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Friday, August 31, 2007

Converse NCAA's Friday Flashback: Arizona

Hello and welcome to another edition of Converse NCAA's Friday Flashback. Today I was having a really hard time picking which shoe to feature. I kept thinking about it while I was trying to read for my East Asia to 1800 history class. Then I thought about how nice it was that I no longer have class on Friday. It's awesome story how that happened but I won't go into here, let me just say that God is good. So I was thinking about going for a walk later on and then I thought about doing a running shoe for today's post. Which leads us to...

Converse NCAA's Friday Flashback:

The Converse Arizona

With a name that seems more fitting for a battle ship I was interested in trying figure out the reason for the name. However I was unable to find this information and so we'll have to use our imagination. At first glance this is a pretty simple looking jogging/training shoe. It's got suede in the ankle and heel areas and also in part of the toe cap. Then it appears to have mesh throughout the rest of the shoe.

Then as you'll see below the shoe really seems to come alive with the outsole, which I must admit seems rare. To me the best part about the outsole is that it obviously has a purpose for being designed in such a way. The heel and forefoot areas make the most sense to me. The pods, for lack of a better term, are gathered around particular strike areas. The heel has the largest grouping with a heel stabilizing bar for good measure. Then the pods get wider almost like ovals in the forefoot were the ball of your foot would strike and the push off.

However, I am not quite sure of the reason to place certain pods in the midfoot where the arch of your foot is. My best guess is so that the shoe did not completely sink in the midfoot while still providing cushion and return in more populous pod areas. If anyone has any ideas on this please post.

A few years ago Converse re-issued a shoe called the Arizona Racer, however upon further review I don't think it was based on this shoe. Which means there could have been at least one other shoe with the Arizona tag. This re-issued shoe also featured the pods, but they were place all over outsole. So I am guessing that the Arizona line of running, jogging, or training shoes all had these pods on the outsoles.

Well that's all for today, I wish I had some more pictures, maybe I can find some more. Enjoy your Labor Day weekend. Watch a lot of college football and eat lots of grilled meats. Thanks for reading Converse NCAA's Friday Flashback.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Breaking News: Converse Returns to the NCAA

I know it's Weapon Wednesday, but I am going to have put that off for a week. I guess you could say that we've got some breaking news that's more important. I've been sitting on some information for a few weeks now. However with recent pictures that have surfaced I thought I should go ahead and post. The Golden Eagles of Marquette will be taking the floor this year in Converse. I got confirmation from an insider a few weeks ago, but I didn't want to jump the gun.

However, last night Marquette held their first open scrimmage in preparation for some games in Canada. While the practice jerseys still say Nike, the shoes say Converse. Team Wade 1.3 to be exact.

You can find more pictures by going to From my source they will be wearing Converse branded Jerseys along with the shoes. This has been a rumor for a long time, and in fact was part of the reason why I started the petition/blog. Once pictures of the event started to surface I figured I would go ahead and let the cat out of the bag. Nothing has officially been announced yet, but I would expect some kind of press event with Dwyane back at Marquette. So for it's 100th year Converse will return the NCAA, and I couldn't be more thrilled.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Converse Star Fi Ice Queen: Something for the ladies.

Sorry for the late post today. I've haven't even been in school one whole week and it's already been the most stressful semester of my life. I won't bore you with all of the details, lets just say graduation or bust.

I came across these shoes a few weeks ago on TaoBao. This is one pair of Converse shoes you'll never catch me in, well unless I lose some kind of bet with my roommates. However I do find these interesting on some level. They remind me of the dance Jack Purcell's that have been all over and However, these appear to be Trainer Dance slippers. (What?) Anyway, in the picture below you can see both the Circle and Star logo in the insole and the Chevron and Star logo on the sides of the shoes. The toe cap and the extending outsole up the heel area of the shoe are dead give-aways of the shoe's re-issued trainer heritage.
You can see from this picture a better few to extending outsole. Also you can see the gum colorway of the outsole carries on throughout the shoe. This is a very nice touch that pays even more tribute to training shoes of the past.
In the final two pictures you can see that each shoe says Love and Peace. In these stress filled final days of August I can honestly say Love and Peace should be cherished by all, but maybe only worn by the ladies.

