes. They’re a symbol of self-expression and creativity.
Why Are Converse Shoes So Popular?
These aren’t some flash in the pan fad. Converse are legendary. They’ve been popular since the Twenties when basketball star Chuck Taylor gave them his name. This simple yet classic design has endured decades of fashion trends. The rubber sole is flexible and long-lasting. This is a fashion staple that has been around for nearly a hundred years and isn’t going away any time soon.
What Are Converse Shoes Good For?
They were originally meant for basketball, but many powerlifters see Chuck Taylor All-Stars as ideal for their sport. The flat, rubber soles enforce correct posture on movements needed to perform squats and deadlifts.
The canvas material lets powerlifters push their feet to the outside while squatting. This aids in keeping their knees out and activating their glutes. Low tops are preferred for mobility.
They also make a great fashion statement. Kristen Stewart and Millie Bobby Brown have managed to make them work on the red carpet. They seem to be favored with every subculture from goth to punk and of course skaters.
As for athletics, besides weightlifting, they are recommended for aerobics and kickboxing. They were originally for basketball, but Adidas and Nike have since taken over that field. Or, court, as it were.
Is Converse A Skate Brand?
Converse has recognized their popularity among the skater community. They have a signature brand named after skateboarder Louie Lopez that’s simple but reliably grippy. The Louie Lopez Pro is a plain low top that comes in either solid black or white. Plain, but effective. The One Star Pro and the CTAS Pro remain popular models. And of course, there’s the Converse CONS.
What Are Converse CONS Shoes?
According to Converse, their CONS line is “a celebration of individuality, creativity, style, and functionality.” They cement the relationship between skateboarding and Converse. These are shoes specifically designed for the skateboard, being durable and allowing the wearer a feel for the board.
Are Converse Shoes Comfortable?
That depends on what kind of foot you have and what you do while wearing them. If you have flat feet, the lack of arch support and padding might be what you need. They are lightweight and breathable so they’re good for warm weather but not rain or cold weather. They are meant for short term use, so they’re not for being on your feet for a long time.
Are Converse Shoes Durable?
It seems to vary based on how often they’re worn and in what conditions. With average use, they last a couple of years. They can be made somewhat more durable by spraying them down with waterproof spray.
Vans Or Converse For Skating?
It’s a tough call. Converse has been called out for being little more than somewhat thicker than usual canvas, but many people love that rubber toe cap and better ankle support. Fashion-wise, Converse might be better because they tend to be more solid colored and go with anything. The recherché patterns of Vans can work with a careful choice, however. When it comes down to a public poll, Vans wins out, though marginally.
Why Are Converse Shoes Called Chucks?
They got their name the same way the Air Jordan’s did. Long before kids wanted to be like Mike, they wanted to be like Chuck. Charles Hollis “Chuck” Taylor was the first athlete to endorse a shoe brand, long before television ads were even a thing. He traveled all over the United States promoting Converse to basketball coaches and players.
Taylor was also the one who suggested that support in the ball of the foot should be increased and that they could improve traction by reconfiguring the outsole. The ankle patch was also his idea. When basketball became an Olympic event in 1936, the US team was out on the court in Chucks.
Are Converse One Star Shoes Good For Skating?
For all their simplicity, the One Star shoes were brought back for good reason. The suede upper is very durable. It has great support. The diamond treat absorbs abrasions and has a good grip. The style is a bit retro, but it can be pulled off. It’s recommended that you go half a size down if you like a tight fit.
Are Converse High Tops Good For Skating?
They’ve got a lot of style, but not much substance. They don’t have much support and they’re not very durable. The soles are thin so they’re not great for anything with high impact. However, if you’re just cruising around, the rubber toe cap does provide a good deal of control. And a high-top cut in any brand will give you better ankle support. They don’t breathe very well, however, so are better for the colder months.
Are Converse Shoes Good For Longboarding?
Because longboarders don’t do as many tricks, the sole is more important than the uppers. It has to be thick and flat with no tread. Ideally, it should be made out of vulcanized rubber or polyurethane. Ankle and heel support are also important. If you got to have your Cons, go for Converse Unisex Chuck Taylor All Star Low Shield while longboarding. They’re a little more water-resistant than most Chucks and have a soft lining and a cushioned sole.
How Do You Know The Original Converse?
The Converse is a shoe that is often imitated but never duplicated. Here are some ways to avoid being stuck with counterfeits:
- Know your vendor. If you’re buying online, it’s best to go with a reputable source such as Amazon, Zappos or Converse’s own site. Converse even has a store finder on its site if you prefer old fashioned brick and mortar stores.
