From high school and professional basketball players to rock 'n' rollers and teens, Americans of all ages have worn Converse shoes for more than a century. The company has gone through some rough patches and changed ownership more than once since
the 1990s, but its Chuck Taylor trainers remain popular.
Marquis Mills Converse started his rubber shoe company in 1908 in Malden, Mass. Converse originally delivered its shoes directly to retailers.
More than 750 million pairs of the company's best-selling and best-known brand, Chuck Taylor All Star trainers, have been sold. The shoe was originally introduced in 1917 as the Converse All Star. Basketball player Chuck Taylor j
oined the company in 1921, and in 1923 Converse changed the name of its popular trainer to include Taylor's name. Today, the shoes are commonly known simply as "Chucks."
Around 1915, Converse started making tires. The story goes that Marquis Mills Converse had heard that Firestone had begun making shoes, so he thought he needed to get in on the tire company's turf as well.
As of 2009, Converse was based in Andover, Mass. The company's product line includes men's and women's sports shoes and apparel.
After experiencing rough times since the 1990s, Converse declared bankruptcy in 2001. New owners made significant changes, including moving shoe production from the United States to Asia. In 2003, Nike purchased the company.