Behind the flower-pot, right next to the front door, the delivery man had stealthily placed a package addressed to me from Converse Canada. A hand written note included in the box presented a shoe that would be the answer to all my Canadian weather problems.
There are days when it just isn’t safe to bring out most of your rotation. Water stains , discoloration and you’re on the fast track of the usage on your footwear’s lifetime. In comes the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star II from the Shield Canvas collection. Given a Durable Water Repellant (DWR) treatment, nothing rings truer than the tag set in the inner top lining of the shoe with the appellation Counter Climate. Here are some thoughts on this enhanced sneaker standard.
Fit – The new school Chuck II and old school Chuck Taylor have kept their same sizing schemes throughout its evolution. If you own a pair of Chuck Taylor, you will fit in the same size for the Chuck II. Taking it one step further, the Chuck II from the Shield Canvas collection fits the same as a traditional Chuck II. In other words, the tech added to make this shoe water repellant does not add any volume to the interior space. If you have questions about fit in general for the Chuck Taylor, the shoe is made more on the narrow and long side. The edges of the shoe are usually canvas like material sitting atop a rubber base, so with wider feet, the materials will allow for some give and conform to the contour edges of your foot. With all that said, a typical half size to a full size down from your actual is usual for Converse. My true size is 9.5 US Men’s and sport a wide foot, and wear size 9 in Chuck Taylor.
Comfort – Slipping my foot in for the first time, you get the feel of a sock, because the tongue has been sewn up higher to the inner side walls of the upper. The effect of this sewn in tongue is to aid in the water repelling, I’m sure, and subsequently adds a tighter grip to the ankle region. The lace system falls to a secondary role for locking your foot in place. As it is with most boot silhouettes, I find that if the collar area does its job and actually holds your high ankle area, the bottom portion of the shoe just needs to provide a sufficient width-to-length balance and you’re in business. This Chuck II does that, and I surmise that the aforementioned setup of canvas over rubber provides the necessary support and space to avoid any pinching on the contours of your foot. Questions about whether the Durable Water Repellant treatment affects the stiffness of the upper? My pair is the olives colored one that seems to have a slight weave pattern draped all over it. I’m unsure whether it’s the pattern or the treatment, but there does seem to be some slight added stiffness to the upper. Nothing too bad, it actually provides a bit more support to the top part of the shoe. A very minor, minor side to this is the trendy fold down of the collar for a stylish look isn’t as smooth as it would be compared to an all canvas upper.
Cushioning – Lunarlon. I will repeat. LUNARLON.
Aesthetics – You are looking at a Chuck II. It’s the time-tested, tried and true shape and look that you’ve known for years. The style that I received did look like a tighter version of a weave, coated with a very slight sheen that made it look more like “one full piece”. In another word, fluid. and how on point is that for a shoe made for that ever double-take worthy puddle shot.
In a world mainly dictated by fashion, the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star II Shield Canvas racks up a few more points in the function column, without sacrificing in the looks department. A very welcome add to the most iconic of sneakers, weather protection is the feature people like myself have been wanting without even knowing. Throughout my photo taking session, with multiple puddle jumps, splash stomping, and actual rain drizzle going on, my socks stayed dry, and yet no feeling of suffocation. The freedom this shoe’s setup provides is an acknowledging head nod from any sneakerhead that can’t stop… won’t stop rocking kicks.
Get your pair of Converse Chuck Taylor All Star II Shield Canvas collection online or at your local Converse stockist.