Some would consider it as sacrilegious as when Coke dabbled with its classic formula back in the '80s, but after 98 years Converse has updated its iconic Chuck Taylor All-Stars. On the outside they look nearly identical, but on the inside the Chuck II is actually far more comfy for your feet.
Before you feel outraged about Nike's shoe technology invading your classic Chucks, it's important to remember that Nike actually bought Converse back in 2003 after it went bankrupt. So without the swoosh, Chucks wouldn't actually still exist. Thankfully, Nike hasn't really messed with Converse offerings since the takeover. And the new Chuck II actually sounds like the best of both worlds. Classic Converse styling, with advanced Nike technology.
The biggest update to the Chuck II, as it's officially called, is the inclusion of a material called Lunarlon. Developed by Nike, it's a lightweight and bouncy foam that the company uses in its running and basketball shoes, but Lunarlon will now be incorporated into the Chuck II's rubber sole. You probably still don't want to run a race or shoot hoops while wearing them, but the Chuck IIs should still feel comfy after a long day's wear.
There are a few minor aesthetic changes with the Chuck II, including a non-slip tongue and the perforated suede liner -- visible in the shot above -- which helps improve breathability. (Translation: your feet won't sweat and stink as much.) But overall it will be very difficult for most people to spot the differences between the original version and the upgrade -- except the price tag. The high and low-top versions of the Chuck II will sell for $US15 more than the originals at $US75 and $US70, respectively. The times, they are a-changin'.