Manolo the Columnist

Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column for the Express of the Washington Post.

Dear Manolo,

Knowing that you appreciate the super fantastic shoe classic of any type, I wonder if you say something about the revival of the Converse Chuck Taylor type sneaker. My 13 year old daughter has a pair of tall Chuck Taylor she loves.

Phyllis

Manolo says, the Manolo loves the Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers! They are one of the greatest shoes ever invented, indeed, not just the great shoe, but also, together with the white tee-shirt and the Levi’s 501 jeans, one of the iconic pieces of American clothing.

If you are wondering whoChuck Taylor was, he was perhaps the greatest shoe salesman who ever lived. In 1921, after the brief professional basketball career, Chuck Taylor went to work for Converse as the sales representative. In 1923, he helped redesign the Converse All-Star basketball shoe, making it more flexible and adding the circular patch over the ankle to give it more support.

Then for the next 45 years Chuck Taylor traveled the country promoting the shoes he helped develop and the sport he loved, putting on clinics and basketball demonstrations. It was said that every basketball coach in American knew Chuck Taylor, and by the time he retired in 1968, 8 out of every 10 basketball shoes bought in America were made by Converse.

The great thing about the Converse is that they now come in the enormous variety of colors and configurations. Here is one of the Manolo’s favorites, the classic Chuck Taylor All-Stars Roll Down Hi.

Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars Roll Down Hi    Manolo Likes!  Click!

14 Responses to “Manolo the Columnist”

  1. missm August 14, 2009 at 11:27 am #

    My 8-year old daughter’s favorite and possibly most fetching ensemble is a pink puffy tulle skirt worn with black high-top Chuck Taylors.

    Everything old IS new again.

  2. angelhair August 14, 2009 at 12:17 pm #

    My teenage sons refuse to wear any shoes other than black Converse high-tops. Okay, one of them did wear red high-tops for a while. Even though I’m sure I’m way too old to be wearing them, even I can’t resist some Chucks on occasion.

    As a basketball fan, I know that they were the original basketball shoe. Compared to the high-tech performance sneakers now on the market, they really offer very little support. One of my son’s friends broke a small bone in his foot while wearing Converse sneakers while playing basketball. His mother thought the sneakers were to blame. We’re always on our kids about wearing other sneakers for gym class and sports because we feel that Converse just doesn’t provide enough support and they reluctantly put on New Balance sneakers for those activities. Otherwise, it’s Chucks all the way. They’re as much of a fashion staple as the LBD.

  3. qc August 14, 2009 at 1:09 pm #

    I don’t know if mid-30s is too old to be wearing them, but I do all the time. I own the low tops in the original two colors – black and off white. It is a connection with my Dad, who also owned cons when he was growing up. He says they look exactly the same as they did in the early 50s.

  4. barkingfrog August 14, 2009 at 2:03 pm #

    One can never be too old to wear the chucks! My dad’s in his early 60’s, and he still wears ‘em. I’m illustrating a book about Santa Claus in the summer, and yes, Santa wears Chuck Taylors when he’s on vacation

  5. Mary August 14, 2009 at 4:13 pm #

    I made a conscious decision to wear Chucks a good deal of the time (when it’s not raining or otherwise inclement). My fiance and I even got matching custom Chucks to wear at our wedding this fall. People may look at me a little funny, but I’ll be happily rocking my awesome shoes!

  6. Katrina Russo August 14, 2009 at 4:35 pm #

    The Converse and Chuck Taylors are such an American icon

  7. Hometown BoY August 15, 2009 at 11:55 am #

    Chuck Taylor was from my home town of Columbus Indiana and played basketball there. They should put a statue there for him.

  8. Margaret August 15, 2009 at 6:15 pm #

    My son is 14 and just got Chuck T’s for his first pair of “High School Shoes.”

  9. tova August 17, 2009 at 12:49 pm #

    I liked my wedding Chucks
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/36263456@N08/3604504250/in/set-72157621691624099/
    aaaaalllmost as much as the swarovski crystal covered heels I spent 18 hours making by hand…
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/36263456@N08/3829993861/

  10. dangster August 17, 2009 at 2:49 pm #

    Sofia Coppola even put in a pair of light blue Chuck Taylors in a brief shot in her movie “Marie-Antoinette”.

  11. Linda August 18, 2009 at 9:49 am #

    tova-it”s nice to see I’m not the only one who also decorates shoes. I have a couple pairs of previously-white chucks, one in now covered in mushrooms and the other is sort of paisley/abstract.

  12. Wendy Toth August 18, 2009 at 10:30 am #

    You can design your own on the website too. Mine are all-black leather with black laces. I love them so.

  13. P Adhikari August 18, 2009 at 10:45 am #

    Oh Manolo, bring on some super high heels!

  14. shrimper August 18, 2009 at 12:34 pm #

    Life isn’t fair. Girls can wear Chuck Taylors but guys can’t wear Mary Janes.