- Look at the price tag. Anything cheaper than fifty dollars should set off red flags unless it’s a special promo or discount. If you want real Cons at a low price, the official Converse store sometimes goes as much as seventy-five percent off on clearance items.
- Look at the packaging. The shoes should come in a black box with brown stripes around the bottom and prints of the company’s wordmark logo on the top, front, and right side of the lid. It should also come with information about the shoes and a print of the All-Star shoe sole on the bottom part of the box. It should also come with tissue paper.
- Got to have that patch. Fake cons will have the logo on the outside ankle. As it’s not just for looks but the protection it will be on the inside. Said logo patch is a white, circular screen-printed rubber patch with the label “CONVERSE ALL STAR” in red uppercase letters and “Chuck Taylor” signature in navy blue script and a five-pointed star in the middle.
- Look at the heels. There should be a rubber patch on the heel. It will come with the same branding as the fabric logo patch on the low-top All-Stars. The print should be straight and the patch should be perfectly molded to hug the curve of the midsole. There must be no excess glue visible along the edges of the rubber patch.
- Look at the tongue. Inspect the stitching here. It should not be loose or crooked
There are many other details you should check to make sure you have genuine Chucks, but these are the most important.
Why Do Converse Shoes Have Two Holes?
One to let air in and one to let the air out. (Rimshot) Well, while they do allow for ventilation, the real reason for them is so that you can do bar lacing to make them fit a little tighter if you need it. You may need some extra-long laces to pull it off but if you like a tight fit it pays off.
Can You Skate In Any Shoes?
Sure, you can but you shouldn’t. You could wear any old shoes to skateboard but if you want to get good you need skate shoes. The sole, insole, cushioning and waffle patterns should all offer a premium grip to both feel and handle your skateboard. Ordinary shoes don’t give you quite as much ‘board feel’ and deliver less control over your skateboard.
What Kind Of Shoes Are Good For Skateboarding?
A lot of this depends on your style. If you like to do tricks such as grinds, ollies, and slides, then you will require a more pliable shoe with a thinner sole such as vulcanized shoes. If you do aerial stunts and jumps you will require something with a thicker sole and heel protection for impact. Shoes with cup soles are recommended here.
Should Skate Shoes Be Tight Or Loose?
The consensus among skaters seems to be tight for actual skating, loose if they’re just for show. Wearing the shoes tight gives the rider a better feel of the board and they’re less likely to roll an ankle. The eyelets don’t have to touch, but the foot should be securely in one place in the shoe. This is why Converse has those two extra eyelets; too make the shoes a bit tighter.
Are Skate Shoes Good For Walking?
They’re fine for casual strolls but not really long-distance walking. The soles of skate shoes are rather flat and are not made for continuous impact. Even though the inside of the shoe is thoroughly padded, it is still not recommended for good comfort for walking or running.
Are Skate Shoes Bad For Your Feet?
They don’t have much padding or arch support so are not good for long term use. There is, however, plenty of support in the heel. They are good for skating, but not much else.
Can You Wear Skate Shoes Casually?
Skate shoes do have a casual style that looks good with jeans, combat pants or shorts. As mentioned before, a few famous actresses prefer them to traditional high heels. However, if you plan on wearing them long term it’s better to go with shoes that just have the same style as skater shoes. They’re not only better for the feet, but they also tend to be less expensive.
How Long Do Skate Shoes Last?
It really depends on how often you wear them and how hard you skate. Around three to five months is average. There is a product called Shoe Goo that can make shoes last longer. Not only is it a good sealant, but it can also be used to create extra traction.
How NOT To Ruin Your Skate Shoes?
Real skaters tend to wear their scuffs and tears with pride. We’re not talking about the factory-made “destroyed” look. This means rips and stains gotten from genuinely getting out there on a board. Anyone who comes off as a bit too put together might get called a poser. However, there’s no shame in using Shoe Goo, Trick Tape or Superglue to make them last a little longer. If you want a pair to last, get suede instead of canvas.
Skateboarding has come a long way. First, it was just something surfers did when there weren’t any waves. Then it became a sort of “little rebel” craze. Now, it’s become an Olympic sport with (gasp!) rules! The skater subculture comes with a sense of style that is built on substance.
Though Converse was one of the pioneers in athletic shoes, there are a plethora of brands to choose from. Converse shoes are good for skating. They’d easily make any top ten or even top five. However, they do have some serious competition.