The iconic footwear of generations of basketball players, rock stars, angst-ridden teens and skateboarders has had the first major technological update since it was introduced in … wait for it … 1917.
The Converse Chuck Taylor All Star was released back then by Taylor himself, a basketball player and pitchman who promoted the sport through his sales career. And it’s remained largely unchanged over the years.
The new Converse All Star Chuck ’70 Polartec ($110) is a water-resistant version of this classic sneaker that includes Polartec weatherization technology — the first time it has been applied to a sneaker, according to the company.
The sneaker’s added Polartec Power Shield Pro water-resistant, breathable membrane is placed between the outer canvas and the inner tricot lining. This means the shoe should be solid for slopping though winter slush on the way to classes or the coffee shop.
The tech addition will make this classic a little more winterized, but it’s still far from an “outdoors” shoe, with a slick sole much better suited to hardwood floors than rocky trails. But for bike commuters, bus riders or others pounding the urban winter paths, they could be a dry option that maintains the All Star style.
It is available in low-top and high-top options, but unfortunately, hard to buy. The model is for sale in just three stores, Converse San Francisco and Soho, and Livestock in Canada. If successful, this tech might be more widely available in other models soon.