In 1908 in Malden, Massachusetts, Marquis Mills Converse founded The Converse Rubber Shoe Company. Although initially a producer of rubber-soled galoshes, by 1917 Converse was ready to venture into the world of basketball, and set out to create the company’s first performance athletic shoe. The precursor to the “All Star”, the “Non-Skids” consisted of a rubber sole and a canvas upper designed specifically for athletes.

Converses championed the Non-Skids as a revolutionary performance product. Featuring a “two-piece quarter instead of the single piece back, which permits shaping the back seam, thus obtaining a perfect fit around the ankles” and “exclusive foot-form last, which gives ample toe room, a snug fit over the instep, and proper support.” The first basketball shoe was born. Four short years later, American semi-professional basketball player Charles “Chuck” Taylor joined the company as a salesman, and his impact was monumental in every aspect.

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