The best Converse shoes you can buy right now

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The pandemic served as a reminder that life is unpredictable, which, in turn, taught us to appreciate the psychologically-comforting consistencies of our everyday existence. Consequently, along with the hyped releases we see from the likes of Nike and New Balance, we have developed a deep appreciation for Converse: the American footwear brand that’s unwaveringly ubiquitous and gorgeously normal.

Come rain or come shine, you can bet your bottom dollar that millions worldwide will lace up a pair of Converse trainers in the AM before heading out into the big wide world. From basketball players in New York to musicians in Manchester to med students in Japan, it’s a label relied upon by every kind of mortal imaginable. Why? Simply put, Converse creates universally admired kicks that never look out of kilter, no matter how formal or casual one’s style may be.

How did Converse begin?

In 1908 in Malden, Massachusetts, Marquis Mills Converse (47-years-old, at the time) founded the Converse Rubber Shoe Company. Initially, the brand zeroed in on producing durable, winterized footwear, but as it established a reputation as a reliable footwear label, it began its venture into forming shoes for basketball players. Why basketball? The sport – invented just up the road from Malden in Springfield, Massachusetts – was all-the-rage in the city at the time.

Nine years after the Converse Rubber Shoe Company launch, Marquis and co. released the Converse ‘Non-Skid’, a basketball shoe that was said to offer more toe room, support (particularly around the ankle) and a snugger fit than any other athletic shoe on the market at the time. Plus, they were lightweight and, as the name suggests, stopped wearers from skidding across the court thanks to a unique rubber sole.

Circa 1922, the Converse Non-Skid was upgraded after Chuck Taylor – an Indiana-born semi-professional basketball player hired as a salesman and ambassador upon visiting Converse’s Chicago office – provided the brand with insight into the requirements and desires of a b-ball athlete. The new and improved version of the court-ready shoe was more flexible and supportive than ever before, and was officially christened the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star.

What are the best Converse shoes you can buy?

The Chuck Taylor All Star marked a new beginning for Converse. The shoe was swiftly considered an exemplary athletic sneaker and helped the brand gain recognition worldwide. Today, Converse stocks a plethora of silhouettes, from a low-top version of the above-mentioned Chuck Taylor to the easy-to-slip-on Converse All Star FlyEase. Join us below as we work through the top 12 Converse shoes you can buy right now.

CONVERSE CHUCK TAYLOR ALL STAR CLASSIC

  • Silhouette first released: 1922
  • Best colourway: Off-White “VULCANIZED”
  • Colourway pictured above: ‘Black’

It’s true what they say: you can’t beat the original. And although ‘they’ are usually referring to a popularly covered song or the Star Wars trilogies, the maxim can also also be applied to Converse sneakers. As you already know, the original Converse sneaker is the Chuck Taylor All Star Classic, and we can confidently say that it’s the best – not to mention, most versatile – kick the brand has ever created. £60.

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CONVERSE PRO LEATHER

  • Silhouette first released: 1976
  • Best colourway: pgLang ‘White’
  • Colourway pictured above: ‘White’

News just in: Kendrick Lamar’s multifarious media company, pgLang, has collaborated with Converse on two sneakers, both of which are expected to drop this summer. Out of the two, it seems that Lamar’s fanbase and the sneaker community alike have a preference for the brand’s rework of the Converse Pro Leather; thus, we expect to see a surge in the basketball silhouette’s popularity over the next few months. Why not secure yours before the storm? £75.

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CONVERSE CHUCK 70 HIGH

  • Silhouette first released: 2013
  • Best colourway: Brain Dead ‘Egret’
  • Colourway pictured above: ‘Deep Bordeaux’

In 2013, Converse launched the Chuck 70 High; from here on out, the shoe has been recognised as the new standard within the mainstream. How does the retro edition differ from the classic All Star? Key differences include the 70s’ thicker canvas, chunkier midsole and improved cushioning system. Which do we prefer? Honestly, it depends on what we’re wearing. As you can imagine, this particular silhouette is our preference when we feel like wearing our Levi’s jeans with our Gallery Dept. x Lanvin striped tees. £75.

