The Converse Rubber Shoe Company was opened by Marquis M. Converse in Malden, Massachusetts in 1908. They first manufactured winterized footwear for the average consumer. By 1917, the world’s first performance basketball sneaker was introduced by Marquis Converse in the Converse All Stars.
Born in 1901, Chuck Taylor was an all-star high-school basketball player who eventually played ball professionally. Taylor’s shoe of choice as he was rising as a basketball star was the original Converse All Stars. His interest in his sneakers eventually led him to look for a job in Chicago at the Converse sales offices in 1921. Taylor was hired, and immediately began giving input on how the Converse All Stars could be redesigned to better suit basketball players. Converse listened, and as a result, the traction and ankle support of the shoe were improved. Taylor became America’s first player endorser because of his contributions to Converse.
With nearly a century of sports history and footwear innovation, Converse is more than shoes. Its rich history tells a story of American sports and innovators that came together for the love of sports.