Inspired by Military, Converse Unveils Tactical Footwear

Converse appears to be rediscovering its military past.

The Massachusetts-based company and Nike subsidiary — which made footwear for the military during World War II — has rolled out a new line of “Urban Utility” sneakers designed with durability in mind.

The new footwear features “Gore-Tex bonded seams throughout for waterproof wear, reflective panels for visibility, and military-inspired textiles for added durability,” according to the company’s website.

It comes in two types: a high top unisex boot for $170 (in black or white) and a Chuck Taylor 70 utility hiker for $150 (in neon orange, black or tan). The latter color, found on many a modern military equipment, from combat vehicles to pistols, already seems in demand — it’s listed as “sold out” on

The Urban Utility Collection also includes a Gore-Tex utility men’s jacket for $400, a machine-washable polyester coat fitted with four bellowed storm pockets and a secure zip chest pocket for maximum storage, and a utility coaches men’s jacket for $150, according to the website.

If the collection is successful, perhaps the company will continue to look to the military for ideas. Maybe Converse could release a Navy-inspired version of the utility hiker — in navy blue or battleship grey?

After all, the Fletcher-class destroyer USS Converse (DD-509) was commissioned in 1942 during World War II and named after the late Rear Adm. George Albert Converse, a pioneering naval engineer who shared the same family name as the company’s founder, Marquis Mills Converse.