Chucks - Uses from A to Z
While originally a basketball shoe, Chucks have had many uses. Some of them
- AIRSOFT (wargaming): One of my many readers wrote in, recommending black
monochrome Chucks as the best shoe for airsoft.
- BAREFOOTING: One of my readers commented that wearing Chucks help
in the transition from normal water skiing to barefoot skiing.
- BOXING: Cadets at
the Air Force Academy engaged in boxing competition wearing black
- CHEERLEADING: I've been told by somebody who tried and failed: "Chucks are absolutely no
good for cheerleading... they don't have finger notches like cheer
- CORRECTIONAL SCIENCES : One reader commented that the coach gave
him three licks with the sole of a red low-top for goofing
off in gym class. This is an example of a practice called "slippering."
- CROWD SURFING: One reader commented that high-top Chucks are great
for crowd-surfing... they don't come off as easily as some sneakers!
- DANCE CLASS: I've had reports of Chucks being used for hip-hop,
and I've had reports of Chucks being used for jazz dance.
- DISCUS THROWING: My older brother had a friend who
threw the discus quite well; he competed in a pair of black
- DIVING: I got an E-mail from a Navy diver who told me they wear black
monochrome high-tops... he said: "It's
tactical, light and dries fast." However... Chucks didn't dry fast
enough for river rafting enthusiast Mark Thatcher.
- FELONY FOOTWEAR: The court record of a murder case in Texas
reported that a killer of two was upset because his Chucks were messed up.
"I messed my Chucks up. I got blood all over my Chucks." He had an
even worse day than that... he got a lethal injection
in November 1999!
- FENCING: One of my readers reported that he wore Chucks
as fencing shoes: "They're light, and therefore fast, have a good grip on
the fencing piste, and are close to the foot, as not to make more target
- FOOTBAG: While a lot of footbag players prefer the
adidas Rod Laver, there are some that have written
me insisting that high-top Chucks are even better!
- FOOTBALL: When I was in college, I remember watching Missouri play
Alabama. The Alabama quarterback wore black high-tops on artificial turf;
in fact, the TV
camera focused in on them while the announcers commented at length. Missouri fans
got an extra thrill when the Missouri defense sacked the Alabama
quarterback... his Chucks were not only upside-down but plainly visible above the fray.
There was also a cleated Chuck Taylor Football Shoe
in the 1960's.
- GOLF: One reader commented that she wore
pink high-tops to play golf on her high-school team.. and she became
varsity captain this way!
- HORSEBACK RIDING: One writer mentioned wearing pink
high-tops and another mentioned wearing orange
high-tops for horse riding.
- MARKETING DRUGS OF ABUSE: According to the Police Department in the
city of Pasadena (suburban Houston, Harris
County, Texas, USA), the presence of a pair of high-tops hanging from a
utility line indicates that drug dealers are active in the
- MARCHING BANDS:
- Kentucky: The Ohio County High School
Marching Band in Beaver Dam recently marched with
black high-tops on the drum line.
- Texas: The 2003 McKinney
High School Marching Band (Texas,
marches out on the field with black high-tops
as part of their uniform. To quote: "They are sure stylin' and getting
a second (or third) glance wherever they play."
- POLE VAULTING: When I was in high school, one of our athletes did indoor pole vaulting in a pair of white low-tops.
- POWER LIFTING: Jason sent me a picture from his AAU
weightlifting competition where he wore black
high-tops. He said they were better than what he had been wearing; a high-priced,
specifically designed weightlifting shoe whose brand he did not mention. He turned in a
second-place performance in his weight group.
- RIVER RAFTING: His dislike of having to wear soggy Chucks
while river rafting led Mark
Thatcher to invent the Teva sport sandal.
- ROCK CLIMBING: One of my many readers, Jonathan, reported that he
wore Chucks when rock climbing.
- SAILING: One of my many readers, Chris, told me that he has found that
"Chucks were the best for sailing shoes. They had the best grip on wet canvas or wet
- SCHOOL, AROUND THE WORLD: One would expect Chucks to be worn to
school in the United States. However, one of my readers wrote to state they
were quite popular in Malaysia (where their dress code calls for student to
wear white, Chuck-like shoes).
- SKATEBOARDING: The biography of Focus
on the Family founder Dr.
James Dobson, "Turning Hearts Towards Home," includes a picture of his son
Ryan Dobson stunting on his skateboard. Ryan was (literally) heels over head in a pair of black high-tops.
- SKYDIVING: One writer tells me he has a friend who skydives in
- SOCCER TRAINING: One of my readers wrote me about one of his friends
who wore black high-tops to get in condition for the
soccer season. He did mention that his friend might have been better off with a pair of
- SPACE EXPLORATION: Look very carefully at the sneakers on the crew of Apollo 13!
- SWIMMING: As far as we know, they didn't wear them into the pool
(unless they happened to fall in). However, during the 1996 Summer Olympics, one of the
American swimmers was seen poolside in a pair of Stars and Bars.
- TRACK PRACTICE: I had a high school friend (Stephen) who ran track practice for high hurdles in a pair of white high-tops. It should be noted that Converse also produced a canvas track
training flat with the "Chuck Taylor" name and signature. These were popular
along with adidas. Both brands, surprisingly enough, shared a
triple stripe motif. The trefoil adidas logo deterred the
advantages of stripe copying; soon after it was adopted, the triple stripe Converse
seemed to go away.
- TUBING: One reader told me he wore Chucks when he goes out tubing
(riding on a river on an inner tube).
- VOLLEYBALL: One reader told me that (very recently) she wore black high-tops
playing competitive volleyball in high school.
- WRESTLING: More than a few high school wrestlers wore high-top
Chucks on the mat before wrestling shoes became as developed as
they are now. I'm certain some also wore the "Chuck Taylor" Wrestling Shoe.
- ZEPPELIN PILOT: Nobody's reported using them for this.... but it's
probably been done. After all, I needed a "Z" to make it complete.
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Last Updated: 18 February 2017
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