Memories - Converse "COACH" Suede

Converse Coach suede, well-worn exampleIn the 1970's, Converse produced at least four suede sneaker models similar to the classic "Chuck Taylor" All Star canvas basketball shoe. These models included:

  1. The above model, entitled the "COACH." It had its own unique sole pattern (shared with the COACH canvas high-top).
  2. The "One Star", which used the standard All Star sole.
  3. A "stripe-star-stripe" model, which used the standard All Star sole.
  4. A "star and chevron" model, which used a slightly modified All Star sole.

Converse produced this shoe, the "COACH," in the mid-1970's. I bought a pair, long since worn out, in gold with black stripes in 1974.

My biggest question about this particular shoe is: "Was Converse overly obsessed with adidas products when they designed this shoe?" It has the three stripes usually associated with that brand. Converse also made a track training shoe with the familiar three-stripe design. Unfortunately, adidas did not trademark their stripe pattern. Shoe companies could and did copy the three-stripe pattern. However, adidas did trademark their Trefoil logo, so none of the copies ever had the "pot leaf" on them.

Converse COACH athletic shoes advertising, showing court and running modelsConverse also used the "COACH" name on several other sneaker models, including a close clone of their famous "Chuck Taylor" All Star canvas basketball shoe. This vintage advertising material shows some other "COACH" models, including nylon and suede running shoes.

Converse wasn't the only one engaged in adidas cloning back then...

Three-striped PRO-Keds suede sneakers, gold with black stripesAfter looking at this shoe, I again wonder, this time more strongly: "At that time, was the entire remainder of the athletic shoe business overly obsessed with adidas products in the early 1970's?" It has the three stripes usually associated with that brand. However, it kept the PRO-Keds design unique features of the red and blue stripes by the toe and the circle and square sole pattern.

There was also a two-stripe suede version of PRO-Keds made in the 1970s and since periodically reissued.

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Last Updated: 29 May 2017

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