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Converse unveils first new Chuck Taylor All Star sneaker since 1917

Converse to Debut Chuck Taylor All Star II

High-top sneakers from the new Converse Chuck Taylor All Star II collection, the first new take on the old-school shoe since it was launched in 1917. The sneakers are set to hit stores July 28, 2015, with a price tag of $70 for the low-top version and $75 for the high-tops.

(Converse Inc.)

Boston-based Converse Inc. announced Thursday that a new Chuck Taylor All-Star sneaker will hit retail stores next week, marking the first update to the iconic and well-beloved shoe in its 98-year history.

But diehard fans of the footwear needn’t fret too much. Most of the tweaks to the Chuck Taylor All-Star II appear to take place under the hood (make that tongue) and are technical improvements aimed at increasing support, cushioning and breathability, borrowing from the innovations of parent company Nike, which bought the storied brand back in 2003.

According to Thursday’s announcement, upgrades to the Chuck include the addition of a sock liner made from Nike Lunarlon (a lightweight cushiony foam to add support), a foam-padded collar and nonslip gusseted tongue, and a perforated micro-suede liner designed to increase breathability.

The minimal exterior tweaks seem to be limited to monochrome matte eyelets, a taller band of foxing (the white rubber sidewall where the canvas upper meets the sole) and All Star logo patches that are embroidered instead of being printed on the canvas (which also apparently has been upgraded to “premium canvas”).

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All that tweaking makes for a sneaker with a price tag of $70 (for the oxford, a.k.a. low-top silhouette) and $75 for the high-top, a price upgrade of $20 over the current incarnation, which isn’t going to be mothballed, retired or discontinued.

At first glance, the changes seem pretty modest, but we bet the legions of Chuck lovers out there will have something to say once they’ve had a chance to get their hands on (and feet in) the new version.

If you have thoughts on the Chuck Two, we’d love to hear them.

The fall 2015 Converse Chuck Taylor All Star II sneaker will be released in four colors (black, white, red and blue) and is set to hit stores July 28 at Converse retail outlets, select retailers and online at Converse.com.

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For the latest in fashion and style news, follow me @ARTschorn.

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