Just when you thought Converse couldn’t get any cooler, the brand is releasing a new collaboration that will have you clearing out space on your shoe rack. Converse has teamed up with the online retailer Chinatown Market to create two pairs of sneakers that look like typical Chuck Taylors. But when they are brought out into the sunlight for a walk around the neighborhood, they reveal a multi-colored rainbow effect that you won’t be able to stop staring at.
That’s right — these shoes are UV-activated and change colors in the sunlight. Chinatown Market founder and lead designer Mike Cherman saw the classic kicks as a “blank canvas” full of design opportunity, which ultimately led to the UV-activated nature of the shoes.
“It morphs, it changes, and it interacts with the user and the environment it’s in,” Cherman told Sneaker News about the shoes. “I think that’s what’s so fun about this project. It makes the shoe more than just a shoe. It’s a conversation piece, something that’s unique to the wearer. These hues [on the shoe] change in their own way, and some colors will last longer while others will last for a shorter time period. It’s the beauty of the shoes: how unique they are.”
He also pointed out that the color-changing nature will make you feel like a kid again:
“You know, for me as a kid, when I was buying clothes, I’d always look for something with extra features or functions,” he told Sneaker News. “I think that giving a kid a UV shirt, it gives them a whole other function of their shirt that they can show their friends, and it does something more than just ‘buy this shirt, it’s got a graphic, you see what it is.'”
And that’s precisely why these shoes will appeal to the young and the young at heart!
Once the colors have been fully revealed, they create a rainbow effect, proudly showcasing bold purples, pinks and oranges:
You can see the color-changing effect in action, thanks to this video posted to Instagram:
You can also see how quickly the shoes change color when you step out into the sunlight, thanks to this tweet from Twitter account @StreetNightLive:
— Streetwear Night Live (@StreetNightLive) July 17, 2019
The UV-activated sneakers will come in high-top and low-top versions and cost $100 and $95, respectively. According to a press release, they were available to shop in-person at ComplexCon Chicago and became available on the Chinatown Market website on July 20 and 21. A broader release started Aug. 2.
In addition to the Chinatown Market collaboration, Converse is also introducing a Chuck 70 collaboration with artist Joshua Vides. Vides’ version is a bit different, but also pretty cool — you can change out Velcro panels in different colors to alter the look of the shoe. This version was also introduced at ComplexCon.
Here’s an Instagram post from Vides, showing off the shoe in a pastel green at ComplexCon:
The Converse website says these kicks will be available for general sale on Aug. 16.
The last sneaker Converse showed at ComplexCon was the UNT1TL3D, a high-top Converse sneaker with an exaggerated midsole and graffiti-style text that reads, “Not a Chuck.” Also available in black, this one is being sold on the Converse site for $70 a pair.
What do you think about the color-changing kicks, and Converse’s other ComplexCon offerings? Will you be getting a pair to wear while you soak up the sun outdoors this summer?