History of the Trend: Converse Sneakers

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History of the trend - converse sneakers

I have a confession to make: I own way too many pairs of shoes. My favorites are my pointed-toe flats and my summer boots, but even as my wallet gets skinnier, there’s another pair I can’t live without: my Converse sneakers.

They’re comfortable, colorful, and perfect for all of our favorite summer activities. These shoes have been around for over 100 years, and they’re still as hot as ever.

Read on to find out the history behind these classic kicks.

History of Converse

  • Converse rubber shoes were born in 1908. Marquis Mills Converse published the company philosophy in their first catalog, calling his shoe enterprise one that would be “independent enough not to follow every other company in every thing they do.” As true to the mission today as they were then, Converse prides themselves on original footwear that’s both functional and stylish.
  • The iconic Chuck Taylor joined the Converse team 10 years later. He was passionate about the shoes he wore to play basketball and wanted the best players wearing the best sneakers for the job. He succeeded. In the NCAA championship game of 1939, both teams wore Converse.
  • Converse sneakers weren’t meant just for sports. As rubber production shifted to help the war effort in 1942, Converse sneakers were worn by the entire U.S. Army Air Corp, as well as soldiers completing basic training.
  • Converse sneakers weren’t viewed as everyday shoes until the late ’70s and early ’80s, when popular groups like The Ramones wore them on stage. Perfect for fast-paced performance, Converse sneakers grew into their new reputation as the perfect casual shoe.
  • Today, Converse sneakers come in a variety of styles, reflecting their evolution from sporting staple to fashionista must-have. Check out their Facebook page to see photos of their offerings and learn more about the company.

Why We Still Love This Trend

Converse Love

Me with my favorite sneakers!

What’s not to love about Converse? There are a zillion reasons we all love these shoes, but here are three big ones:

  • They’re easy to wear. Shopping all day? Attending a concert? Converse to the rescue! When I’m going to have a long day on my feet, my Converse sneakers are always my go-to option. They’re comfy and look great with almost anything. Dress up a basic tank and jeans with a cute patterned pair, or dress down a summer sundress with Converse in a contrasting color for a fresh look.
  • They’re for a cause. Converse teamed up with (RED) in 2006, actively joining in the fight against HIV/AIDS. We love brands that fight for what’s right!
  • They’re customizable. Haven’t found a style that’s totally you? Create your own! Customizing your Converse is a great way to show off your unique style with a shoe that’s ready for anything.

Let’s Chat!

Do Converse sneakers have a spot in your wardrobe? How do you style them? Any other trend you’d like to see covered? We’d love to hear about it so leave a comment below!

34 thoughts on “History of the Trend: Converse Sneakers”

  1. OMG! What a cool site with great fashion!! Love this.

    I was just wondering if you could share some tips to those who dont want to show their legs in summer. I know it sounds weird, but I have a lots of trouble dealing with my vitligo, which is a skin-disease… I have it on my knees. Do you have some ideas for outfits? 🙂

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    • I Just bought another pair of converses a few days ago to add to my small collection. (I have now 6 pairs) I love converse shoes. Not only are they super comfy if your going to be on your feet all day but with the color and style selection converse goes with damn near everything!

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  2. @Lynne- I have shoes with white bottoms like that and whenever they start to look grungy I scrub them with baking soda. Makes them look as good as new! Hope that helps. 🙂

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  3. LOVE my converse! I don’t wear them very often though… It would be awesome to see a post with ideas on how to wear them with different types of outfits.. Especially the high top ones! I’ve only ever worn mine with jeans and would like to get more use out of them!

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  4. I LOVE my vintage red Converse! They’re comfy, and nothing says iconic Converse like red hi-tops! Every girl needs a pair or two in her closet, definitely.

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  5. I’ve owned a few pairs of converse, they’re not too bad, but I don’t think they’re comfortable enough, for me, to hang out in all day, the seam where the rubber meets the fabric on the toe always gives me blisters. :[ I like my Vans much better, I can walk all day in them.

