Despite being a shoe that can pretty much take to any pattern there is
, the Chuck Taylor is one of the hardest shoes to make over. What can you do with them? Stripes off? Done before. Premium materials? Done hundreds of times before. Plus you can't get close to matching the perfection of the black canvas Chuck Taylor Hi. Admittedly, that's a visual perfection rather than perfection in terms of fit, because that shoe has a tendency to cause discomfort. We love the First String footbeds and shapes though. Still, if you haven't got at least once pair of plain All Stars in the cupboard, it's hard to take you seriously. Cometh the time, you'll have a mid-thirties crisis, look at all the bold faux-leather stacked in your cupboards/lofts/garage/hallway and realise that Converses are a necessity. Normally we don't take well to messing with the formula of a shoe that's been in circulation since 1917, but provided the staples are in constant supply, why the hell not? These All Star Premium Ox editions mess with a couple of taboos - the stitched on sole and a leather top "bumper" section. That's all borderline heresy, but we can see the influences — trickling down from top tier, there's a hint of sak for Converse in that extra leather and faintly crafted feel and the colours evoke the excellent Hideout collaboration from last year. The premium leathers used on these makeups, from the soft option for the upper to the more rugged piping are superior and while we're all still besotted with simple shoes, we recommend taking a closer look at these. Do our eyes deceive us, or are these a little wider than the standard versions? Maybe it's a trick of the light. If you're going to tweak a formula, Converse seem to be offering some solid case studies on how to do it right. These colourways are on sale in the Crooked store right now
. They're a little more expensive than the usual Chucks, but they're built to last a little longer.