Oh dear, I’ve become a Converse convert

Yes… I’m writing about Converse on my tech blog. Deal with it. You wont find an affiliate link here, these views and experiences are entirely my own. Wherever there are brands, there are people who will get passionate about them. And as I’ve been keen to evangelise the technology brands I care about, I feel it’s worth doing the same for shoes!

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I’ve never gone out of my way to dress fashionably, or pick brand-name clothes. In fact it’s fair to say that I tend to avoid such thing, if not actively scoff at them. I have never been convinced that a brand lends anything but a pretty face to an item of clothing, or an accessory, and until now haven’t particularly identified any such brand to be an indicator of quality.

This is curious, because in the tech world I am enamoured with specific brands and recognise them over others. I love Sennheiser, for example, and SteelSeries. Saitek are an old favourite, too. And, yes, I am not exactly secretive about my love for Apple… although I am becoming more and more disenfranchised with their increasingly overpriced and impossible-to-upgrade laptops. The point is that I recognise, prefer and even actively evangelise certain technology brands. So why haven’t I ever done this for clothing?

Well, as a male with a certain affinity for shiny electronic gubbins, programming and other cerebral activities I have historically found clothing boring. It’s not easy to get excited about clothes when you have so much else on your mind.

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Enter Converse. Converse are perhaps the first clothing, or in this case footwear, brand that I can confidently say I would recommend and actively chose over other brands. This isn’t because their products are pretty, but because I have a long, long history of being something of a serial annihilator of footwear.

I have worn everything from trainers ( although only on occasion ) to heavy-duty, steel-toed boots, to lightweight leather boots, to leather shoes, loafers and a whole host of other shoe-types I couldn’t name if I tried. Every single one of these has fallen prey to the brutal and relentless assault of my energetic gait.

The heavy duty boots put up a good fight, but I’ll always remember them as the ones that pretended to hold together and then, and I’m not joking, broke in half. Yes, I had to walk home in half-shoes because they actually snapped in two.

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Recently, as in the last few years or so, I have shied away from boots ( the heels of which I always managed to grind off in a matter of weeks ) and took up a rigorous routine of buying cheap shoes from TK Maxx for around a tenner a pop and rapidly wearing them to utter destruction.

And then in the last few months I chanced across some avid Converse evangelists and went out to try some out. I was tentative at first, skeptical and indecisive, but I played it safe and walked out of the shoe-shop with a pair of unassuming and unexciting grey Converse shoes which would be my first foray into the brand.

These have lasted, without a shadow of a doubt, longer than any similar shoe I have ever worn, and they’re still going pretty strong despite being worn constantly with no rest and having been walked through rain and snow. Suffice to say, I’m impressed.

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It would appear from my anecdotal experience that brands sometimes matter, and they sometimes represent a quality product. Shedding my prejudice of branded shoes, however, and looking into a little Converse history reveals a brand that’s over a century old and has a certain pedigree in shoe production. They aren’t sewing a logo onto some generic shoes manufactured in Asia, these are a well-researched, well-thought-out and carefully manufactured product which is the culmination of many years research and development.

Putting this in terms of a top-tier electronics manufacturer is simple; Converse are sort-of the Sennheiser of shoes. They cost more, but come with a certain assurance of quality. Interestingly they are also perhaps the first shoes I’ve picked up which haven’t needed to be “worn in,” which is why picking up a second pair has been a pleasant experience rather than another chore.

To summarise; I recommend Converse. Nobody is paying me to say this, I recommend them. I don’t care if they’re “fashionable” or not, they’re comfortable. Okay… admittedly I have love how good these obnoxiously bright red ones look, but they are genuinely comfortable!