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110-Year-Old Wading Boot Inspires Converse’s Weather-Ready Kicks

While the fashion footwear segment continues to feel the pain of the pandemic—total sales fell 28 percent year over year in the third quarter, according to The NPD Group—cold- and all-weather boots have remained a bright spot in the industry.

Converse’s latest release appears poised to take advantage of this move toward outdoor footwear. Released worldwide Tuesday, the Converse x Ambush CTAS Duck Boot offers a waterproof option for those venturing outside in the wintry months ahead.

After last year’s futuristic take on the Chuck 70 and Pro Leather, Yoon Ahn, co-founder of Tokyo fashion label Ambush, entered Converse’s archives to look for inspiration, Nike said. That’s where she found a nearly 110-year-old knee-high wading boot.

“When I saw the freshwater fishing boots, all of a sudden, I thought ‘this is actually really fresh,’” Ahn said. “I didn’t know Converse had made them and I wanted to bring out that side of the brand again.”

The Converse x Ambush CTAS Duck Boot, available in neutral black and “an energetic Blithe Blue,” channels this classic boot. It features woven poly-cotton and rubber construction, rugged lugged outsoles and foam-padded collars. The shoe is priced at $160.

Converse teamed up with Tokyo fashion label Ambush on new duck boot and Chuck 70 designs
Converse x Ambush Chuck 70 Fuzzy Nike

“Bridging outdoor inspiration and bright colors,” Nike said, Ahn’s other new design offers a more playful option. The Converse x Ambush Chuck 70 Fuzzy adds a Longwool upper to the brand’s classic silhouette. Inspired by ‘90s fur coats, the kicks feature real shearling wool, rubber outsoles and OrthoLite insoles. Available in navy blue and black, the shoes retail at $140.

“Why not do something that almost mimics a wild creature?” Ahn asked. “I thought it could be such a fun pairing.”

The outdoor-ready Converse x Ambush CTAS Duck Boot—and perhaps not-so-outdoor-ready Converse x Ambush Chuck 70 Fuzzy—arrived weeks after the debut of the 4.Zerogrand Hiker, a waterproof, winter boot from Cole Haan. The new model wraps waterproof leather and suede around a sturdy insulated lining to keep feet dry and warm in wintry conditions, while also offering a cushioning system to emulate the dynamic ride of an athletic shoe. Available on ColeHaan.com, the shoes are priced at $250.