Where to get Converse?
2007-12-06 14:31:12 [ Big Normal Small ]     Comment
Where to get Converse?

The world's most trendy sneakers are sneaking into wardrobes everywhere, as Converse's Chuck Taylor All-Stars gain resurging fame in today's punk and retro-flooded fashions. Whether you call the look emo, indie, rock, or department store mainstream (even H&M have hipster skinny jeans) the sneaks are still central these days. Here's where to get the real deal...and some really good look-alikes.

Official Converse Store in Parkson's

Though hard to find, the official Converse store in Parkson's shopping centre is the best bet for quality and selection. Parkson's is a dizzying monolith of a place, and of course the information desk staff had no idea where the Converse store was when I visited, so here's a tip: when you hit the 8th floor, turn a sharp left from where you leave the escalator, and keep walking past all the Lego and babies that go potty. Don't worry, if you're in the Children's Section you're headed in the right direction. Go past Nike, all the way to the back corner of the floor.

Address: 918 Huai Hai Zhong Lu, at Shanxi Nan Lu, 8th Floor Pricing: Original high tops and Oxfords start at 255rmb, specialty styles up to 499rmb. Classic Chucks on stock? High tops in black or white (no red or blue the day I went). Sizes: Only up to Men's size 9.5 (US)

The official Converse store is representative of the company trying to diversify their line and capitalize on current trends. As such, the whole range of wacky variations is available from black and brown leather Chucks, to "punk" skull pattern Chucks, to distressed high tops and painted patterns, to girly sequined and frilly ones. Converse has another outlet in the basement of the new Novel City at 133 Tianyaoqiao Lu and Xingeng Lu.

But enough with the real deal. Bring on the fakes...

Fake Shops

Here's what my aging hipster friend had to say about his fake Chucks (he had no comment when I asked him if he'd ever grow up and getting a real pair of shoes):

"As far as looks go, fakes certainly pass the test, but in my experience of buying fakes (I've gone through about six pairs), they tend to start showing wear and tear in a week or less. The fakes use crappy glue and poorer quality rubber. In about two weeks, if you wear them everyday the rubber separates from the fabric and splits. Still, they're cheap so I don't mind going back, paying the 60rmb and replacing them every 3-4 months or so. As a frame of reference, back in the day I used to wear the same pair of Converse shoes everyday that I got in the States and they'd last around a year an a half before they were unwearable."

Jingan Xiaoting Market

Address: Yuyuan Lu just east of Jiazhou Lu, Shop D46 Pricing: 60-120rmb (but you should always try for 60rmb. You can get two pairs for 100rmb). Sizes: They've got Men's in 11s and 12s of the basic styles. Classic Chucks on stock? High tops and Oxfords in black, blue, red, white.

Located in the Jingan district, this is a great little find for big, cheap guys, because they offer the larger sizes in the classic styles, and you don't have to go through the bargaining hassle. They've also got some nice white and black-lined variations on the classic High tops and Oxfords (lavender, forest green, lime with zippers, yellow with black polka dots, and black with painted-on flames), as well as knock-offs on the expensive ones at the Converse Store.

Ka Xi Shop

Address: 67 Shanxi Lu, just north of Yanan Zhong Lu Pricing: Asking 190rmb for all Converse styles and colours (I didn't try to bargain, but don't pay over 60rmb for your Chucks). Sizes: a few Men's 12s, most up to Men's 10 or 11 (US). Is Chuck in the house? High tops in black, white and blue (no red the day I went).

This is just one of the many stores all around the Shanxi Lu, Xin le Lu, Changle Lu area stocking fake Chucks. There are at least ten stores in this area. In Ka Xi, they had classic Chucks in retro looking colors like off-white and brown, Lots of painted high tops -more than they display on the shelves. Also lots of Oxfords were there as well. They had a more limited selection of high tops in crazy colors, but had many different fabrics: bubble-gum pink, baby blue faux suede, pink and brown plaid that looks and feels like a real wool weave, not print.(smartshanghai.com)
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