Converse’s New Combat-Style Kicks Cost $150, But They're Still Cheaper Than Enlisting

Lifestyle
Screenshot via Nike

Ah, Chuck Taylors: You know Converse’s venerable go-to footwear. Once a basketball-court staple, they’ve long since become the province of hipsters, those angsty adolescents (and men in their 30s) who curse the corporate machine as they watch beard-grooming videos and do squats in skinny jeans to stretch out the inseam.


But Converse may be eyeballing a new cohort of consumers who I’ll call “vetsters” — a growing demographic of military veterans who dig the whiskey-from-a-mason-jar-drink’n chill of those hipsters, but can’t part with their cargo pants and combat boots.

Is that you? Then you’ll love the sorta mil-spec but still trendy Chuck 70 Utility Hiker in olive drab:

This new $150 pair of kicks was engineered for durability and, of course, tacticool style by the Massachusetts-based Nike subsidiary — which, as Military.com points out, made footwear for combat troops during World War II. According to the company website, the shoes come with bonded Gore-Tex seams for waterproofing; elastic material so they fit comfortably; military-inspired “textiles” for durability; a high-top fit so they’re more boot than sneaker; and reflective panels for visibility — because after forking over a bill-and-a-half, you’ll want people to look.

Related:  Urban Outfitters Rolls Out Central Issue Facility Fall Catalog »

Though while these may look like combat boots, sprinting along a trail or stepping gingerly over rugged terrain wasn’t what they were made for.

The shoes are part of a new “Urban Utility Collection” that also includes a men’s Gore-Tex jacket, yours for only (cough) $400:

If you prefer olive drab over woodland or desert MARPAT, maybe that kind of scratch sounds like a deal, I guess. For everyone else: Try a pawn shop or surplus store near the base.

While sure to ruffle some lifers’ feathers, the military look, is hardly a new development in the fashion industry, this year or in any other. Earlier in 2017, Urban Outfitters launched its own take on the buffalo jacket — a go-to winter coat for troops — for its Central Issue Facility Fall catalog; Marine Dress Blue-inspired jackets have also made their way onto the racks at Banana Republic. And this is hardly the first time that a Nike brand has unveiled a mil-themed set of kicks. Just search “combat boot” on the company website and you’ll see what I mean.

Whatever you think about big brands leveraging military service to boost the bottom line, “almost a combat boot” isn’t the same as being a combat boot. There are some things a big brand can’t mimic — like that tangy aroma of foot cheese and medicated Gold Bond powder that wafts out of a pair of well-worn and moon-dust caked mil-issued boots.

That said, $150 is a lot cheaper than a four-year enlistment.

WATCH NEXT:

A Ranger has died after being wounded by small arms fire during a Jan. 13 battle in northwest Afghanistan, the Pentagon announced on Friday.

Read More Show Less
Sgt. Trey Troney (U.S. Army photo)

It's a familiar tale of service to American society far beyond the U.S. armed forces. A soldier encounters a traffic accident while traveling home and immediately rushes to aid a driver trapped in his vehicle and, after freeing him, saves his life with nothing more than a hoodie, a pen, and the training he received from his unit's medics. It's the stuff that Army recruiting commercials are made of.

Except there's one problem: It's most likely bullshit.

Read More Show Less

Why, oh why didn't you just kill Billy Russo when you had the chance, Frank?

That's the question I asked myself throughout the entirety of The Punisher's second season, which Task & Purpose had a chance to review ahead of the show's Jan. 18 release. Most of those 13 blood-soaked episodes would have been unnecessary if Jon Bernthal's titular character had just killed, instead of maimed, his one-time friend and brother in arms at the end of season one.

Fortunately for us, and less than fortunate for Frank and the villains he sets his sights on, he didn't, and that means we get another season of rip-roaring revenge. (Warning, there are mild spoilers ahead.)

Read More Show Less
The Magpul PMAG D-50 is designed to hold 50 rounds of 7.62x51mm NATO/.308 Winchester ammunition for SR25/M110 AR-style rifles. (Magpul Industries Corp.)

Editor's Note: This article by Matthew Cox originally appeared onMilitary.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

Magpul Industries Corp. has introduced a new 7.62mm version of its high-capacity polymer drum magazine.

Read More Show Less