When Converse revealed the redesign of its All Star II, some were confused.
Why release a sneaker that looks basically the same as the original All Star? And based on that, why charge up to $US25 more for it?
Well, the reviews are in, and the beauty of the updated sneaker is much more than meets the eye.
GQ called it “a legitimate game-changer for fans of the sneaker everywhere,” praising how Converse preserved the classic shoe’s aesthetic.
The magazine also noted that it now “looks more fit for 2015,” thanks to the colour-matching metal eyelets and stitched-on logo patch.
But the sneaker’s biggest changes aren’t as visible to the naked eye. As Style.com’s Steff Yotka points out, “Aside from its silhouette, it’s a completely different sneaker entirely.”
The biggest difference Yotka found was that the previously thin canvas has been replaced with Tencel canvas, which is not only harder to rip, but also provides a stiff shape to the “formerly flimsy” All Star.
However, the stiffer canvas has its downside. Yotka notes that the redesigned high-top’s unrelenting fabric was none too kind to the backs of her ankles. Once broken in, though, they “fit like a glove.”
The other major change that distances the new model from its 20th century counterpart is its comfort-focused design. The original All Star was widely considered as one of the most uncomfortable shoes around. A Lunarlon foam liner (technology borrowed from parent company Nike), a foam-padded collar and tongue, and micro-suede lining are among the shoe’s improvements.
Ben Barna of Nylon.com says this foam liner “makes all the difference” and that the shoe “doesn’t feel like a Chuck Taylor” — which, in this case, is a positive thing.
Overall, if the brand’s goal was to preserve the original silhouette while creating a slightly better looking, tougher, more comfortable All Star, then the critics agree that they have succeeded.
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