In Praise Of Chucks
Long before Air Jordan, there was Chuck Taylor. The best-selling athletic shoe ever—more than 600 million have been sold worldwide—the canvas-topped Chuck Taylor All Stars debuted in 1917 and became the sneaker choice for five decades of basketball players (including the U.S. Olympians from 1936 to '68) as well as athletes in other sports. As hoopsters began opting for more supportive footwear, celebs from Bruce Springsteen to Snoop Dogg turned to Chucks (named after the barnstorming salesman and basketball Hall of Famer who touted them to high school and college players) for their street- smart sensibility. Last week Converse, maker of the All Stars, declared bankruptcy. A plant in Indonesia will continue making the shoes, but clearly a footwear era has come to an end.