Those people who wear converse shoes because they are popular today, might be surprised to learn that company was actually opened in 1908. The shoes were called the All Stars converse, nine years later, chiefly because the manufacturers were hoping to attract basket ball stars with their rubber shoes. Chuck Taylor, a basket ball player with the Converse All Starts (a team sponsored by converse), loved the shoes and improved on the design. The modifications meant that the shoe provided extra support and flexibility and had patches on the sides for protecting the ankles. By the 1960s around ninety percent of basket ball players, both professional and college teams, were wearing converse.
From the nineteen fifties onwards converse were produced in a large number of styles and colours. The converse company was bought out by Nike in 2003 for more than $300 million. For some time after the buy out the shoes fell out of favour, largely because they were manufactured in Asia and people were concerned over stories about sweat shops. Although the brand belongs to Nike, since they bought the company in 2003 they have kept the converse look and advertisements. Over the years converse shoes have been popular with many different groups of people. Across cultures and groups the shoes are still seen by many as a mark of style.