Friday, July 24, 2015

Old School

At 55 bucks, I guess you could still consider the "Chucky T" a bargain in today's world of high-priced tennis shoes, but for what you get you would probably be better off with a pair of Keds, although I don't imagine they come cheap anymore either.  The Converse All-Star is an iconic brand, made so when Chuck Taylor endorsed the shoe in 1923.  It was worn by all the NBA greats well into the 1970s, including Wilt Chamberlain who scored his legendary 100 points against the New York Knicks in 1962.

You could get blue or white high-tops.  Our coach went with blue to match our uniforms.  Chucky T high tops cost $12 as I recall, which adjusted for inflation would be about $50, so I can't complain too much about the price today.  My daughter badly wanted a pair of white low-tops.  The shoes provide very little support, but when you're young it doesn't really matter.  However, no serious basketball player today would wear these shoes on the court unless it was in some retro charity game.

Nike bought Converse in 2003 but was afraid to make any major changes to the shoe other than offer a myriad of new colors and patterns.  Still the traditional blue and white shoes are the most popular, and can be matched with just about any outfit.  But, I guess sales have slipped a little over the last ten years, and Nike decided to upgrade the shoe with more bouncy foam material and better arch support, which should reduce some of the shock.  It is also bumping up the price to $75.  But, I doubt it will ever regain its place in the NBA.

You can still buy the classic shoe, as it seems there will always be a market for it.  Other retro tennis shoes like Vans remain very popular, made famous by skateboarders Tony Alva and Stacy Peralta in the 1970s.   Two Frenchmen recently brought back the Feiyue, a Chinese tennis shoe from the 1920s that has become this season's "it" shoe.  I guess we just can't quite bring ourselves to let go of the past.

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