Eulogy For A Pair of Chuck Taylors (2003-2011)

As a teenager, I never even considered purchasing a pair of Chuck Taylors. To me, they were the footwear equivalent of a Green Day album — overrated and embarrassing, part of a hastily fashioned anti-establishment uniform I had no interest in wearing. Instead I favored a pair of classic black Vans, or in my hardcore days, any variety of running shoe that coordinated with my oversized jeans and the straight edge Xs drawn in black marker on the backsides of my hands. In other words, a slightly different uniform.

As an adult, however, I came to appreciate the classic design of Chuck Taylor sneakers. I liked that the shoes had endured generations as the minimalist footwear of recreation. Men (and women) wore them to play basketball, get drunk and shoot BB guns, or run from the police. It was no different than today. Except now the choices of footwear are as endless as Internet distractions. If you have a scene, there is a shoe that defines it. If you’re in a clique, there is acceptable/unacceptable footwear that is worn. Your choice of shoe says a lot about you.

This particular pair of Chuck Taylors racked up miles and miles of travel. Mostly, they hit the streets and sidewalks of Pittsburgh, the asphalt and concrete tearing at the rubber soles. But they also saw streets and sidewalks in New York and Los Angeles, Toronto and Detroit, and other cities I don’t remember.

For the last year, these shoes have been languishing in my closet. The few times I’ve worn them they were uncomfortable, falling apart around my feet. Pieces of the rubber sole flapping as I walked, all cushion obliterated from the insole. But I couldn’t bring myself to discard them. The other day, however, I finally tossed them in the trash can. There are two crisp new pairs of Chuck Taylors in my closet. But I don’t care about them. They lack the character of their predecessor. TC mark


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  • Uhnonnymus

    Chuck Taylor's are actually a terrible shoe, I'm surprised yours lasted eight years. Completely uncomfortable soles and hardly any ankle support at all. They're owned by Nike now anyway so you might as well just buy a pair of dunks.

    • Michael Kramer




  • Joseph Ernest Harper

    Dunlop Volleys.

  • Sdglsdkgslgkdsdg

    great, you're a pretentious asshole with a disposable income. cool story.

  • Ernesto

    I stumbled across this post.
    I'm a Chuck Taylor fan as well; the cracks and tears show character.

    I usually don't post on blogs, and like I said I'm not a regular reader, but I enjoyed this post. Brought back memories of my first pair. Lasted from my freshman year of HS until my mom threw them out my senior year.

    Can't blame her, they were held together with duct tape.

    Happy trails.

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