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Converse vs. PF Flyers vs. Red Ball Jets vs. Keds: Which Brand Wins the Canvas Sneakers Showdown?

Converse vs. PF Flyers vs. Red Ball Jets vs. Keds: Which Brand Wins the Canvas Sneakers Showdown?

    The sun is out and warmth is in the air. That’s right, it’s time to get outside with the best new Canvas-Style sneakers to lace up and get going on the season’s best activities.Converse may be natural enemies vying for the top spot when it comes to rubber-soled sneakers.They are amazingly comfortable sneakers that can be paired with just about any outfit fit.However,Converse isn’t the only brand with massive recognition.If you’re a fan of Canvas-Style sneakers, then you’ve probably heard of PF Flyers,Red Ball Jets or Keds.They both look similar but have a few differences. Fundamentally, their structure is what makes them different.And all of them have great fan bases, but sometimes deciding which one to choose can be daunting.

    Are PF Flyers and Converse the same?Why do PF Flyers look like Converse?What is the difference between Converse and PF Flyers?Why are Converse so popular in the gym?What does PF mean in PF Flyers?Who owns Red Ball Jets shoes?Where are Red Ball Jets made?What's the difference between Converse and Red Ball Jets? How do Keds fit compared to Converse?Why are Keds popular?What's the difference between Converse and Keds?Converse vs. PF Flyers vs. Red Ball Jets vs. Keds:which is best for you?In this article,I'm going to be comparing the Converse vs. PF Flyers vs. Red Ball Jets vs. Keds and highlight the key the differences and similarities among them to help you make a clear decision.Keep reading ahead!

Cover Photo:converse.com
 

The History and Origin of Converse

Converse is an American shoe company that designs, distributes, and licenses sneakers, skating shoes, lifestyle brand footwear, apparel, and accessories. Marquis Mills Converse founded the Converse Rubber Shoe Company in 1908 in Malden, Massachusetts,which at that time only sold stuffed boots with the famous sole, and this is the beginning of Converse's history.. In 1912, Charles “Chuck” Taylor joined the brand as a salesman.His ideas as a salesman, together with his experience as an ex semi-pro basketball player, served to create the re-styled Converse shoe with the circular All-Star logo on the ankle that would, later on, become a fashion icon. Due to how popular the shoe was with basketball players in general, Converse became the official shoe of the Olympic Games from 1936 to 1968. 

Another turning point came 1971, when Converse launched coloured canvas for the first time as a way for collegiate teams to coordinate with their school colours, and for spectators to show their allegiance. Having those colours allowed the All Star to become this badge of self-expression for youth. Eventually the shoe would become associated with individualism and counter-cultures, paving the way for it to become the preferred choice of punks in the 1970s, metalheads in the 1980s and the grunge scene in the 1990s.Converse has been a subsidiary of Nike, Inc. since 2003. 

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Source:converse.com

Where to Buy Converse Shoes for the Cheapest?

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The History and Origin of PF Flyers

PF Flyers is an American brand of lifestyle shoes owned by Kassia Designs, LLC. Founded in 1937 by B.F. Goodrich,it is one of the original American sneaker brands.The first insole designed specifically for sport shoes, it was a breakthrough in cushioning and support and became the brand name PF in 1937. PF sport styles were renowned for helping you "run faster and jump higher." Deep athletic traditions from court, track and field continue to influence PF designs.

In the first ever collaboration between a pro-athlete and a footwear company, Bob Cousy of the Boston Celtics, basketball's first superstar, catapulted to sports legend wearing PF Flyers. Together Cousy and PF created a string of iconic basketball styles that still influence the category today.By 1944, PF Flyers released their first kids' collection, and created the slogan, "Run Faster, Jump Higher".Fashion trends in the 1940s and 1950s saw PF Flyers expand from gyms and ball fields to become fashionable active footwear; its main competitors were Converse and Keds. By the 1970s, PF was one of the most popular sneaker brands in the country. The PF sneaker became essential footwear for a trendsetting generation. From the campus to the club, the brand had become an American institution, later lionized in films such as "The Sandlot."

