India’s cheap-made Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star
Shoe giant Converse probably compromised its quality ethos when it outsourced production for its iconic Converse All Star series to Asian countries, notably India, China and Thailand. Or does it have factories in these countries anyhow?
Poor Converse from India and Asia
I have been wearing Indian-made (Or from some forgotten dingy clobber shed in Burma?) Chuck Taylor All Star series for three years now. There was even an occasion I wore out two pairs in just 3 months. Why? The Converse All Star shoes manufactured in India, Thailand and Malaysia are of inferior quality than those from US Converse factories. In fact Converse shoes (especially the Chuck Taylor style) from Asian factories are no match for even the All Star look-alikes and wannabes that Adidas and Reebok manufacture!
Bad shoe-casing materials
Chuck Taylor All Star shoes are normally made of either canvas or hemp. Those manufactured in India are also apparently made of the same materials, especially of canvas. Nevertheless, regular wearers from India know better – Made-in-India/Asia Converse shoes are not of even canvas – but surfacing and linings layered by very soft cotton textiles.
Therefore, by the second month, your All Star shoes are already on way to tearing right along the folding joints of your toes or sole pads. So what were the consequences? In just 1 year, I pulverized three pairs of the All-Stars (yes, all All-Star Converse, but those manufactured in India). Gosh. I know this demerit because my first USA-manufactured pair a cousin sent me from New York lasted me nearly 2 years. My recent pair of Converse All Star was bought from an apparel store called ‘Jack n’ Jill’ in Dimapur city, (in Nagaland, India). I believe ‘Jack n’ Jill’ gets the shoes from unsold off-season stocks from Delhi’s Converse stores.
If you are someone who is always up-and-about stay away from Indian-factory-made Converse All Stars – they tear easily. I repeat: the encasing is not canvas but 3 layers of dyed cotton on the top; a film of soft/polypore plastic in the middle and underneath it is a layer of loose cotton mesh.
Bad rubber for the sole
Another disturbing aspect about India/Thailand/Malaysia-made Converse shoes is the reinforcing rubberized strips enclosing the sides. They are not elastic, but are brittle. The rubberized stripes/encasings on Indian Chuck Taylors tear and break at the sides where the toes fold, when walking. As the rubberized strips tear off easily, they in turn take with them the stitches holding both the main ‘canvas’ encasing and the side-linings. By the first half of the second month, Asia-India made Converse shoes are already on way to retirement.
Paper Strings for shoelace
Another downside about Asian-made Converse Chuck Tailors is the thin, flimsy shoelaces unlike the big, thick and stout laces on US-made All Stars. Asian Converse laces are so thin, tying them virtually wrings them into virtual strings the size of a big thread. This means the laces dig into your upper feet when you have worn the shoes for even three hours.
Cheap paint for design
The third complaint about Indian- made Converse shoes I have is that even the designs seem to either rub out or tear off. For instance, the trademark black line that runs around the encasings and soles on all Chuck Taylor Converse shoes’ – the black/colored lines rub off so easily that I cannot even muster courage to wipe my pair! In fact even the All-Star logo at the rear peeled off after a few days!
I wish India had exclusive showrooms that sell only US-manufactured Converse Chuck Taylor shoes. If you are in India and want to buy a pair, how can you tell which is US/Canada-made or Asian-made? Simply read the label on the inner flab of the shoes’ ‘tongue’ – inside it, you will find the product details including where the shoes were manufactured and produced. All the best!