I bought my first pair of Chuck Taylors when I was in 7th grade.
They were the black ones. Not the all black ones — I would get those later — just the plain old original black ones.
I remember seeing them in footlocker, and having to have them. They certainly weren’t the first time I’d seen Chucks, but I remember it being the first time I saw them in Real Life. Plus, they weren’t white. They were black. Up to that point, they were the coolest shoes I’d ever seen (with the exception, of course, being laceless Vans). Fuck your Air Jordans.
So I convinced my mom to buy them.
Boy, did I get my ass laughed at when I wore them to school. Almost everyone made fun of my shoes, with the exception of the skaters I knew. But I didn’t throw them out. No sir. I loved those shoes. I didn’t care if the kids made fun of me. Wait, scratch that. I think in 7th grade, you do care if kids make fun of you. You are a liar if you deny that. But I didn’t care enough, I think. The shoes were best pair I’ve ever had (uncomfortable as they were).
As it usually goes, Chucks became real popular the next year. All the asses that made fun of me the year before were now wearing Chucks. What can you do.
Over the years, I’ve owned numerous pairs of Chuck Taylors. I’ve had the aforementioned black pair. I’ve had the black black pair (black sole, black star, black canvas), a maroon pair, a flannel (yes, flannel) pair, low top grays, and on and on. But also, over the years, I’ve stopped buying Chucks. I can’t justify $50 for them. When I was buying them, they were about $20. Over the years, they’ve gone up (and, in some cases, over) $50. That boggles my mind. As much as I love them, they aren’t worth the coin anymore.
Unless they are on sale.
Last week, I was up at my cousin’s wedding party, and me and my other cousin (the one not married) and some other family members hit the mall. I popped into Journeys (a pretty damn cool shoe store) as I was waiting for my cousin and his friends to finish looking at games in the next store over. I was about to leave when the salesman pointed out the clearance section. And there they were. On sale for $19.99. It was as if a light came down from the heavens and shined on my latest pair of Chuck Taylors.
I know some of my friends will dig ’em. I know some will give me holy hell for ’em. But I’m not in middle school anymore, and this time, I really don’t give a shit. 😆