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.
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.
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.
If the Pentagon had to take Consumer Math class in high school, they'd flunk.
The U.S. military—correction, the U.S. taxpayer—is spending more money to buy fewer weapons. The reason? Poor acquisition practices, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
"DOD's 2018 portfolio of major weapon programs has grown in cost by $8 billion, but contains four fewer systems than last year," GAO found.
He's an Oklahoman and an Air Force vet, an actor and martial artist. The intensity of his badassery formed the basis of one of the earliest and most ubiquitous internet memes. He's a fictional member of Delta Force and a Texas Ranger, his beard a source of such virile endurance and strength that it makes Samson's biblical mane look like a bouquet of hobo pubes.
Now, Norris will live forever as the ultimate instrument of righteousness: an M1 Abrams tank.