Converse was founded by Marquis Mills in 1908 as a rubber shoe company specialising in galoshes. By 1917 the brand shot to popularity after the introduction of its iconic Chuck Taylor All Star, a high-top sneaker with a flat rubber sole that became the most trusted pair of basketball shoes in American and the world. Converse’s century-long legacy in athletic footwear and streetwear has cemented the brand as a casualwear mainstay that is defined by the spirit of the creator, the rebel and the icon. Here at Incu, we stock the latest Converse designs with the staple high and low top silhouettes in classic colours and new collaborations. Shop men’s converse sneakers in store and online for the most trusted pair of casual shoes.
Marquis Mills Converse founded the Converse Rubber Shoe Company in 1908 in Malden, Massachusetts, primarily focusing on galoshes and waterproof wear before turning his company’s gaze towards the rapidly growing sportswear market. In 1917 Converse designed the first iteration of the modern All Star shoe, made from a rubber sole and leather and canvas variants with the now iconic high top silhouette. This first imagination of the All Star was marketed under the name ‘No-Skid’, for its unique gripped vulcanised rubber sole that allowed athletes stability as they played along smooth surfaces. By 1920, the No-Skid was renamed the All Star to better convince athletes that these were the shoes for champions.
In 1921 Charles “Chuck” Taylor, an American semi-professional basketball player, joined Converse as a salesman and he quickly transformed the company into an innovative athletic footwear brand. Chuck Taylor quickly became an integral part of the Converse headquarters, and his first contribution to the company was his idea for a more comfortable basketball shoe that was supportive and aesthetically pleasing. Taylor’s suggestions for improvements soon made their way into the shoe design, with enhanced flexibility and ankle support being the most major of the redesign. The original Chuck Taylor All Star was also the very first style to incorporate the now iconic All Star logo patch to the inner ankle. Taylor’s signature was added to the All Star patch, and the shoes were officially titled after the basketball player turned salesman. The Chuck Taylor All Star would become the very first celebrity endorsed sportswear shoe, and Taylor himself began travelling across the United States spreading the word about the revolutionary athletic shoe. In 1936 basketball was added to the Olympic roster, and Taylor’s work was responsible for the entire American team wearing the classic white high-top Converse Chuck Taylors, finished with blue and red accents that are still part of today’s design.
Following the Olympic games the Converse sneakers became popular among younger basketball players and athletes, and soon amateur sporting fans and players all over the United States were sporting the lace-up sneakers. In a bid to further promote the All Star shoes, Chuck Taylor began to host basketball clinics in high schools, college gyms and YMCAs all across the United States, where he taught young players the fundamentals of the game. By the late 1930s the shoes were wildly popular across the country, and in the 1940s Converse began manufacturing shoes for American soldiers fighting in World War II when they became the official athletic training shoe for the U.S. armed forces.
By the 1950s, Chuck Taylor All Stars had become a standard among high school students, college athletes, and professional basketball players. By the following decade, Converse had captured an enormous share of the market with approximately 70 to 80 percent of the basketball players wearing their shoes. Converse was able to use their huge surge in growth to expand their business and open additional factories around the United States.
By the 1970s Converse’s popularity among professional athletes began to decline, particularly among the NBA as players began sporting styles from other competitors. Converse soon transitioned into the mainstream as the shoe gained popularity with subcultures and streetwear fans. The brand regained their popularity in the late 1980s and 1990s as Converse made a shift to casual retro footwear. What was originally an elite basketball shoe evolved into the shoe of choice for artists and musicians. By 2000 Converse had sold more than 600 million pairs of All Stars during its eighty years of manufacturing the style. In 2013 Converse launched the Chuck Taylor All Star 70, a reimagination of the original basketball design with sleek new design features. The retro-inspired model featured a thicker canvas with heavier cushioning and a ticker rubber sole, with the classic rubber toe cap and lace-up high-top silhouette. The style has since become a staple in contemporary streetwear and it’s proven to be the go-to for men and women all over the world.
Here at Incu we stock the classic Converse Chuck Taylor All stars in staple colours black and white, and colourful iterations in bold colourways. The perfect men’s casualwear staple, Converse sneakers are an essential part of any man’s wardrobe that can seamlessly pair with relaxed weekend jeans, tapered trousers and light chinos and shorts. Shop our seasonal picks of men’s Converse sneakers and limited edition collaborations in store and online here at Incu, or browse our top picks of men’s sport-inspired sneakers from Nike, adidas, Common Projects and more.