Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars are the shoe of choice for a lot of rock & rollers. Despite Chucks being originally created as basketball shoes, you’re more likely to see them these days on the feet of your favourite rocker – a topic covered in the video below.
I was a late adopter of Chucks. While many of my friends were wearing them in high school, I would scoff and say “I don’t really like the idea of spending $60 on a couple pieces of rubber and canvas. Then when I was in college, I finally went and bought a pair… And I couldn’t believe how comfortable they were! My feet are grotesquely flat – like, where my arch is supposed to be, my foot actually pushes out. For that reason, a lot of shoes I would buy would be rather uncomfortable for the first little while I wore them until I managed to break them in. However, with a new set of Chucks, their lack of support and form actually makes them pretty comfortable right off the bat for me.
And being a guy who likes to noodle on a guitar, I can’t help but love the new innovation they’ve put into some of their shoes.
I mean, lots of people stomp on guitar effects pedals with Chucks. What if they skipped a step and turned the shoe itself into a guitar pedal? Well it’s not just a dream anymore:
Is that cool, or what? From the looks of the demonstration at the end, it works pretty well too. But if that’s not enough for you, check out this video of J. Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. giving it a whirl:
Although… It looks like he might not have been using the right motion, based on the one shown in the first video. For someone who is used to using a wah pedal, they would move their foot like he does… Which means it would probably take some adjusting to really get the hang of it.
So how it works is a sensor in the shoe determines the amount of flex in the sole, then sends the signal wirelessly to a Wah box via Bluetooth. It will work with an amp, but also works well with a Mac or an iPhone.
Once you get the hang of it, just think of all the classics you can cover with just your guitar and your shoes… Here’s a couple good examples:
You can totally nail Slash‘s solo in that one. If you’re more of a guitar virtuoso than even Slash, you could give this one from Steve Vai a try:
Vai actually named his signature wah pedal Bad Horsie after that song. Another good example of tasteful soloing with a wah pedal is Eric Clapton‘s use of it in Cream‘s White Room.
Joe Satriani‘s Surfing With The Alien just wouldn’t be the same without liberal use of the wah pedal.
Or one of the best known songs noted for it’s use of a wah pedal:
But if you’re looking to be a little more funky, might I recommend the theme from Shaft?
No word on when the shoes will be released or how much they’ll cost… But if you get a pair, I bet you’ll be the envy of all your guitar-playing friends!