2013 was an interesting year for Nike Inc, partly due to the company releasing all the original colorways of the Air Jordan 1. Likewise through Converse they introduced an updated label change which now feature the Converse and All Star text together, then of course there were the many 1970s Converse All Star Chuck Taylor Reproduction releases. It seemed very odd and spontaneous. However the prospect of a Chuck Taylor reproduction was hard to ignore. The 1970s were the greatest decade for Converse. Primarily because they defeated their long time rivals. The other reason being that the Chuck Taylor was in top form during this time. It had went through many changes from the 1910s-70s however the 60s and 70s remained the best era for the shoes in terms of quality and use of technology. The soles were made of strong rubber compounds and were designed for maneuverability. They used army grade duck canvas, they featured great cushioning, extra stitching to reinforce the shoe, thicker laces, a players name box, higher midsoles, a sporty box, a care pamphlet, and of course the black label. Of course today when you buy a Chuck Taylor you won’t get any of that.
Whats interesting to note is that there were 4 separate releases in single colors, perhaps trying to mirror the original colors that were released during that era. However there were other releases that seemed to take away from what the shoes were. These other releases consisted of collaborations that helped to cheapen the 1970s release. Mostly because each collab treated the 1970s silhouette as a regular Chuck Taylor shoe. They changed the feel of the shoe so much that it ceased to be a 1970s Chuck Taylor. One exmaple being the Converse x Clot collab. The shoes were made with Chang Pao buttons, the pinstrip was white, the label was red, bumper was a different color, and there was different colors eyelets. The changes were so extensive that in all reality it could not be a 1970s Chuck Taylor. However it was labeled as such. Thereby giving the shoes less credibility and dampening the purity of the first few releases.
During that era Chuck Taylors were an athletic shoe and as such, were primarily only worn by basketball players. Most were sold in athletic stores, while the rest were usually only sold to school’s basket ball teams or pro players. Each shoe would come boxed with a care pamphlet. The same was true for this drop. Furthermore the shoes were overall a somewhat decent reproduction. However the quality on these first two releases seemed to be shoddy at best. The canvas was decent, the insoles were good, but the ribbed pin-striping tended to be the most obvious flaw as it usually looked a bit off. The third release was, which consisted of navy and light blue, proved to be a disappointment. The biggest reason is that they made them less accurate by using the 1980s Converse logo for the insole, likewise the quality remained the same.
Their final release seemed like an oxymoron as they used better canvas, but continued to use the 1980s logo for the insoles. Likewise the insoles aren’t as comfortable as the first two releases. So just like the first release these are for the people that love the modern day Chuck Taylors that are made under Nike’s direction, and not for people that are looking for vintage products. Green was a great choice, the color really pops. Compared to the other colors green was especially unique, because the color seemed to fit the shoe. Likewise green was one of the few colors that the All Stars of the 70s were released in. The shoes were part of a special Christmas oriented release, the other color being a bright red. Overall the construction on this release is just much better than the first releases. The canvas being the most significant difference than the other releases. However these shoes have yet to sell out. So this could signal the fact that many people have gotten over the hype surrounding the Chuck Taylor All Star 1970s releases, probably due to the many collabs that dropped in 2013.
Amazon green. Their canvas wasn’t so frail on this release.
The extra stitching is present.
The bumper wraps around the shoe correctly.
The ribbed rubber pin-striping was done much better on these shoes. The sidewalls are higher on these shoes, likely to protect players feet.
Player’s Name box. Rounded tongue.
Retro black label, and nylon heel strip.
Air vents are further apart.
While all the releases had solid piece sole, none of them used the correct sole for that time period.
The biggest inaccuracy was the use of the 1980s, modern, Converse logo.
* Pamphlet not included, at least not for my shoes.
*Another pack of Converse First String 1970s Chuck Taylor All Stars were released in 2014. So there will likely be more releases in the future.