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Converse & Basketball A Brief History

Converse is one of the oldest and most respected names in the world of footwear. The world knows Converse, especially when you are talking about their iconic Chuck Taylor All Star brand. Converse’s history with basketball is historic. Learn more about Converse and Basketball below.

The Start

Converse started its impressive streak of relevance more than a century ago. Marquis Converse started the Converse Rubber Company in 1908 in Boston, Massachusetts. Converse is currently a part of the Nike family and has been a subsidiary of Nike, Inc since 2003.

Birth Of Basketball

In 1891, James Naismith invented the game of basketball. The connection between Converse and basketball would be immense and important to the growth of both the company and the game.

 Converse Rubber Company

Chuck Taylor

Chuck Taylor started out with Converse by applying for a sales job. He would eventually end up being the All-Star’s biggest promoter. Taylor would travel around the USA hosting basketball clinics and advocating for the shoe company. Converse and basketball were the two big passions in the life of Taylor. Taylor’s charisma and salesmanship helped to put Converse on the map. Chuck Taylor’s dedication to his work and basketball was unparalleled. Converse rewarded his commitment by adding his name to the All-Star in 1934. Chuck Taylor became the first celebrity endorser for a shoe.


In 1949, the NBA was born. Almost every player was wearing Converse when the league started. By 1955, Chucks were the number one basketball shoe in the country. Next to the Chuck Taylor, the most iconic Converse basketball shoe is probably the Weapon.

chuck taylor


The Converse Weapon was introduced on the court in 1986. The basketball shoe was consistent with the era of footwear when it came to design and function. Converse still dominated the basketball world when the Weapon launched. The top players of the 1980s decade wore Converse and the Weapon. Including names like Isiah Thomas, Kevin McHale, Mark Aquirre and Bernard King.

Choose Your Weapon

The two biggest basketball stars of the 1980s are Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. The NBA greats had an epic rivalry during the era. The Celtics and Lakers have been foes practically since the start of professional basketball. Magic and Bird met in the Finals three times. The Converse Weapon had a slogan, “Choose Your Weapon.” This referred to the fact that the Weapon was available in a variety of team colors. For Magic, a pair of Yellow and Purple Weapons were made. Bird, whose Celtics team wore black shoes, had a black pair.

Different Era

When Magic and Bird played against each other, they both had on Converse. With the Weapon, they had on the same style in different colors. That shows just how powerful Converse was in its heyday. The influence they had on the game and the staple of high profile players they had was massive. The top players of the era both wore the exact same brand and style as each other. Today, players may wear the same brand, but it is rarely the same silhouette. There are also more brands today. The Lakers vs Celtics rivalry in the 1980s is an incredible moment for the Converse Weapon.

Shoe Palace

You can find Converse products at Shoe Palace retail locations and on


- Adam C. Better