There aren’t many shoes that are as famous worldwide as Converse’s Chuck Taylor All Stars. You can’t miss them. The beloved rubber outsole, the unmistakable five-pointed star on the ankle patch, and the trusty canvas upper wrapping your foot in that timeless silhouette. They’re not head-turning (usually), but they do catch the eye and elicit a sideways glance or two. Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars are very popular the world over. Nearly everyone has had a pair of Chucks at some point in their lives. They’re multi-generational in their appeal and they never go out of style. If you’re one of the few who hasn’t owned a pair or even worse, doesn’t know what they are, get to Googling them right now. Then do yourself a favour and buy a pair if you can.

Chuck Taylor’s started off as basketball shoes more than one hundred years ago. They were eponymously named after Charles Hollis “Chuck” Taylor, an American basketball player and shoe salesman. They were the most popular basketball shoes in America through to the ‘70s before things went south as competition and poor management caused the shoes to lose popularity. They experienced a resurgence in the ‘80s and ‘90s, but more as lifestyle shoes and icons of pop culture. Not much on the shoes has changed since those early days. The design is largely the same. The silhouette is for the most part as it always has been since the beginning. The five-pointed star on the ankle patch for the high-tops, the flat-bottomed sole, and the rubber midsole haven’t changed. Changes made to the shoes over the years have largely been additions to improve them or to give a wider offering to customers.

Chucks were spartan in their offerings as far as availability of colour and material were concerned. That changed over time and the materials and fabrics used to make them now include leather, suede, GORE-TEX, and of course the trusty canvas, among others. After being around for so many years and with sales in the hundreds of millions, the shoe underwent a refresh of sorts and was re-released in 2015. Dubbed the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star II, it was a contemporary take on the timeless silhouette. The design hardly changed. Changes were made on the inside, where technology from parent company Nike was incorporated to make the shoes more comfortable.

There have been various takes on the timeless silhouette over the years.

There was a Comme des Garçons collaboration.

Even Off White got in on the action.

Chucks are beloved for various reasons. One of them is that they have universal appeal. They look good on anyone, the design works for any gender, and the cost is affordable to a lot of people. They hold up against heavy use fairly well and because they don’t go out of style they can be kept in someone’s shoe rotation for a while. Chucks are loved for the variety of offerings they come in too.

Originally and for a long time they only came with a canvas upper, a rubber midsole and a flat-bottomed outsole. Today they come in all the colours of the rainbow and in different takes on the original design. There are demure and muted colours for the more reserved and there are loud bombastic colours for the more expressive. There are modern takes on the classic design, like the Chuck Taylor All Star 70 from 2013.

For the adventurous and outdoorsy there are all-terrain and waterproof versions. If you live in or often visit a place that experiences lots of cold and snow in the winter (unlucky you), there are winter versions that have you covered. Or just go somewhere warm for the winter and get Chucks suited to warm weather. Then go back in the spring or summer and keep wearing them. They’ll look better in the summer anyway. Almost everything looks better in the summer.

Chucks come in different styles too, in high or low-top and even as boots or platforms. The selection of Chucks available is sure to satisfy everyone, unless you don’t like Chucks. In which case you are misguided and have horrible taste.

Another reason Chucks are so well liked is their versatility. They can work in almost any situation. They can work for mundane stuff like running errands, casual things like meeting up with friends for lunch, or back-breaking stuff like construction work (trust us, those leather Chucks can take the beating). They could even be dressed up for formal events. They’re quite popular as a less uptight choice of footwear for weddings.

Styling them is easy too. You don’t have to spend time scratching your head looking for an outfit that will pair well with your Chucks, or vice versa. A little colour coordination (or the opposite if colour-blocking is your thing) and you’re good to go.

Chucks can be paired with almost anything and are rarely ever inappropriate (of course, discretion must be exercised). As said before, they’re easy to style. Depending on the colour of the shoes they can be paired with outfits of any kind and hue. Black or white Chucks are ideal for this. Or if you’d like, try the more colourful ones on for size and use them to colour-block an outfit.

Styling high-top Chucks, however, may be a bit of a challenge. Especially for guys. There isn’t the same breadth of choice for clothing for men as there is for women (so unfair). Women could pair high-tops with nearly anything and pull it off, but a little more thought needs to go into what guys pair their high-top Chucks with.

Iconic pieces of footwear abound and everybody has their favourite. Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars belong in that discussion. They’ve been around for a long time and by the looks of it they might outlive us all. Not everyone loves them, but they are a mainstay in many closets around the world. They should be a mainstay in yours too. They’re not the attention-grabbers that some of their contemporaries are, but they have presence and character. They have a style that’s all their own. In wearing them, all that is embodied in you. If you’re wondering about whether to get a pair of Chucks, just do it. If you’re on the fence about them, trust us that the side that wears them is worth the experience. At least you’ll get to say you tried them.