They are the best-selling sneaker in the history of sneakers. You have worn them. Your father wore them. Your grandfather wore them, and likely his father wore them, too. Since 1917 Converse has been making canvas sneakers with almost no changes to the design. The most famous shoe in the world, popularized by basketball player Chuck Taylor, is the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star, known by patrons of the shoe as Chucks. Today’s Chucks come in a variety of fabrics, patterns and colors. In fact, since the shoe’s initial debut in either white or black, the best-selling shoe of all time has been featured more than 5,000 different ways, and at any given point, the Chuck Taylor All Stars in production number more than 500 different varieties. With that many Chucks on the market, these nearly-century-old shoes have become a collectors’ item for many, and Converse (owned by Nike) has followed suit with a number of limited-edition versions. Here's how to find the rare ones.
Check the Converse website, converse.com. The company has dedicated an entire portion of its website to rare Chucks. They also give you the opportunity to buy the rarest of all Chuck Taylor Converse All Stars, the custom Converse, where you can design your own shoe. Converse lets you pick from an ever-changing group of colors for your left panel, right panel, tongue, heel stripe, inner lining, rubber, racing stripe and shoelaces. You can even get your name printed with your name on them.
Check Ebay. There are hundreds of varieties of Chucks. Many times, the rare ones are obvious. Other times, you will have to read the description in order to know which ones are rare. In any case, you can buy the rarest shoes on Ebay for what often amount to the lowest prices.
Check out Baggins Shoes in Victoria, British Columbia. It has the world’s largest collection of unique Converse. (Incidentally, it also has a crazy collection of Pumas.) Since 1969, this little store has been specializing in fun and unique varieties of famous shoes. Nobody has a finer collection anywhere. Visit the store online if you can't there there in person (see Resources).