Right now a different colorway of this shoe is for sale at American Athletics. They are calling them the Converse Star Fi Ice Queen. Not quite sure what to make of that, beats just being named a number though. Have a good Monday, thanks for reading and come back often.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Converse NCAA's Friday Flashback: Raw Energy

Today's Friday Flashback takes us back to the mid 90's with the last Converse team shoe to feature the star with the chevron inside. This shoe featured the next evolution of the React Juice technology. The RAW stands for React At Work.

Converse NCAA's Friday Flashback

Converse RAW Energy.

Here is part of an article on Converse in 1995.

The embodiment of HARDBALL is the flagship shoe of the BTS basketball introductions, the $80 R.A.W. Energy shoe, to be worn by Kevin Johnson. This is the first Converse performance shoe to feature the anatomically designed REACT Accupod system which provides visible dynamic flow between the heel and the forefoot units for superior cushioning and support. With HARDBALL in mind, the Accupod features a new silver REACT material, Thin-Elastic Juice, to enhance the
flow between the two units, while also maintaining its resiliency.

The Hardball campaign featured commercials and print ads with Dr. J, Larry Bird, Larry Johnson, Kevin Johnson, Latrell Sprewell, Isaiah "J.R." Rider. These ads ran from July 24 through Aug. 27 of 1995. Below you can see the three react posts that make up the Accupod.

I remember going to buy some shoes for school that year, 6th grade. I really wanted a pair of Reeboks that Muggsy Bogues wore. After searching around I couldn't find them. So I settled on the Converse Raw Energy. I could only find one picture of the colorway that I had, just so happens that I found them on Kobe Bryant's feet. His high school team shoes for 1995, pictured below.

This shoe also came in high top and low top versions. Here is the black/white colorway.

However these shoes and the Accupod React system was not without problems. The shoes began leaking the React Juice from the outsole. What was determined to be a manufacturing defect. Two shoes, the RAW Energy and the RAW Power had to be recalled. There were somewhere around 400,000 pairs of produced with the RAW Accupod system. It's unknown, to me, how many actually leaked or were returned.

Above is the team white/green version of the shoe. This would be the beginning of the end for React Juice. In future shoes, most notably the All Star 2000, React seemed to become more Gel like. Then eventually React II was used, it was not enclosed and was certainly a gel and not a juice. However, I will say that my pair never leaked, and I'd still be willing to sport a pair today. Thanks for reading, enjoy you're weekend.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Converse NCAA's Weapon Wednesday: Columbia Lions Edition

Today is the big day, classes resume here at UK and the campus is alive again. I've got one class today, it's some Math class I don't even know what it is, I just hope it doesn't suck. When I began thinking about what Weapon to feature today, I figured I should stay with the school theme.

The Weapon pictured above is from Converse Japan's NYC Pack. As the title suggest these shoes are inspired by something found in New York. This particular shoe is designed after Columbia University. The Baby Blue and the Navy Blue work really well together and Columbia thinks so too, as the shoe represents the school colors for the Columbia Lions. Here are few smaller pictures below.

Now the sad part, with this being a Converse Japan release, chances are we won't be seeing them here. But I also wouldn't be shocked if a few pairs turned up in NYC, so if you're a Columbia student or alumni keep your eyes peeled.
Thank you for reading my blog. With the huge amount of support I got from my Friday Flashback, big ups to the UK fans over at CatsPause, I've moved well past the goal of 1,000 hits by the end of August. Thanks again, keep reading, commenting, and telling all of your friends, James.

Monday, August 20, 2007

WKU in Converse?

So last night I saw some pictures of Western Kentucky University's Fashion show announcing their apparel deal with Russell Athletics. The interesting thing about this picture, featuring the new Men's Basketball jerseys, is the shoes they are wearing. These are the white/red colorways of the Converse 099's.

Now this doesn't mean that WKU is going to be wearing Converse, in fact I've heard the contrary from an inside source at WKU. My source told me that they will be going with Nike again this year. However I am still excited and wanted to share the photo with everyone. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come. Could Converse be returning to the NCAA, only time will tell.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Converse NCAA's Friday Flashback: Kentucky Edition 1

Action shots from

Hello all and welcome to Converse NCAA's Friday Flashback. I was thinking about which direction I wanted to take this Friday and then it just came to me last night. I am starting mylast semester at the University of Kentucky on Wednesday. So this will be my last Friday Flashback before I am back in Lexington. While I will eventually cover the UK Denim Converse shoes and Jerseys, I thought I'd take a different approach today.

