The Converse Rubber Corporation opened for business in 1908. The company got its start by making seasonal galoshes and work related rubber shoes. Converse did not start manufacturing its first sneaker until 1917.
The Converse All Star basketball shoe debuted in 1917. Converse wanted to keep their team employed year round, so they shifted focus from seasonal footwear to athletic shoes.With the rising popularity of basketball at the time, Converse researched and developed a shoe with a substantial rubber sole and canvas upper that would work well with the sport. While shoes sales were slow at first, the All Star soon became the most mass produced basketball shoe in North America.