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  6. Rose- Neither did I! That’s one of the reasons I love writing this series, because you learn so much. Glad you enjoyed it 🙂

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  7. ok i have black converse and all i wear with them is jeans and a t-shirt and thats gets boring after awhile… so do you no any super cute out fits i can wear with my black ones????

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  8. Love this!
    I tried on a pair of red, white, and blue Converse the other day, and I can’t wait till I need new sneakers haha!

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  9. im soooo crazzy in love with converse ! i love all the colors and wear converse with everything !!!!!!!!! 🙂

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  10. Hi Ann! This CF article was written with different types of athletic-style shoes in mind, but the basic construction of each outfit should give you an idea of how to put things together.
    http://www.collegefashion.net/fashion-tips/5-jean-free-ways-to-wear-athletic-type-casual-shoes/
    This one focuses on wearing sneakers with a skirt or a dress, with outfit ideas and tips. Best of luck!
    http://www.collegefashion.net/fashion-tips/fashion-challenge-sneakers-with-a-skirt-or-dress/

    Reply
  11. Love this website! I also love chuck taylor converses I only have one pair but rather ironically just a few days ago I was looking into buying more but kept trying to think of what color, which type (hi/low) and with what I would wear them (i’m not that creative when it comes to fashion) I know there is another blog around here where they suggest outfits for one item. I would love, love, love, love, love to see some of the outfits you guys come up with for different types of converses. If this has already been done please direct me to the link 🙂

    Thanks A Bunch!!!

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  12. Glad to hear there are other fashionable Converse enthusiasts out there. Thanks for the positive comments everyone, it’s great to write for such responsive readers! <3

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  13. I love converse, and I think I always will. Even when my style changes, they always remain a staple. I wear them with anything-skirts, shorts, jeans, dresses…as well as in every season. 🙂

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  14. I’m a bit of a Converse-addict, having owned six pairs. My first pair ever, black low cut with a silver circuit-board pattern actually got so worn out I had to throw them out after 3 years of wear. My next oldest pair are grey high-tops with a sublte pink plaid pattern. They are also almost falling apart but I keep them around for muddy days. I have navy low cut ones to wear with jeans as well as a pretty turquoise which I love. I bought the Chuck Lights in black and they’ve become my work shoes. My newest pair are purple high tops, perfect for a concert where your feet might get stepped on and you want to be comfy while standing for hours. Also wore them go-karting last night!

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  15. I have a pair, but i havent worn them in a while because they make my calves look weird :s.. but seeing some pictures here, i may re-wear them again!

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  16. I’ve had hot pink low tops since November & wear them to work out. I wish I knew how to style them with a cute outfit, they were such a splurge but I don’t even mind, cause my Chucks do the job 🙂

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  17. This was super interesting 🙂 I can just imagine those Bulldogs wearing Converse on the court!
    As for wearing them on a day to day basis, how would you recommend wearing converse in a flashy color without it overpowering your wardrobe?

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  18. I’ve had the same pair of gray Converse for four years. I love them! Admittedly I don’t care if they get dirty, but if I step in mud or something I just throw them in the washing machine and the dryer.

    This is why I don’t spend lots of money on shoes lol.

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  19. I wore my Converse to my prom this year. It was such a fun way to do something different with prom shoes and they were super comfortable all night for dancing.

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  20. I’ve got quite big feet (UK 6-7) and these make my feet look even bigger so I can’t wear them 🙁 I do like them though, and very interesting post! You know, I never realised they were introduced as sports shoes!

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  21. This post was so interesting! I have a pair of gray converse, and have been considering getting more with my (admittedly limited) back to school budget! One question though…the white rubber toes of the shoes, and the white rubber that runs along the bottom, seem to get dirty pretty quickly on mine. Any tips or tricks on making them look new again? Thanks!

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  22. Great article! I don’t own any Converse, but I’ve been thinking of getting some. They’re cute *and* functional. And as a history geek, I found this whole thing kind of fascinating; I had no idea they’d been around since 1908.

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