In July 2015, Converse did what purists considered to be the unimaginable by launching a sequel to the best-selling basketball shoe of all time, the Chuck Taylor All Star. Known as the Chuck II for short, the sneaker was met with enthusiasm upon its release, but experts say that the seemingly new-and-improved high-top has been a failure.
On the heels of an overall sales drop of 1.4 percent following four years of consistent growth for Converse, Chuck Taylor enthusiasts and retail workers point to the Chuck II as a detriment to the brand. “If they want to make a better Chuck Taylor, make a better Chuck Taylor,” Hal Peterson, owner of The Chucks Connection, told The Detroit News.
Peterson said changing the aesthetic of the iconic sneaker was a step in the wrong direction, and Journeys assistant manager Simon Mendez echoed Peterson’s complaints. According to Mendez, the Chuck II is struggling to sell despite making its way to the clearance racks. “Basically, they prefer the classic model because they don’t understand how the new ones work. People aren’t really into the IIs,” Mendez said.