Converse Rubber Chuck Taylor Ox - JD Exclusive

   In the past fifteen years or so, Converse has managed to re-invent itself and cross back over into the mainstream in a manner few of us would have predicted. After competitors Adidas and Nike stole much of the brand's presence the during the 1970s and 80s, Converse spent the best part of three decades trying to re-establish themselves as the sports/leisurewear show of choice. Largely, aside from a States-side cult-esque appeal in the late 90s punk scene, the brand did very little to challenge the trainer duopoly represented by Adidas and Nike who dominated the footwear market and spent the early Twenty First century fighting off liquidation.

   However, as the old saying goes: if you can't beat them, join them. Since being acquired to act as a subsidiary of Nike in 2003, for a cool sum of $309m, Converse have seen their fortunes turn around to the degree the trainers are no longer seen as the sole preserve of athletes who play American sports we Brits struggle to understand (I defy anybody born in the UK to explain the rules of American football to me). Indeed, everyone from David Tennant's Doctor through to Kristen Stewart have been seen sporting the shoe in recent years.

   From their new position of cultural relevance, Converse have spent the last few years re-appropriating their iconic back catalogue to create retro designs for modern audiences based on their classic designs. The most recent examples of such re-tooling, the Chuck Taylor Rubber Ox range, is one of their most winning yet. Although my favourite of the new Converse range is the yellow variation (as seen as the top of the article), I suspect that the more popular choice will be one of the more subdued shades such as the below navy trainer; this design, currently retailing for £55, is exclusive to JD Sports .

   The Rubber Chuck Taylor Ox range have been created with comfort in mind - the vulcanised rubber sole has been teamed with a specifically water repellent design; the shoes, as such, can be worn with little to fear in the cooler winter months. (The same cannot be said of many of the brand's previous canvas designs which, whilst perfect for in-door basketball or summer strolls could prove to be entirely perilous for one's toes during a temperate February morn).

    Aside from the yellow and navy varieties of above the Rubber Chuck Taylor Ox shoe is also available from JD Sports in black (not pictured) and red (see below). As such, depending on the overall look one is aiming for, it is possible to select a trainer to suit an array of casual sartorial compositions. Whilst it is my belief that footwear can, and perhaps should, be used as both the anchor and the statement piece of any ensemble, those with a more conservative (or relaxed) approach to leisurewear are well served by the more neutral tones on offer.

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