The history of Converse shoes
The beginnings of the brand
First of all, here's a little bit of history about the famous brand that is Converse. The latter, originally called the Converse Rubber Shoe Company, was launched in 1908 in Massachusetts by Marquis Mills.
And originally, the shoes created by the brand were boots with rubber soles, to protect the feet during the winter period. And hold on tight, the price was $ 5 ! Yes, things have changed a lot since then, haven't they?
A sporty shoe
At the start of the 20th century, the brand was very successful. The designer then decides to embark on sports shoes, and this is how the Converse All Star was born in 1917.
But then why is there the name of Chuck Taylor inscribed on the famous sneakers? Quite simply because the latter, a great basketball player part of the Akron Firestones, was none other than the brand's sales representative for many, many years. Thus, in homage and thanks, the brand decides to inscribe its name on the shoe that has become cult.
Then, over the years, Converse invested more and more in sport. Thus, its models refer to many basketball and tennis players, and the brand even becomes sponsor of the Olympic Games !
In 2003, the giant Nike bought Converse for 269 million euros.
Converse New York: my best addresses for shopping
Now let's move on to the part that probably interests you the most: the best shopping addresses! Already, know that you can find Converse in most sneaker stores located on Broadway. And believe me, the street is full of this kind of shops! You will find them at all prices, and sometimes even for a thirty dollars !
The official Broadway store
Also, of course, there is the Flagship, which is the brand's official New York store. It is located at Broadway 560. There you will find a whole bunch of different models, colors and sizes that will amaze you. And the prices, much lower than in France, will also give you great pleasure, that's for sure.
In addition, know that you will be able to personalize your pair of sneakers. Yes because, as long as we do, we might as well bring back a unique memory, right? So treat yourself, you won't regret it! Choose your colors and patterns, and leave with your single pair of shoes ! For this, a tablet will be at your disposal, and you can customize everything: the tongues, laces, and even add an inscription or a personal logo! Count about $ 25 on top of the original price of the pair of sneakers.
And as you can see in the photo below, you will even have the opportunity to admire the American flag made with the famous sneakers! What to take a nice photo.
Converse at reduced prices at Zacky´s
Article update: Unfortunately Zacky's closed in September 2016 🙁
And if your wallet is a bit tight, then that's okay with you. At Zacky's, at 686 Broadway, you will find a wide choice of Converse at very affordable prices, and in all colors and materials. Moreover, it is even possible to find some for less than 30 dollars ! So do your research, and find the perfect pair for you and your budget!
Then, to satisfy the whole family, know that you can also find a multitude of other brands of sneakers. For example, you will find shoes from Nike, Vans, New Balance, and many others.
The place is very tidy, and you can go directly to the aisle corresponding to your size. This saves time, and of course money!
Reed Space, the "hype" sneaker store
Are sneakers more than just shoes for you? Do you wear it every day and are a real fan? Then the Reed Space is for you. This is a store offering several brands but whose models are so rare that there is a good chance that you will make great discoveries!
The prices are of course higher than elsewhere, but when you love, you don't count, right? And then, at least you'll be (almost) sure you won't see anyone else with the same pair of shoes! And even less when you get home.
Then, as I already told you in my article on Century 21, this store is a real gold mine at reduced prices. This is a multi-story "outlet" a stone's throw from the Worlds Trade Center, where you can find absolutely everything.
Plan a good time, because you will have something to do, between clothes of all brands for the whole family, and the many accessories. So you will easily find Converse at very low price. Having said that, if you have a clear idea in mind of an original model that you want, you might be disappointed. Indeed, Century 21 does not offer all models, although you will find a package.
Also, I want to warn you: everyone knows Century 21, and the hordes of shoppers are very common! So avoid going there on weekends, and prefer a weekday morning, in order to be able to walk more quietly and not stand in line at the cash desk for an eternity!
Once you've taken your precautions, make your way to 22 Cortlandt Street, directly across from the 11/21 Memorial and One World Trade Center. And if you prefer to avoid downtown Manhattan, know that there are three other Century XNUMX. The second located in Manhattan is right next to Central Park, and the other two are at Brooklyn (at 472 86th Street) and Long Island (1085 Old Country Road).
Usually these stores are open all week 7:45am - 21:XNUMXam, Saturday from 10 a.m. to 21 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 20 p.m.
Finally, there is also the possibility of buying your Converse in New York in second-hand stores. These are called « Flight Club », and you will find all types of sneakers of different brands and models. Don't expect prices as low as Zacky's, but it's still worth checking out.
Then meet at 254 Greene Street, or 120 Nassau Street. And happy shopping!
Don't forget the other memories!
Once you have your beautiful Converse in your pocket, don't forget to buy some other typical New York souvenirs. Whether it's for you, your family, or your friends, it's always a good idea to pick up a few to take home! Here are a few examples.
New York clothes and accessories
Hollister, Abercrombie, Aeropostale and Levi's, for a 100% New York wardrobe
In addition to your New York Converse, don't forget to check out Abercrombie, Hollister or Aeropostale. These brands are very typical, and you will find a wider choice in New York than in France.
So treat yourself to an iconic Abercrombie sweatshirt, for around 50$. You will find these stores in the same area as the sneaker stores, towards Broadway.
New York obviously has Levi's jeans everywhere, whether in official boutiques or trendy thrift stores. You will find all cuts and colors, at all prices!
And if you're a street wear fan and you wear caps, why not customize one (or more)? You can of course buy the New York Yankees' one, which is still a classic, but making it 100% personal is even better, isn't it?
To do this, go to one of the stores near Times Square offering this kind of service. My particular recommendation is the Lids store, located at 740 Broadway.
You will also find caps featuring various other sports teams, so it's up to you to support your favorite! And for information, the NBA official store is located on 5th Avenue, and I definitely recommend you check it out! Otherwise, go to Century 21 to find the New York Yankees at low prices.
Les gadgets « I love New York »
Of course, you know exactly what I'm talking about when I bring up the key rings, mugs, t-shirts, pencils and other items marked "I love New York". You will find them everywhere, and especially in tourist stores located around Times Square. They are usually not very expensive, so do not hesitate to bring some for your loved ones who have not had the chance to accompany you to New York!
A mini Statue of Liberty
Another cliché of New York: the Statue of Liberty. First of all, I obviously advise you to go there and visit it.
But in addition to that, you will have the possibility to buy, everywhere, mini statues of Liberty. It is the equivalent of the mini Eiffel towers that we find in Paris, finally! They don't cost not very expensive (a few dollars), and will please everyone.
You will find them of all sizes, but I advise you to opt for small statues, in order to avoid unpleasant surprises when packing your departure bag!
New York treats
Finally, for gourmets, do not forget to leave with some typical delicacies. I am thinking in particular of M & Ms, which you will find in Times Square in the store dedicated to them. Inside, a real Ali Baba cave: M & M's mint-chocolate, peanut butter, puffed rice… The choice is wide, and you will have plenty to choose from! In addition to that, you can even have your dragees personalized, just to have the perfect gift.
Then, for those who do not yet know my cute sin, let me introduce you to the Pop tarts. These are kinds of rectangular shaped cookies filled with a chocolate, fruity or other dough. Frosting is on top, and you can enjoy them as is, or put them in the toaster for about 30 seconds. A real treat, which you probably won't want to share once you've tasted it!
My favorite ? The Pop Tarts with Oreos… You will not be able to do without it! And unfortunately, these are very hard to find in France, so stock up if you can!
So, ready to buy your beautiful Converse in New York? Don't forget the friends back home, and happy shopping!