Shoe giant Converse probably compromised its quality ethos when it outsourced production for its iconic Converse All Star series to Asian countries, notably India, China and Thailand. Or does it have factories in these countries anyhow?
Poor Converse from India and Asia
I have been wearing Indian-made (Or from some forgotten dingy clobber shed in Burma?) Chuck Taylor All Star series for three years now. There was even an occasion I wore out two pairs in just 3 months. Why? The Converse All Star shoes manufactured in India, Thailand and Malaysia are of inferior quality than those from US Converse factories. In fact Converse shoes (especially the Chuck Taylor style) from Asian factories are no match for even the All Star look-alikes and wannabes that Adidas and Reebok manufacture!
Bad shoe-casing materials
Chuck Taylor All Star shoes are normally made of either canvas or hemp. Those manufactured in India are also apparently made of the same materials, especially of canvas. Nevertheless, regular wearers from India know better – Made-in-India/Asia Converse shoes are not of even canvas – but surfacing and linings layered by very soft cotton textiles.
Therefore, by the second month, your All Star shoes are already on way to tearing right along the folding joints of your toes or sole pads. So what were the consequences? In just 1 year, I pulverized three pairs of the All-Stars (yes, all All-Star Converse, but those manufactured in India). Gosh. I know this demerit because my first USA-manufactured pair a cousin sent me from New York lasted me nearly 2 years. My recent pair of Converse All Star was bought from an apparel store called ‘Jack n’ Jill’ in Dimapur city, (in Nagaland, India). I believe ‘Jack n’ Jill’ gets the shoes from unsold off-season stocks from Delhi’s Converse stores.
If you are someone who is always up-and-about stay away from Indian-factory-made Converse All Stars – they tear easily. I repeat: the encasing is not canvas but 3 layers of dyed cotton on the top; a film of soft/polypore plastic in the middle and underneath it is a layer of loose cotton mesh.
Bad rubber for the sole
Another disturbing aspect about India/Thailand/Malaysia-made Converse shoes is the reinforcing rubberized strips enclosing the sides. They are not elastic, but are brittle. The rubberized stripes/encasings on Indian Chuck Taylors tear and break at the sides where the toes fold, when walking. As the rubberized strips tear off easily, they in turn take with them the stitches holding both the main ‘canvas’ encasing and the side-linings. By the first half of the second month, Asia-India made Converse shoes are already on way to retirement.
Paper Strings for shoelace
Another downside about Asian-made Converse Chuck Tailors is the thin, flimsy shoelaces unlike the big, thick and stout laces on US-made All Stars. Asian Converse laces are so thin, tying them virtually wrings them into virtual strings the size of a big thread. This means the laces dig into your upper feet when you have worn the shoes for even three hours.
Cheap paint for design
The third complaint about Indian- made Converse shoes I have is that even the designs seem to either rub out or tear off. For instance, the trademark black line that runs around the encasings and soles on all Chuck Taylor Converse shoes’ – the black/colored lines rub off so easily that I cannot even muster courage to wipe my pair! In fact even the All-Star logo at the rear peeled off after a few days!
I wish India had exclusive showrooms that sell only US-manufactured Converse Chuck Taylor shoes. If you are in India and want to buy a pair, how can you tell which is US/Canada-made or Asian-made? Simply read the label on the inner flab of the shoes’ ‘tongue’ – inside it, you will find the product details including where the shoes were manufactured and produced. All the best!
Macbeth on December 28, 2017:
Yes i totally agree converse shoes made in india have very much worse quality from other countries and the price is also half comparing to others. Nevertheless the before 2008 model were made very well a pair lasted me nearly 3 years and the actual price was 1399. But this new model chucks! India sucks in making the after 2008 model. Maybe they do it to lessen the price so that people will be able to buy it but anything before 'but' is bullshit.
luyanda on December 02, 2015:
The Converse Chuck Taylor All Star
shoe was first made in 1917. By 1960
it held an 80 percent share of the U.S.
sneaker market. The largest plant
operation producing the shoes was
located in Lumberton, N.C., and
employed over 1,000 people before all
production in North America was
stopped. The shift in the location of
production has caused the value of the
Converse sneakers marked "Made In
America" to increase as they are now
collector's items. Converse shoes are made at plants in
Indonesia, China, Taiwan, India,
Thailand, Pakistan, Vietnam and
Malaysia, as of 2014. They were made
in the United States until Converse
declared bankruptcy in 2001. In 2003,
Nike purchased the brand and now
manufactures the shoes.
ask on July 19, 2015:
Damn right.. One difference I noticed is that USA converse have the name converse written on hill just above "All Star" which is missing on Indian converse aka lakhani.. Amazon is selling Converse international which are a bit pricey than the indian one.
YinJenn on June 29, 2015:
I've had a pair of all stars made in Vietnam that have lasted me a good 4-5 years and can still be worn. I recently bought a black high top that was made in India and hopefully it will last as long as my first one lol. Have been wearing them for about 6 months now and it doesn't seem to be wearing out too fast, but the logo on the heel has faded much more than my first pair :(
Ranodeep Seth on February 17, 2014:
I agree. I know put of personal experience that the indian made chucks suck. Another important thing i think u missed out is that the us made ones are way lighter compared to the indian ones. The rubber in the us made sole is lightweight.