Today I want to focus on Kentucky's last Signature shoe, that just happened to come from Converse. In the 1996-97 Season Kentucky dropped the Denim Jerseys and went to a more traditional look.

That season players wore The Converse All Star 2000, Dr.J 2000 and the Converse All Star Hall of Fame.

Today's Friday Flashback:

Converse All Star Hall of Fame

The Converse All Star Hall of Fame was a shoe made for the University of Kentucky. While it did come in other colorways to the best of my knowledge no other school wore them. This is an extremely clean shoe that looked fast even when it wasn't moving. I actually had these shoes but it was before I was a collector, so I have no idea where they got to. If I remember correctly they had React Juice in the heel. I really enjoyed the feel of these shoes. You got a really snug and comfortable feel with the inner heel tap area and the elastic straps in connecting the insoles to the tongues.

I also really enjoyed the Chuck Taylor patch without the outer circle. I am pretty sure this was one of the only shoes that this design was used. The simple design was a nice chance of pace for Kentucky. In previous years Kentucky had worn Jerseys with cat scratches and denim colored shoes.

At the end 1996-97 season Kentucky lost in the Championship game to Arizona. However it was not all Kentucky would lose, soon Rick Patino left to coach the Boston Celtics. Then Kentucky decided to sign with Nike, ending years of tradition and individual attention received from Converse. Since then Kentucky has worn cookie cutter jerseys and shoes. This was no more evident then the recent jersey updates that seemingly every other Nike school received.

Okay so that came off a little bitter, but oh well. Thanks for reading today's Friday Flashback, let me know what you think. If you remember these shoes, had these shoes, or anything else about these shoes, converse, or the blog please leave a comment. Thanks again and tell everyone about today's Friday Flashback.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Converse Finds a home with Anomaly

Article from Adweek.

By Andrew McMains

NEW YORK Converse has hired Anomaly to handle creative duties on its ad account, sources said. Estimated billings are $20 million.

Anomaly, an independent agency here, is also expected to execute communications planning for the brand, which is part of Nike's portfolio.

Independent Wieden + Kennedy handles media duties for all Nike brands.

Independent Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners in Sausalito, Calif., split with Converse in the spring. Butler, Shine worked on the account for three years.

At Anomaly, Converse will work closely with creative chief Mike Byrne, who before joining the agency last year was a co-creative director on Nike at Wieden in Portland, Ore.

The hire came after months of meetings between the North Andover, Mass.-based Converse and Anomaly, whose other clients include Coca-Cola, Virgin America and Beverage Partners Worldwide.

Anomaly referred calls to the client, which could not immediately be reached.

Previous major media spending on the brand has ranged from less than $5 million in 2004 to nearly $20 million in both 2005 and 2006, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Spending in the first five months of 2007 approached
$10 million, per Nielsen.

Well this is certainly some good news. There is no doubt in my mind that the work Butler, Shine, Stern, & Partners helped move Converse to the next level. Especially when you consider the Brand Democracy campaign, which has inspired me to do this Blog and work towards bringing Converse back to the NCAA.

Acording to Anomaly's website, Anomaly is a departure from the norm or common order, form or rule. This is really interesting and it had me looking forward to seeing what they had done before. However, I can't seem to find any information about the deal on there website or any other clients. In the article is said that they're working with Coca-Cola, as a hardcore Pepsi man this is a red flag. I am willing to look past that, but I am eagerly anticipating the first ads to come from this new partnership. So I am assuming we'll see there first efforts around November with the release of the Wade 3.0.

Thanks for reading and come back tomorrow for Friday's Flashback!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Converse NCAA's Weapon Wednesday! (beta)

Alright well I've been toying with the idea of adding another weekly feature that way you have more to look forward to than just the Friday Flashbacks. So the obvious choices would be a day for Chucks or a day for Jack Purcell's. While those will probably eventually happen I've been really enjoying the Weapons lately. Also it turns out that while searching on TaoBao the other day I found a butt load of Weapon Samples. So I am going to try this out and see how it goes. It may be a weekly post or maybe just bi-monthly.

I mean just look at the picture above. This shoe was worn by Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Isaiah Thomas, Bernard King, Mark Aguirre, and Kevin McHale. Those are just the ones in this picture from this Ad, there were many more NBA players and college teams that took to the floor in the Weapons. Now I realize, or at least I hope, that a good number of you reading this already know about the Weapons. However for those of you that don't hopefully that picture and this video will help shed some light.

