52 Week Project - 13/52 - Chuck Taylors

Quick Escapes is aiming to complete a 52 week photo project in 2018.  A picture a week...that sounds easy enough.  Well I'll tell you from experience...it's tougher than you think.

Chuck Taylor's

When I was younger I just couldn't wait until spring.  Winters were always long in Canada and we all looked forward to spring.  The days were getting longer, you didn't need to bundle up to go outside and there was no more magical feeling than getting your bike out of the garage.  One thing for me that always marked the coming of spring was when I was finally able to get my Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star shoes out and wear them for the first time that year. 

I'll confess that it's been a long time since I donned a pair of "Chuck Taylor's" but a recent trip to the mall had me feeling a little nostalgic.  My wife and I were out looking for shoes for Nora; my 20 month old daughter.  Nora is very petite and we were having a hard time finding a quality shoe that fit her.  To my surprise Converse just happened to make a Chuck Taylor in her size (infant size 4 - pictured above). 

We debated spending $30 on a pair of shoes that Nora would soon grow out of.  The debate quickly ended when Nora tried on the shoes and immediately started running around the store laughing and giggling.  There was no getting her out of her new shoes and I couldn't help but feel a sense of pride as I walked to the counter to pay with an empty box in hand.    

The Converse Rubber Shoe Company opened in 1908.  By 1917 Converse was producing a rubber soled, canvas sports shoe called Converse Non-Skids.   This shoe was specifically marketed towards basketball players and quickly became popular apparel in gyms around the country.  Converse increased their marketing efforts behind their Non-Skid shoe and in 1923 the country is introduced to Charles "Chuck" Taylor.  Chuck Taylor was born in Indiana in 1901.  He was hired by Converse in 1923 to join their Converse All-Star Basketball team.  Taylor not only endorsed the shoe, but he acted as a sales representative and eventually made design improvements to the shoe that would later bear his name. 

The famous Converse brand continued to grow through the 30s, 40s and 50s.  In the 1960s when professional basketball was taking off with the masses, the greater majority of athletes were wearing Chuck Taylor All-Star shoes.  It wasn't long until Chuck Taylor footwear had transcended the professional arenas and gymnasiums and people were wearing them as a causal shoe. 

Chuck Taylor All-Stars have long since been retired as the professional basketball shoe of choice but they still remain a mainstay in today's shoe market.  They have been a mainstay for most of my life and I'm proud to be able to introduce this classic shoe to the next generation.