The baby boom provided a huge youth market for sneakers; canvas high-tops and low-cut skippies became the footwear of childhood. Catering to the burgeoning market, Converse sold a wide variety of high-tops in the 1940s and 1950s. The Converse Big Five feature black canvas uppers with black rubber soles. It was one of Converse’s last models to include grommets in the rubber sidewall; on later sneakers, the grommets would be placed in the canvas upper. The ankle patches, designed to offer protection for the ankle bones, prominently display the company’s logo. These shoes were marketed as quality sneakers at a reasonable price.
Converse Big Five/ late 1940s / Northampton Museums and Art Gallery / Photo: Greg Washington