Acquired by her family-owned company New Balance in July of 2021, Kassia Davis is now at the helm of PF Flyers and ready to transform it into the iconic brand she believes it was destined to be. In addition to offering the existing heritage styles, PF will roll out new styles in 2024, aimed at today's modern consumer, with a focus on developing a stronger female voice across both the products and the brand.

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Source:pfflyers.com

Where to Buy PF Flyers Shoes for the Cheapest?

The History and Origin of Red Ball Jets

BALL-BAND had been making high-quality footwear in Mishawaka, Indiana for over 50 years when they launched their first “sport shoe” in 1951 — Red Ball Jets. Made alongside foam, adhesives, and rubber in the Mishawaka Woolen & Rubber Mfg. Co., the performance enhancing rubber sole and signature red dot set Red Ball Jets apart, and earned them their status as a true original.

Unique in form and function, Red Ball Jets have stepped high from the moment they took off. A state-of-the-art Triple Cushion Arch Gard offered real comfort and natural support, proving to be a true advantage over their flat-footed rivals. For 20 years they rose above and continued to offer new styles, sought after by trendsetters everywhere. Unfortunately, in 1971 the brand was grounded indefinitely when BALL-BAND sold the rights to the United States Rubber Co., better known as Uniroyal. 

In 2021 the brand has taken off once more, returning with the '51 Hi — named in tribute to their original year of release. The last original sneaker is back with a nod to the past, but an eye on the future. Red Ball Jets is the brand serving fresh kicks with modern comfort, built for you: the individualist, the taste-maker, the trailblazer. 

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Source:redballjets.co

Where to Buy Red Ball Jets Shoes for the Cheapest?

The History and Origin of Keds

Keds is an American brand known for its canvas shoes with rubber soles. Founded in 1916 by U.S. Rubber, its original shoe design was the first mass-marketed canvas-top sneaker. 

In 1916, U.S. Rubber consolidated 30 different shoe brand names to create one company. Initially, the brand name "Peds" was chosen for the company from the Latin word for feet, but the name was already trademarked,so they went with Keds. Keds were popular by 1920, being worn by Olympic soccer players, tennis champions, and athletes in general. In 1949 George Mikan endorsed a new line of Keds geared towards basketball players and athletic performance. The brand was sold to Stride Rite in 1979, which was acquired by Wolverine World Wide in 2012. In 2020, Keds launched a collaboration with the stationery brand Rifle Paper Co. The collab included 13 styles for women and 2 styles for children, all featuring artistic flowery prints on the cotton canvas based on the Rifle hand-painted designs from its founder Anna Bond.Regarding the sneaker models, the collection featured the Champion, Kickstart, and Double Deck Slip-On, as well as new and old silhouettes paired with embellishment techniques (like embroidery). You can still get yours through Amazon!In December 2022, Wolverine World Wide announced plans to divest or license the brand.

Available in various sizes and widths, and even color schemes, Keds, just like Converse, are very easy to style, blend into any wardrobe, and promise to remain comfortable on your feet all day long.

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Source:Keds Facebook

Where to Buy Keds Shoes for the Cheapest?

Converse vs. PF Flyers vs. Red Ball Jets vs. Keds: Comparison Side by Side

1.Category & Price

Converse - Classic Chucks: $49.97 to $105; Chuck 70: $39.97 to $150;Skate Styles: $69.97 to $80;Basketball shoes: $54.97 to $120; Custom Shoes: $70 to $140

PF Flyers - Allston: $110; All American: $95; Center: $60 to $88; High Top: $70 to $110; Low Top: $60; The 1993: $50 to $88; Unisex Shoes: $50 to $110

Red Ball Jets - Sneakers: $75 to $100; Apparel: $30 to $45

Keds - Lace Ups: $29.95 to $94.95; Slip Ons: $19.95 to $199.95; Platform Sneakers: $34.95 to $94.95; Unisex(Pro Keds): $29.95 to $109.95; PRO-Keds Kids: $24.95 to $29.95; Maisie Wilen x Keds: $99.95 to $199.95; Keds x Rifle Paper Co.: $39.95 to $89.95

