Over the course of 40 years, punk has gone through numerous musical evolutions. Despite the concept of “punk” existing in the cultural imagination as a monolithic bloc, all you have to do to get a sense of how chaotic punk really is is to take a look at all the different footwear.
Two of the more enduring punk shoe styles are the brothel creeper and the Chuck Taylor. The Chuck Taylor story hardly needs retelling; the shoe’s simple looks and ready availability, along with associations with legendary bands like The Ramones and Blondie made the Chuck Taylor the essential punk sneaker.
The brothel creeper was a popular footwear choice in England’s nascent punk scene. The stylistic agenda was set, in large part, by Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McClaren’s ‘Sex’ shop on London’s King’s Road. Before punk hit, ‘Sex’ was ‘Let It Rock,’ which did a brisk trade in selling the accouterments of 1950s rock culture to the Teddy Boy subculture. The creepers were a successful holdover, and have remained a punk fixture ever since.
Converse’s tribute to the early days of punk combines the thick sole of the traditional creeper with a high top Chuck Taylor 1970 and the slip-on Deckstar silhouette. The (of course) leather uppers feature prominent stitching and animal print accents. The best part is, unlike in the old days, you won’t even get chased down the street for wearing these anymore.
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