Portan on September 10, 2013:
Hi, thanks for you article. I agree with everything you wrote. I have bought a pair of original Converse All Star Chuck Taylor hi tops core black (model M9160 BLACK, man’s size 7) and I’m very disappointed because after 3 times I wore my brand new Converse, the canvass separated from the sole at the point where the foot flexes (in both shoes). I didn’t use my Converse to play football, basketball or running etc., I just went to the restaurant and to drink something by car. The shoes are made in INDONESIA, and probably this is the reason they have another bad factory flaw: the sole is deformed, it is U-shaped, the feet place in an unnatural position, thus wearing them is quite uncomfortable if compared to a vintage 1993 Converse all Star Chuck Taylor high tops I have.
AllStar on September 02, 2013:
Indian converse is made by Lakhani....so one can guess the quality....
jerry selby on August 08, 2012:
i had a pair of chuck for 3 months soles seperated within weeks from uppers ihave two old pairs that are fine so much for quality
kaey shins on August 05, 2012:
Really helpful article. Im wearing all stars , like since I'm 12, but each pair lasts like 6 months maximum was for 8 months for a made in Thailand one. I'm in shillong can u please tell me how can i get made in US converse????
Donald South Africa on June 25, 2012:
Indians and Asian chucks r replicas n the original is from US,i own one pair of us chuck which i bought in oct 2008 n it stil ok,city outfitters 43 McIntyre Str Jeppestown JHB is da only place ln sa whr u cn get da original but they no longer hv interest to order and sell it.
arvind on June 06, 2012:
actually converse shoes might look good but they actually feel very uncomfortable no matter where it is made in ! personally I owned one US pair and that lasted 6 months for me , it also developed creases but the soles wear firm...the made in india ones are half the price from the ones in US and infact , even in US only Chinese and Thailand made shoes are available !
I only wear Vans now , im done with chucks !
cchan on January 02, 2012:
Bought 2 pairs of Converse Chuck Taylors today. One is 'made in India' and the other 'made in Indonesia' . Back home and found out the Indian one is defective. Some sewing is missing and one white area on the front is much smaller than the other one. Nike sweatshops??? Converse is owned by Nike.
vipul ks on October 10, 2011:
I bought a pair of converse for 1499/-INR about a year ago. I scrutinized it properly and found that it is being manufactured by lakhani india limited. Its very uncomfortable to wear evn 4 a few hours. Though til nw it hasn't shown ne kind of tear off bt um truly nt satisfd wid its quality.
Al Ngullie (author) from Nagaland, India, Asia, World, Earth near Venus on April 05, 2011:
Hello Ninetski, thank you for reading. Yes, Indian-made Converse are well, cheap :) Practically that mean, the production level isn't one of the best considering the the originality of the brand. I'm glad this post could be of help to your deciding whether to buy or not. Let's just hope the Indian Converse company won't complain :)
Ninetski on April 04, 2011:
Thank you for the honest review. I'm not from India but often come here for work-related activities. Our office is beside a Converse store and I noticed that shoes are really waaayyy cheaper here. I was even thinking of buying 5 pairs for my kids, niece, and nephews back home. Good thing I came across your post. Again, thank you so much!
Al Ngullie (author) from Nagaland, India, Asia, World, Earth near Venus on March 25, 2011:
@VAmz, I think Fila has had a big raw deal after the recession and what I read about the company could be "outsourcing materials" - whatever that means :)
VAmz on March 25, 2011:
Evn Fila has got same problem with its slippers they don't evn wont last for two months!!
Al Ngullie (author) from Nagaland, India, Asia, World, Earth near Venus on March 23, 2011:
Thank you, Ash for reading. "The Made in India Converses are supernaturally shitty" :). Not withstanding your humorous use of words, you are completely right that the Made in India Converse products are certainly 'a disgrace to the brand.'
Ash on March 22, 2011:
I have noticed three kinds of Converse Chuck Taylors in Bombay:
1. Made in China
2. Made in Vietnam
3. Made in India
The Made in India Converses are supernaturally shitty and a disgrace to the brand. They feature the lowest quality fabric & workmanship, and the finishing is shabby to say the least.
No such problems with MIV or MIC, though. A MIC pair that I bought last November looked very well-made when it was brand new (http://tinyurl.com/micconv), but it's beginning to show signs of wear (those toe-fold cracks that you mentioned) now after being worn for at least four days every week. I imagine I wouldn't have had this problem with a USA-made Converse, but I've never come across one here.
Al Ngullie (author) from Nagaland, India, Asia, World, Earth near Venus on February 27, 2011:
Thank you, Pinaki. Well, you have actually bought a pair so there isn't much to do except to wearm them extremely sparingly and 'gently' I assume. I have begun investing in Reebok - their Chuck Taylor styles are somewhat tougher than the Indian/Asian Converse ones. All the best
pinaki on February 27, 2011:
Absolutely correct information . Sorry I read this after I got a navy low top OX @ 1099Rs. It's not single canvas but layered , probably cotton . Been wearing canvas shoes like this a long time ,and I know this won't last on me . Will try the adidas next . It's priced lower even @ 800Rs .