2.Design and Style

Converse - Thousands of pairs of high top and low cut chucks are still sold each week worldwide.Converse All Star“Chuck Taylor” basketball shoes in their distinctive high top and low top oxford models are the classic American sneaker, and a favorite shoe for people of every age all around the world. Converse manufactured chucks in hundreds of different variations that included prints, patterns, unusual colors, and special models for different age groups. Because they are a unisex design, the same sneakers are worn by both men and women, girls and boys. They were considered a leisure shoe and now were purchased because they are of fashion and personality. 

PF Flyers - Updated branding, tailored fit, modernized comfort, and sophisticated colors/materials make for an effortless aesthetic and optimized wear for the fashion conscious urban dweller looking to make a truly authentic statement. New Balance technology, premium materials, and highly considered details inspired by original classics, guide these new styles into the future with classic American flare paired with a bit of a nostalgia.

PF Flyers do not have many varieties available for the average customer or even the average athlete.PF Flyers only have a handful of shoes made for children, infants, men, and women.Their signature shoe is ‘The 1993’, which once appeared in one of Hollywood’s movies called “The Sandlot,” giving it a different kind of fame for its existence.

Red Ball Jets - Retro style and modern comfort.Red Ball Jets produce timeless but fresh take on the canvas and vulcanized rubber high-top and low-top sneakers.Meant to be worn anywhere and all the time, they pair well with any style—especially yours.All that’s left to do is pick a color.Unique Red Ball Jets setup for each colorway - dyed leather trims, special logo hardware, and matching lace aglets make it a true original!

Keds - The Keds' classic canvas-topped, rubber-soled sneaker is not only a wardrobe staple in closets of girls and women all over the world, but it has also been the go-to shoe for Hollywood's elite for decades. Available in various sizes and widths, and even color schemes, Keds, just like Converse, are very easy to style, blend into any wardrobe, and promise to remain comfortable on your feet all day long.

The Champion Original was the first rubber-soled canvas shoe produced by Keds. Originally aimed at sporty types, the classic white Keds shoes soon became heavily featured in casual looks during the 1950s. Since then the classic Keds have evolved into different styles, now including Keds slip on sneakers.Keds, meanwhile, are said to have the best arch support and have an almost kiddish style. That means they will look best with shorts and skinny jeans.In 1949, Keds released the PRO-Keds line. From there PRO-Keds left the court and became a staple piece in the wardrobe of musicians, artists and many other style icons.

3.Durability

Converse - Converse is a durable shoe that's high-quality and great for walking short distances or playing sports. Their canvas and sneakers will last a certain period of time depending on what they're made of and used for. A pair of Converse will typically last 18 months on average. They have been reported to last longer if they aren't worn on the daily or if the wearer's footfall is not severe in any way.However,the insole of the Converse is glued with the outer part. When glue fails to work as expected, the insole comes off, making the shoe uncomfortable. While they are versatile for most occasions, forget about wearing these in the rain (unless you have some kind of hydrophobic spray protecting the canvas).

PF Flyers - PF flyers are secured with binding tape around the outer part. Their insoles are made with an additional layer of memory foam placed above them to make them comfortable and durable. The canvas on the outer part protects the insoles.A new pair of PF Flyers can last up to 6 months when worn every day.

Red Ball Jets - The canvas is water-resistant, helping to keep your feet a little drier in wet conditions and making it easier to wipe clean to so your kicks look their best, whatever the weather.all-weather premium rubber material is water-resistant and easy to clean. The ground ripping tread is tough and ultra-grippy perfect for any surface.

Keds - Keds was known for its practical canvas upper and utilitarian rubber sole. The brand's iconic Champion sneaker does come in canvas, but the leather material really holds up. PRO-Keds came to be in response to a new generation of power athletes looking for footwear that matched their high level of performance. Some Keds shoes are made of canvas, which makes blisters nearly impossible. And unlike most white sneakers that you have to panic about getting dirty, Keds are easy to wash and affordable to replace when the time comes. Similar to Converse, Keds uppers are not the most durable but are an excellent value and good vibe that will go great with just about any casual outfit.