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CONVERSE CHUCK 70 LOW

  • Silhouette first released: 2013
  • Best colourway: ‘Tropical Shirt’
  • Colourway pictured above: ‘Black’

The low-top version of the Chuck 70 also premiered in 2013 and has proved just as popular, if not more popular, with judicious dressers as its taller sibling. Ideal for those looking to embrace a normcore lifestyle, the unfussy, foolproof trainer is a humble flex that elegantly whispers “My dress shoes are from The Row”. £65

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CONVERSE CHUCK TAYLOR ALL STAR FLYEASE

  • Silhouette first released: 2022
  • Best colourway: ‘White/Black/Wild Mango’
  • Colourway pictured above: ‘White/Black/Wild Mango’

In the early-’00s, Nike purchased Converse for $309 million, and for years, fans of both brands have been anticipating a Converse kick kitted out with Swoosh technology. Enter the brand-new Converse Chuck Taylor All Star FlyEase: a sneaker that employs Nike’s FlyEase technology (a flexible heel component that allows wearers to slip their shoes on and off with, for lack of a better word, ease). Nifty, right? £85.

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A-COLD-WALL* X CONVERSE AEON ACTIVE CX

  • Silhouette first released: 2022
  • Best colourway: ‘Grey Teal’
  • Colourway pictured above: ‘Grey Teal’

London-based designer Samuel Ross has amalgamated the aesthetic of his forward-thinking label A-COLD-WALL* with that of Converse to concoct the Aeon Active CX. The otherworldly silhouette has many fascinating quirks, the most prominent being the Crater foam midsole partially made from the scraps gathered from the factory floor. Talk about a sustainable flex. klekt.com

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CONVERSE CHUCK TAYLOR ALL STAR OX

  • Silhouette first released: 1957
  • Best colourway: Comme des Garçons ‘Beige’
  • Colourway pictured above: ‘Navy

The Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Ox is the safest bet when it comes to Converse silhouettes, and the sneaker market in general. In fact, the low-top sneaker is what we like to call an unproblematic trainer: one that requires no overthinking whatsoever. It’s the kind of throw-on-and-go shoe that never actually makes it to the shoe rack because it’s always loitering around the front door, waiting to accompany you on your next adventure. £51.99.

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CARHARTT WIP X CONVERSE FASTBREAK PRO MID

  • Silhouette first released: 1983
  • Best colourway: Carhartt WIP ‘White/Black/Gum Honey’
  • Colourway pictured above: Carhartt WIP ‘White/Black/Gum Honey’

Designed, marketed and used as a basketball sneaker in the early-’80s but appropriated by the skateboarding scene just a few years later, the Converse Fastbreak Pro is a sneaker steeped with history. Why is it worthy of your attention this summer? The silhouette is pivotal to a recent white-hot collaboration between Converse and Carhartt’s European division, Carhartt WIP. What are you waiting for? Go and check it out right now whilst stock lasts. £89.

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GOLF LE FLEUR* X CONVERSE GIANNO

  • Silhouette first released: 2019
  • Best colourway: ‘Parfait Pink’
  • Colourway pictured above: ‘Parfait Pink’

The Converse Gianno is a sneaker inspired by the past that’s way ahead of its time. Designed in collaboration with Tyler, the Creator’s quirky label GOLF le FLEUR*, the shoe fuses elements of ‘80s basketball kicks, ‘90s trail shoes and ‘00s skateboarding trainers to form a multi-layered shoe for the future.

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CONVERSE ONE STAR

  • Silhouette first released: 1974
  • Best colourway: ‘Pink’
  • Colourway pictured above: ‘Khaki’

The Converse One Star is a low-cut sneaker characterised by its hairy suede upper, sidewall star logo and practically indestructible sole. Free of frills and gimmicks, the mid-’70s silhouette is just the ticket for those on the hunt for a sneaker that transcends trends and seasons. £75.

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CONVERSE WEAPON CX

  • Silhouette first released: 1986
  • Best colourway: ‘Vintage White/Antarctica/Egret’
  • Colourway pictured above: ‘Vintage White/Antarctica/Egret’

A Converse kick that has recently made a big comeback is the Converse Weapon CX: a shoe that’s surprisingly lightweight despite its name and funky, chunky, dare we say, hunky appearance. Other attributes include the fact the shoe is super easy to clean and it’s a lot more comfortable and supportive than the other contemporary silhouettes it resembles. £100.

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RICK OWENS DRKSHDW X CONVERSE TURBOWPN

  • Silhouette first released: 2021
  • Best colourway: ‘Black’
  • Colourway pictured above: ‘Black’

Wondering what caused the sudden resurgence of the Converse TURBOWPN? It’s a question of who, not what – the who being Rick Owens. As part of his collaboration with Converse via his DRKSHDW line, the avant-garde visionary ‘gothified’ the boot-like model to please his following and millions more. Complete with an elongated padded tongue, pentagram logo and dual-branded patch, the shoe is high fashion at an affordable price. £190.

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