You know I've been a student of the basketball shoe industry ever since I slid that first pair of Air Jordan 1's onto my feet in the mid 1980's. I've written several times about the classics form the 1980's like the Air Jordan, the Converse Weapon and the Pony City Wing and the impact they had on the shoe business during that time.
As I was buying and wearing these crazy shoes in the 1980's, my Dad continued to swear by his Converse All Stars. I'll never forget the site of him taping up his ankles and sliding on his off-white low cut classic Chuck Taylor All Stars. He really had no need for the technology of the modern basketball shoe, just the comfort and familiarity of the original.
This ad from a 1969 Sports Illustrated features those classic original Converse All Stars. Before they became a fashion statement, the All Star was the shoe of choice for an entire generation of basketball players. This is the shoe that started the industry and was the standard of basketball performance for athletes for many years. The ad provides a great look at "your father's basketball shoe" and has an innocence that we can't imagine anymore.
The basketball shoe industry has certainly come a long way since the Chuck Taylor Converse All Star ruled the court.