I am really not sure I can do much more that that today. I just now found that video so a big thanks goes out to OldGoldenThroat at Youtube, check out some his other videos. Alright, well please let me know what you'd like to see on Weapon Wednesday's or anything else you'd like to see here. Thanks for reading, James.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Converse Smashed Up or Chucks Weappaylor

I was searching around the other day and stumbled on something I am not sure I can explain. For lack of a better term I am going to refer to these as Converse smashed up. Imagine if you will a shoe that combines at least 5 shoes in one. The Chuck Taylor All Stars, Weapons, Pro Leathers, Star Players, and possibly the Nylon Trainers. Then you would have the Converse Chucks Weappaylor.

Disclaimer, I found this picture at and have no idea if these shoes will actually be produced.

First you have the base of the Chuck Taylors.

Picture from

The next shoe I noticed was the Weapon.

Picture from

Then I saw the Pro Leathers that Dr. J made famous.

Picture from

The next two shoes I am not completely sure about. The first being the Converse Pro Players.

Picture from

The Converse Nylon Trainer, the toe-cap portion of the Smashed Up.

Picture from

Alright, here it goes. Here is what I call Converse Smashed Up. According to the auction it is called the Converse Chucks Weappaylor.

Picture from

I have a feeling that I might be missing another influence on this shoe. So if you see something I missed or just want to add your input please leave a comment. I am still not sure what to make of it, although I think at this point I am intrigued by what I see. I'd like to see some different views of the shoes but I haven't found any yet. When I do I'll be sure to pass them on to you. Thanks for reading and tell all of your friends. I just past over 500 hits this weekend and I'd really like to hit 1,000 before the end of the month, so anything you could to help out would be amazing. Thanks again, James.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Friday Flashback: Converse TD's Tony Dorsett.

Converse used to make Football Cleats. I know this might come as a real surprise to some of you. Of course, there are some people that think that Chucks are the only shoes Converse makes. That is probably one of the reasons why I only have a handful of Chucks. I vaguely remember a time when Converse was currently producing Football and Baseball cleats. Actually, one of the last Converse football cleats is or was, prominently featured in the background of one of ESPN many shows dedicated to the NFL.

I know very little about 70’s and 80’s football footwear. However, one thing I do know is that a certain Dallas Cowboy had his own Converse Cleats. For his career he had12,739 rushing yards and 77 rushing TDs in 173 games. Tony Dorsett is the only player in the history of football with the following five career achievements: A national college championship, a Heisman Trophy, a place in the Collegiate Hall of Fame, a Super Bowl championship, and a permanent place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

For today’s Friday Flashback I present to you the Converse TD's.

Friday Flashback

Converse TD's

TD for Tony Dorsett and Touchdown, a couple of words that found themselves together often. These cleats were released during the time that Converse was owned by the Eltra (1972 to 1979) . I am unsure of the exact release year, maybe someone out there could help me. However, I know that they are from the Eltra Era because of this wonderful ad I found searching around for more information.

You can see in the bottom right hand corner the Eltra logo that was came with any Converse advertisement or packageing at the time. I've seen similar shirts from this time period that had the Converse square (my favorite Converse logo) behind a famous athelete. Previoulsy, I've only seen Larry Bird and Dr.J shirts.

As I said before I am not very knowledgeable about cleats from this time period, but I would say that these stood out. The ribbed Chevron's from the center of the shoe to the toe cap are wonderful. I know it's a small touch but I really like how the blue outsole pulls it all together.

Pictures of the shoes are from eBay.

This was the only picture of the Black/White colorway that I could find. I've seen better ones than this, because these appear to be in a child's size. Regardless, this is a shoe I would love to see come back under the Re-Issue department of Converse. I assume they're still doing that. I hope you've enjoyed a trip back to a time when Converse were worn for more than just for Basketball.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Heatseek Ox

In last month's Slam Magazine there was a pair of Converse featured in the kicks section. Sometime yesterday they posted the pics up on their site under the kicks of the day section. In previous post I have shown you the mid versions of this shoe, but I really think the low top is where they shine. They reported sell for $65 and out now. Just thought I'd throw something out there before tomorrow's Friday Flashback

Converse Heatseek Ox

Pics from

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Converse Training Shoes?

