Converse’s iconic Chuck Taylors may have begun as high-end sports accessories for the earliest basketball stars, but they have become the footwear of many musical stars over the years.
In celebration of this fact, the company has partnered with fashion company CuteCircuit to produce a pair of Chucks with a built in wah-wah pedal — an homage to the company’s many musical wearers that they have labeled the Converse Chet Atkins All Wah.
Wah pedals create the classic “wacka-wacka” waves of sound employed by musicians like Jimi Hendrix. The sound is synonymous with classic rock lead guitar, a vibe that will be instantly familiar to all those who hear it demonstrated in the video above, where the special sneakers are “played” by Dinosaur Jr.’s J. Mascis.
The shoes were originally the pet project of design agency Critical Mass, who first worked out the design three years ago. Many never thought they would actually see the light of day, given that the Nike-owned Converse probably can’t move a massive number of pairs of the niche product.
The new shoes got rid of the original design’s quarter-inch jacks for instrument cables that plug into either side, making the new sneakers totally bluetooth-compatible, for those who want to wirelessly integrate it into their musical setups. The way it works is relatively simple: A flex sensor is responsible for telling an outboard wah box, and that data is then transmitted to guitar signal.
While it’s unlikely that many musicians will begin to employ sneakers instead of the traditional wah-wah pedal that they likely already have on their boards, this is a fun little toy for gear nerds everywhere — and pedal nerds will probably pick up a pair, if just for the novelty of it.