Monday, February 03, 2014

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star shoes Review Part 2

This is it: Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Shoes.

It's a pretty standard design with a colored canvas top, rubber sole, and white laces. The sole is white around the edges usually with black stripes running along most of its perimeter. My shoes came with a brown sole. Speaking of, the sole is relatively flat and thin compared to boots or running shoes -- typical in my experience. Two eyelets can be found on the interior of the sides of both shoes. For some reason, the red and grey versions were on sale at the store for CAD$ 50, as opposed to CAD$ 60 for the black version.

Being a classic, not much has changed. I haven't noticed a single difference on the surface of these shoes purchased in early 2014 compared to the black All Stars I got back in late 2009.

Converse All Stars Sides

My shoe size is somewhere between 8 and 9 (US sizing). I usually go with an 8.5 if it's available, which was probably wrong. In the past, I stupidly went down to an 8, took two steps, then bought them. Nowadays, I'm pretty confident that my shoe size is a solid 9 as that's the one that hasn't given me any trouble yet. The black pair that killed my feet was an 8.

After a week of regular wear in the office, I've found the size 9 that I got to be a good match. No classic signs of the shoes being too small (e.g. toe pinching, aching) yet.

Red Converse All Stars Top

Comfort, Walking, Driving
It's unfortunate that the weather outdoors has been terrible (i.e. snow and cold) for the past week. There's no sign of it changing for another month or two either. As you can see from the pictures, my jeans have been soaked in salt for the past few months. Paper thin shoes, brand new shoes, and cold weather probably aren't a good match. In the mean time, I've been putting some pretty regular walking on these shoes indoors, probably a few hundred meters, maybe a kilometer a day. They have been comfortable for regular walking on both hard and soft surfaces.

To really put these shoes through their paces, I'd prefer to take it on a couple kilometer walk. The black All Stars that I used to wear should be representative of this pair? Putting aside the toe pain, I used to take those on long walks and they were mostly comfortable. They definitely didn't feel like running shoes with a nice, thick sole -- I could run and land on my heels for short distances without issue in those. I noticed that I would walk softer and slower with the Chuck's on to compensate for the smaller amount of support. Every part of my foot behind my toes did start to get uncomfortable at the end of the marathon walks (e.g. around 2 miles). How much that had to do with the poor fit, I'm not completely sure, but my guess is that it did play a role.

Converse Chuck Taylors Side

Where my old Chuck Taylors absolutely shined was in driving -- haven't had the chance yet in the red pair. The thin soles and canvas top gave my feet an amazing amount of sensation at the pedals. I was able to make very fine movements and felt more connected to the vehicle. Having driven in thick steel toe boots before, I know what the other end of the spectrum feels like.

Other Notes
I kind of got a whiff of rubber every so often for the first week, but it didn't seem too strong. It'll probably go away after a while.

Love them. Converse All Stars are excellent shoes that I can't believe I put aside for so long. They are relatively cheap at CAD$50 to $60 brand new and even cheaper in the United States. I find them to be comfortable for light use due to the relatively thin sole. For longer walks or running, I'd stick to running shoes. However, the thin soles have the advantage of allowing the feet to feel more. Most importantly, they look great. I have gotten numerous "positive" comments about them so far, which isn't surprising because I specifically chose a bright color to be noticed... 

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