These shoes were made for walking—and packing. From Tokyo to Paris to Rio, Converse sneakers embody global cool.

By Travel + Leisure
Updated: February 02, 2017

Icons aren’t born overnight. Consider Converse’s Chuck Taylors, the lightweight, travel-friendly kicks that are shorthand for “I'm fashionable, but not in a self-conscious way.” First created in 1908, they began to take off nine years later, when basketball pioneer Chuck Taylor adopted the shoes and helped perfect their unique high-top design. That was just on the court. Fast-forward to the 60’s, when the high tops went low top and sparked a new craze. Sporty and cheeky, the sneakers were made in dozens of colors and even lost their laces. Today, with 750 million pairs sold in 144 countries, Chuck Taylors can be found on everyone: from artists in Shanghai and young moms in Rome to leggy supermodels in private jets. That’s when you get to call them icons. You might even say they're American All-Stars.

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