Converse was founded in Malden, Massachusetts, in 1908. Their utilitarian rubber-sole sneakers were developed for court sports and helped advancing the game of basketball during the first half of the 20th century.
Recognised today primarily as a cultural signifier – with its original styles used by various youth and counterculture movements for half a century – the Converse Rubber Shoe Company was established in Massachusetts in 1908, making rubber galoshes. The ubiquitous All Star shoe, originally named Non-Skid, was one of its first athletic models designed specifically for basketball with a diamond-patterned outsole for better traction on the court. The lightweight high-top shoe launched in 1917 and was promoted to ball teams throughout the U.S. by Charles Hollis Taylor, a former high-school playe. The U.S. Olympic team wore it to win gold at the 1936 games in Berlin and the model was later adopted as the official shoe of the NBA. A low-cut ‘Oxford’ version was developed with help from the Harlem Globetrotters in the late 1950s. The One Star model was launched as a retro sneaker in 1993, inspired by a 1970s leather version of the All Star, while the iconic canvas-and-rubber Jack Purcell is an original 1930s badminton shoe.