In an era when shoe and trainer design is changed yearly, with the latest fads coming and going in regular pattern, one brand has remained relatively constant: Converse, especially the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star.
In fact, the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star, in production since 1917, has remained virtually unchanged since 1949. It is quite possibly the most iconic trainer in the world, so culturally impactful that a pair was donated to the Smithsonian.
Having said that, in 2015 Converse began the next phase in its 107-year history when it unveiled the Chuck Taylor All Star II, signalling the first redesign in some time. Focused specifically on improving comfort, the Chuck II saw minor changes in design, receiving very positive reviews.
Beyond the Chuck
Converse of course are not limited to the Chuck. They also manufacture the Jack Purcell as well as a general skateboarding line, including their famous customization shop. The brand also specializes in apparel.
Across every relevant category, the Converse brand is reviewed favourably by consumers (at the time of writing). On Chictopia.com, the brand currently has a 4.6 / 5 rating. Quality, durability, comfort and craftsmanship all cited as key review criteria. Likewise, over at Schuh.co.uk, converse trainers have received 5 out of 5 on every listing that we surveyed. For any even more diverse spread of customer ratings, we headed to Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com. Having surveyed dozens of products at random, we were constantly met with an average 4 or 5 star rating. Finally, at influenster.com, the brand currently has currently received 16291 reviews, with an average a 4.7 out of 5 rating.
Popular, comfortable, stylish and culturally iconic, Converse, let alone the Chuck Taylor, is without question a quality brand according to consumers.
We can also say that the Chuck Taylor All Star II is a great shoe, offering tremendous comfort and style.
As for price: it is difficult for us to offer you an average. Over at converse.com, their men’s and women’s trainers range from £55.00 – £140.00 ($25.00 to $75.00). The kids line is understandably cheaper. In the UK, the price ranges from £25.00 to £40.00.
Nike Ownership & Ethical Standing
Fortunately or unfortunately, we cannot speak of Converse without speaking of Nike. In 2003, Nike purchased Converse for a reported $305 million. With that, the ethical standing of the Converse brand took a hit.
As reflected in the latest ethical index rankings for the world's shoe and trainer brands, Converse has dropped to the bottom of the pack for overall ethics. Having received a 40 ECI, the brand is far from being a safe ethical choice. And this is a complete shame, for such an iconic and popular brand, considering its history and legacy. And while parent company Nike has been making ethical gains, major concerns persist across human rights, animal welfare and environmental categories.
We encourage you to review Converse overall ethical ranking here.
Final Review Score
As for our overall review score, taking into consideration both average consumer review and ethical rating, we’ve given Converse a 67.
Agree or disagree? We'd like to know what you think, not only in terms of Converse products but also with regards to your own experiences with the company. Please leave your own review / score below.
* To obtain a census view of and average product score for Converse, we assessed a spread of several productive reviews and average ratings published in Chictopia.com, Schuh.co.uk, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, and influenster.com.