The trainers with stars on? The very same. Unleashed by the Converse Rubber Corporation in 1917 and known as the shoe that 'put the squeak into the game'. The black hi-tops are the world's oldest and best-selling trainers. Sounds like an overnight success. Actually, it took four years for the canvas and rubber boots to make their mark, but when they did they really took off. Who put them on the map? A player called Charles 'Chuck' H. Taylor who travelled the United States hosting basketball clinics, after which he sold All Star trainers to aspiring players. In 1923 his name was added to the ankle patch in the first case of endorsement in sport. Haven't hi-tops also graced the silver screen? Absolutely. To date Tom Hanks, Jeff Bridges, Michael J. Fox, Leonardo di Caprio, Ethan Hawke, Michael Keaton, John Cusack, Sylvester Stallone, Mike Myers, Elijah Wood and Arnold Schwarzenegger have all sported the black baseball boots. When did the wacky colours come in? Suplementing the original black and off-white, coloured 'chucks' (red, navy, cranberry, green and orange) were introduced in 1966 after persistent lobbying by basketball teams tired of dyeing their boots in team colours. But non-sporty types wore them too? Indeed. During the 1960s, Converse moved off the basketball court and into the mainstream, where they became a way of life. Infants began to sport baby-pink hi-tops. What about the low-cut version? The Converse One Star was introduced in 1974 and became an instant hit thanks to its popularity with West Coast surfers. And in the late 1990s, when trainers hit a fashion high, Converse's design team went into a creative frenzy. Tell me more. The perennially popular canvas style has been joined by trainers made in corduroy, suede, denim and distressed leather. Pattern-wise, prints include leopard, bandanna, stars and stripes, camouflage, Hawaiian tropic, flames and comic strip. That's quite a choice. It doesn't end there. Converse fans can also pledge their allegiance in star-studded flip-flops. So what's next? The Converse Icon Performance System, a sports-shoe to rival the airiest Nike. After all, who wants a tick when you can have a star?