While flipping through the channels this weekend I finally caught the documentary on Christian Hosoi, ‘Rising Son’. One thing that stuck out in my head was watching him skate with all his style in nothing more than a pair of Converse Chuck Taylor High Tops. This really did run through my head. You see back in the South of the North (Binghamton, NY) it was damn near impossible to find Vans or Airwalks or any type of good skate shoe. But, Cons were a-plenty at that point in time. A little shoe goo after a few sessions and you were typically good to go.
Fast forward 20 years and at my last count when I rolled back North there were at least 15 shops locally that sold skate shoes. never mind the interweb of department stores. So when Nike owned Converse was rumored to be getting back into the skate game it raise my eyebrows once again but after doing the brief flyby at ASR, I wasn’t overly impressed. However, I am usually wrong more than I am right. So when Converse launched their skate website on Monday I decided to run through the line again. After looking over all the shoes it pretty much looks like a solid effort but I did get the same creepy vibe when I looked over the Gravis IV line. The shoes are staple designs. Nothing is gonna change from the cupsole here and vulcanized sole there. As Dr. Evil would say, pretty standard fare.
There is a small item I don’t understand. That would be the Target – Converse connection. I’ll come out and say it, I feel like Converse is dropping the ball on this one. So of the four models dropping through to December 15 the price range is $55 to $80. Meanwhile Converse has expanded their One Star line up in Target to include some $29.99 shoes. Why not sell the whole thing through Target? I understand Nike and Converse have a business to run. I think About the Starbury sneaker and how it was accessible to the masses. Sure it’s not the greatest basketball shoe ever but it gets the job done. Maybe the Cons skateboarding shoe have an added benefit that will help you ollie higher and push faster. I doubt it.
The larger point being you can higher big old pile pros and young rippers but at the end of the day Converse will be battling their budget image. The other odd thing is Cons opens up their web page with a statement aligning themselves with revolutionaries, stating skateboard is in a state of mediocrity and that they have along intimate relationship with skateboarding I wonder what brand of their own kool aid is being passed out over there. Eventually, you have to wonder how successful can a company with one arms in mass distribution succeed while it’s smaller soon to be less profitable arm pays for pros, tours, and the high end shoes sitting on boutique skate shop walls.
Beats me but it sure as crap will be fun to sit from the sidelines and watch. Hey, at least they didn’t put skating ala’ Target connection Shaun White on the team, right? In the meantime you could just go buy these for $10 American pesos and read Watson’s take instead of my hippy POV. You be may happier.