4. Comfort

Converse - Converse shoes are well known for activities like weight lifting due to their flat soles. This helps athletes and gym-goers lift weights without worrying about any injury for the shoes themselves not being stable enough.The cushioning on the inside of the Converse allows you to feel more relaxed and take it easy. Its insole is made up of canvas layers, foam, and a rubber air-infused heel. In contrast, the cushion on the outside provides a better grip and allows you to feel more secure and confident when making the transitions from walking to running. This firm grip enables you to run faster and cover more distance.

However,Converse shoes have a bad reputation for making people’s feet feel cramped, whether if they wear the shoes for a short time or even for too long.This has caused long-time customers to switch over to other brands like PF Flyers and such just for the factor of less comfort from Converse’s side.

PF Flyers - PF Flyers are known for supporting the feet well enough not to cause any form of aching when used for a long time.PF Flyers are more comfortable than Converse as they are wider and will not tire your feet even if you are walking in them all day long. PF Flyers also give you the option to add and remove insoles. Meaning you can add things like orthotics to help treat foot, leg, or back problems.

Red Ball Jets - The removable Arch-Gard footbed is made with a super-soft PU foam that retains its cushioning and bounce longer than the EVA footbeds most brands use for a longer-lasting, more comfortable ride.The antimicrobial sock liner, and the ability to remove your insole for a wash or a quick-dry help keep your kicks fresh and the funk out!

Keds - Keds hardly skimp on comfort. The exterior of the shoe features a stiff canvas material that enhances structure and durability, while the interior comes with a cotton terry lining, which is soft, breathable, and well-cushioned for an excellent fit.Like Converse, Keds also features an Ortholite insole to ensure the much-needed supportive cushioning for the wearer. That means they provide nice arch support for your feet and help keep your feet stable and in place. They are also designed to wick any excess moisture and combat the formation of unpleasant odors.

5.Breathability

Converse,PF Flyers,Red Ball Jets and Keds shoes are made from canvas or leather, meaning their breathability is pretty much comparable. The shoes are highly breathable and ideal for warmer weather because they will keep your feet cool and dry.

6.Sizing

Converse - Converse is not designed with a wide toe box and does not stretch. They are mostly made a size larger. Buying your actual size could mean an oversize shoe. It is advisable to buy a half-size smaller.

PF Flyers - PF flyers have a wide toe box and give a perfect fit. This feature ensures customers buy the shoes in their actual sizes. Also, PF flyers are known to stretch. It is advisable to buy your actual size because it increases to about a half size bigger when it stretches.

Red Ball Jets - It is designed to run “true to size”, which means whatever size you wear in your other shoe styles should fit in your Red Ball Jets.It’s difficult because US footwear sizing is somewhat subjective, as there is no standard sizing measurement for the footwear industry, so if you’re unsure, you can always size up by ½ size to be on the safe side.

Keds - While Keds shoes tend to stretch slightly with wear, some customers state that these sneakers usually fit small. Thus you might want to consider half size up for more room or if you have wide feet. 

Conclusion

Converse vs. PF Flyers vs. Red Ball Jets vs. Keds: which brand is the best? I think that depends on your needs and tastes.

Converse has managed to become a huge fashion icon, worn by famous celebrities and stars, gaining a reputation fed by the occasional pair of low-tops grazing this or that red carpet. In that sense, there is no doubt that Converse is much more well-known and popular on a global scale. 

On the other hand,Keds’ popularity might have suffered a bit over the years as they fell out of favor with the in-crowd, but they have steadily built a following from the sidelines, gaining momentum in the shadows to finally strike back and regain their cool. Things have definitely started to look up for Keds in recent years, with huge endorsements like the Taylor Swift collaboration or the Kate Spade ongoing holiday collabs that prove the perfect solution to heel-hating ladies that some comfortable bling on their shoes.

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2023-03-07 00:071651