WE WERE THERE: Converse makes its return to basketball with the All Star Pro BB

On Wednesday, April 17, Converse announced its return to the game as it unveiled its new performance basketball sneaker – the All Star Pro BB.

The sneaker was launched in Brooklyn, New York, where the original basketball Brand shared grand stories of its glorious past and of the bright future it promises to pursue. We, at SLAM Philippines, were honored to be some of the firsts to hear those stories.

Stepping into Building 77 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, we were met by a gallery that displayed photographs and chronicles of Converse through the years. It spoke of the influence that the brand has had in the game from when it first introduced a basketball shoe in 1917 to when it powered the greatest basketball rivalry between Magic Johnson and Larry Bird in 1984.

“Converse is reclaiming its heritage in sport by returning to the game that we helped build,” Brandis Russell, Vice President of Converse Global Footwear, said. “We believe that there’s a new conversation to be had. One grounded in the idea that peak performance is a celebration of skill and creativity, as well as talent and originality.”

We moved on to the next room and there it was – the All Star Pro BB.

One look at the silhouette and we were blown away. Trendy but timeless. Rebellious but reminiscent. It’s a modern-day classic that embodies a message that Converse wanted to convey – Future Famliar.

“As we start to explore new spaces and new expressions of our brand, we want to do it in a way that feels really connected to where we’ve been in but in a way that allows us and gives us permission to push it forward,” Russell added.

Style has always been an identity of Converse. As it dives back into performance, it touches base with Nike. Some elements of the All Star Pro BB are inspired and reinforced by Nike innovation. A panel discussion between Damion Silver (Associate Creative Director, Converse Footwear), Eric Avar (Vice President/Creative Director of NIKE Innovation) and Thomas Bell (Senior Innovator at NIKE) explained the collaboration.

“For us, the biggest part is around that drop-in React midsole. It’s one of Nike’s newest and best performing technologies at the moment,” said Silver. “Being able to leverage that from them is important. And also their ability to provide us with the modern-day canvas, the Quadifit canvas, which is an evolution of where all of it began for Converse.”

More than getting a first look at the brand new silhouette, we also had a chance to try them on and give test them out. The fit was fantastic. As soon as your foot slides in, you feel the React cushion midsole and the All Star-inspired cut provides the necessary lockdown. The traction is all you can ask for. The look? A no brainer.

“When it comes to style and performance, I don’t think you can have one without the other,” said Silver. “You have that performance element and that’s what is expected from a modern-day basketball shoe. But it’s really the style that carries it and springs you to the wall right away and allows you to rock it both on-court and off-court.”

With style becoming more embedded in the game both in fashion and basketball artistry, the return of Converse could not have come at a better time.

The All Star Pro BB will be in stores in North America in May and is expected to released in the Philippines later this year.

Here’s a more detailed look at the Converse All-Star Pro BB: