Everyone is more or less familiar with the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star. The most known iteration of the shoe was introduced sometime in the late 80s. However the All Star has undergone many changes throughout its near century of existence. There have been a few “modern” versions of the classic canvas basketball shoe. The first being introduced around the late 1920s, equipped with an all leather build, another version having a welt style sole. Converse’s 1970s Pro Leather was the next version, originally being called the Converse All Star Pro Leather, with an all leather upper and a different sole design made for comfort and traction. 1996 saw the release of the All Star 2000, which had Converse’s Helium technology.
When Nike bought Converse in 2003, there was little hope that the brand would regain a strong footing in basketball. This same year the brand had signed on Dwyane Wade to head their basketball division. At the time it was a pretty good choice for both parties. Wade was a young athlete heading an iconic brand, while Converse had a promising athlete to boost the brand’s reputation. Through this partnership, the last modern All Star would be created.
The setting was 2006, Wade’s next signature was purported to be called the Wade Revolution. What made this significant was the approach to its design. Beginning with the suede and leather Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars of the early 1970s, the “pro” All Stars began to have a more distinct look, which separated them from their canvas predecessors. However the Converse Wade Revolution would combine the original look of canvas All Stars circa the 60s, with Converse’s modern technology to create a shoe that would bridge the gap between Converse’s golden years and their modern era. This would mean that there would be an All Star with another athlete’s name, other than Chuck Taylor. It probably would have been christened the Converse Wade All Star Revolution.
However for some unknown reason, Wade decided to pass on the Wade Revolution, instead he went forward with the Wade 1.3. There are only maybe one or two images that show the Revolution with Wade’s star logo. This wasn’t the end of the All Star Revolution.
Despite Wade passing on the design, the shoe was eventually released in 2008, as part of Converse’s Century pack. The original samples had a nylon upper and sported a leather tongue. Its link to the original All Stars being a star patch on the lateral sides of the upper, pinstripes, toe cap, bumper, and even a heel label. Sample lows were also made, they didn’t sport the star logo. Despite the shoe having an original release date for 2006, the shoe was never given a general release. Instead samples were handed out to eager people who wanted the shoe, while supposedly only Converse China, also part of Converse Inc, is thought to have made a small run of the Converse All Star Revolution.
In 2007 Converse had made plans to created a special pack of converse kicks that would commemorate Converse’s 100 years of existence. There were three different All Star models chosen, the All Star Revolution being one of them. However the Century version does deviate from the earlier samples in that it does not have a nylon upper, but instead has an all leather build. In ways this takes away from the Revolution’s athletic design, and makes it more of a luxury or lifestyle shoe. The all leather upper was meant to mimic some 1933 black leather All Stars, which were custom shoes made for the New York Rens. A black basketball team, whose exploits made them a team to be reckoned with, in the pre NBA days. It was thus dubbed the All Star Revolution Black Fives.
Unlike Nike’s Lifestyle signature shoes of today, the All star Revolution B5 still retained all of its technological features. Still containing helium cushioning, and even something reminiscent of Converse’s shoe within a shoe design from the late 90s. 2008 was the only time the All Star Revolution was released. This may have been due to Converse’s athletic division being close to its demise. Since Converse’s future in basketball looked dime, there was probably doubt that releasing more pairs of the Revolution would help give Converse a stronger standing in basketball. In this respect, the Converse All Star Revolution was the last modern All Star sneaker.
Its interesting to note that certain design aspects of the Revolution seem to have been utilized on Converse’s Chuck Taylor All star cupsole shoes in 2010. Much of the design cues don’t make the cupsole All Stars a modern basketball, it merely gave the Chuck Taylor a more contemporary feel. In late 2014 leaked photos were shown of a new Chuck Taylor All Star, one that was sporting Nike’s fairly new Lunarlon technology. Even curious-er was the ankle of the shoe, which looked like it had some extra padding. Though the upper of the shoe is whats really odd, as it had a collage of the entire Nike Inc family, that includes Hurley and Jordan Brand. The Lunarlon sole isn’t so alarming, as Nike has been implanting Lunarlon insole within Converse’s Con line of skating shoes since 2012. In 2013 Nike announced it would be selling Cole Haan, which was basically Nike’s luxury line, which almost had no obvious links to the swoosh. Nike had hinted that it desired to pay more attention on its core brands. So with that said, perhaps Nike is getting ready to bring Converse back onto the hardwood circuit. If so this would mean that Nike may draw strong links to all of its brands, which in itself may lead to crossover projects. Its difficult to gather what that Lunarlon Chuck Taylor All Star could represent. It may be released in 2015, or maybe it will be a one shot sneaker, meant to celebrate the All Star’s 100th anniversary. Til then, at least we can reminisce about the All Star Revolution. Though they are difficult to find, they are out there somewhere. I have personally seen four different All Star Revolutions pop up on Ebay, so try looking there first.
Early samples and designs of the Converse Wade All Star Revolution. Note the Wade All Star patch on the tongue.
Samples of what would have been the first run of the Converse All Star Revolution.
Converse All Star Revolution Black Fives. Extra brown waxed cotton laces were included.
The All Star patch, draws a link to the original canvas All Stars.
The Converse Century logo, was only used for special Converse shoes in 2008. The leather upper was artificially distressed, this is very obvious on the stitching for the panels, as they serve no actual function.
The bumper has a retro feel.
The Heel label is a bit odd, as most of the Pro All star shoes, starting with the Pro Leather omitted heel labels. The logo makes it look more like a Chuck Taylor.
Overall the All Star Revolution’s sole is a combination of nostalgia and modern tech. The shoe’s bumper, pinstripe, and heel label definitely make it look like a Chuck Taylor. Though the bottom of the sole is more interesting. A patent pending mark can be seen towards the front of the outsole. So its unclear if Converse owns the patent to the sole. Looking at the first picture, you can see that they built helium sacs into the sole. Furthermore the shoe is vulcanized. trying them on, they almost look like boots, but they’re pretty lightweight.
The tongue is perforated, off white waxed laces with metal aglets can be seen.
All Star embossed on tongue.
The heel of the shoe wraps around the wearer’s ankle, however the collar shoe expands outward. When putting on the shoe its somewhat difficult, because you can’t actually put your put into it easily. Theres an elastic stripe sewn into the collar. So you have to actually pull back on the ankle and slip your foot in.
The 2008 Black Fives label embossed on both inner tongues. a Converse Century pattern is adorned on the entire inner lining. The lining itself is probably derived from Converse’s shoe within a shoe designs. Both the Converse Smooth an He:1 used their unqiue system. The booties would wrap around the feet tightly. while the shoes would give the wearer a good feel of the ground. on the All Star Revolution this lining is distinctly separate from the sneaker’s interior. Yet it is attached onto key parts of the shoe, like the tongue and collar. Its because of this lining that you can’t just insert your foot into the shoe, you’re forced to slip it on, cause it fits like a glove.
The Converse Chuck Taylor All Star cupsole, released in 2010, takes design cues from the All Star Revolution.
Lunarlon insoles become the standard on all Converse Cons skating shoes.
This all Lunarlon Converse Chuck Taylor All Star may or may never be released. It may be a sign of the Nike Inc family making more crossover products.
*All s/o, circa 2008.