An Oral History of the Coolest Shoes On Earth

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David Marchese/SPIN:  Go into any garage or basement where a high school band is thrashing away. Go into a stadium where rock gods are hurling lightning bolts. Go anywhere people are making music, and — without being too weird about it — look at their shoes. There’s a good chance you’ll see Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars. As much as jeans and guitars, Chucks are part of the rock’n’roll look, but nothing achieves ubiquity by accident, let alone simple, cheap, and let’s be honest, blister-inducing, non-arch-supporting rubber-and-canvas sneakers. Rarely has a consumer product had as unlikely a life as the now 80-year-old shoe, which pulled off a nifty and unintentional cultural crossover, moving from basketball courts to CBGB — a shift that took Converse decades to understand and then, finally, exploit. Here, athletes, artists, and industry insiders consider the history of the shoe heard around the world…< More

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