About once a week I go and surf through TaoBao, and with simplified Chinese it's pretty hard to read anything. So a lot of times it's just dumb luck that I stumble on something interesting. Last night I hit a personal goldmine. It has been a dream of mine since I began obsession for the brand to return to it's former glory and product range. This means Football, Baseball, Soccer, Tennis, Running, Skating, Golf, and Training.

Over the past few years, in different ways, there has supposedly been plans to return to Running and Training shoes. The most prominent was from a release on Converse's plans to file for an IPO, here is a excerpt below and here is the summary

"We plan to launch a full line of sports performance basketball products in
2003 and cross training and running shoes in 2004 and 2005,respectively."

Now we all know that never happened. Granted there were a limited number of Running Shoes that had the now dropped ICON technology. Only problem is that none of these shoes were released in America, at least to my knowledge.

For over a year now Converse has had a job opening in the design department for men's Training focus. This is a job I would love to have, but alas I don't think I've had the correct schooling.
All of this rambling brings me to my discovery.

This sample appears to be a cross training shoe, at least to me. It doesn't seem to fit the mold of a typical Lifestyle shoe, but I am not completely sold on it's cross training status. However it is the closest thing to a training shoe I've seen from Converse in a really long time. The only exception could be the low top versions of the Wade 1.0 and the Wade 2.0.

By this picture of the heel area I feel strongly that this is not a Lifestyle shoe, but certainly a cross training shoe or low top basketball shoe. The red square tap appears to add extra flexibility to the heel area, similar the heel tap areas in recent Basketball releases. Also in the amount ventilation holes in the toe box area suggest a design for more active use. If you know anything about these drop me an email or leave some feedback and let me know.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Converse X Dondi White

In October, Converse will be releasing a PRODUCT RED sneaker in conjunction with the estate of graff-legend, Mr Dondi White (one of the founding fathers of graffiti as we know it).

The estate of the artist send over some old sketchbooks, out of which the Converse designers chose designs for the sneakers. There will be a more commercial white edition and a very limited black edition of the sneaker. Find out all the details of the project in the mini interview that Sneaker Freaker held with the Converse head designer on this project here.

I've pretty much been a slacker up to this point on the Product Red Converse. There have been plenty of releases that I found appealing, but I haven't purchased any yet. I am really enjoying the Red/Maroon/White Weapon Ox that Eastbay has. I am very excited about these Pro Leathers. On first glance I really like the suede on the heel tab and the Chevron and Star. Then I noticed the ice soles and for whatever reason I am a sucker for them. Ultimately what I really love about these is how subtle they are. The design elements on the upper of the shoe blend in with the rest of the upper. However, when you look at the insole and the outsole the color and designs explode. Check out the interview that I linked to above. Thanks for reading and remember

Friday, August 3, 2007

Converse NCAA's Friday Flashback 8-3-07

FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!!!! OK sorry about that but I am just so glad to make it here. This week I have been working at a Day Camp with my Church. For this week I was the adult leader of the Razzle Frazzle team. Over all we had 80 different children come through the camp, the most ever. It has been a hot and tiresome week, but I loved every minute of it.

So I am sitting here relaxing on a Friday night and I realized that I hadn't put of the this weeks Flashback. So there may not be as much to read this week, but in honor of being worn out, there will be more pictures.


Converse All Star Desire

Over the last couple of days I have seen some of these gems popping up on eBay. Much like the last Flashback these shoes released soon after the All Star 2000 and the reintroduction of the Chuck Taylor Patch. The Converse A/S Desire also featured the Plane Circle and Star logo, much like the current Converse Logo. They also feature React in the heel, which you can see so prominently displayed below. I believe that these released in 1997 and came in at least three colorways. White/Red/Navy, White/Navy, and Black/White.

Unlike last the Converse Springfield, I actually had this pair of shoes. Unfortunately my pair is completely trashed. I remember trying to sell one of my friends on these shoes but he went with the Converse Dr.J 2000, a shoe that will be covered soon. Below are some more pictures in the classic White/Red/Navy and the White/Navy colorways.

All of these pictures came from eBay. Thanks for reading and please post your comments. If there is a shoe you would like to see? Any suggestions on improvements or anything else please let me know. Thanks and enjoy your weekend.