updated - January 18, 2017 Wednesday EST
Apparel maker Converse introduced on Friday redesigns to its iconic sneaker Chuck Taylors to improve comfort and boost sales.
Dubbed the Chuck II, the redesigned sneaker will sport Lunarlon technology of parent Nike Inc. for improved foot cushioning and arch support. Converse said in a statement that the shoes will also have foam padded collar and non-slip gusseted tongue for 360-degree comfort and perforated micro suede liner, for breathability during extended periods of wear.
The Chuck II, which will be available in the market on July 28, will continue to retain the features that have made it very popular to consumers such as a fully embroidered All Star patch, on-trend high foxing, and monochrome matte eyelets
"The Chuck Taylor All Star is one of the most legendary and iconic sneakers of all time," said Jim Calhoun, Converse President and CEO. "The launch of Chuck II is a ground-breaking moment for Converse as we continue to move the brand forward through creativity and innovation, ushering in not just a new sneaker, but a completely new way of thinking."
A Bloomberg report noted that the making sneakers more comfortable is nothing new in the industry, but Converse has been slow in introducing changes to its Chuck Taylors due to the cultural cache it has. It said that while original Chuck Taylors are behind in terms of comfort compared to sneakers today, the iconic brand, which has been worn by celebrities, artists and even presidents, remain very popular with more than a billion pairs sold.
Bloomberg added that Converse posted a 21 percent sales growth for fiscal year 2014 ending in May, with its Chuck Taylors accounting for the bulk of revenue. The company's growth surpassed that of parent Nike and allowed it hit the $2 billion sales mark for the first time.
Calhoun told Bloomberg the Chuck II will be sold alongside the originals and he believes buyers will prefer the more comfortable version.
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