Converse sneakers were invented in 1908 and have been beloved by musicians ever since. Now, more than a century later, the company still can’t figure out how to make wide-sized sneakers but somehow it learned how to put a guitar pedal in your sole, as evidenced by its latest brainwave: The Chuck Taylor All Wah.
Yes—sneakers with a built-in wah-wah pedal.
For now, All Wahs are essentially the shoe equivalent of a concept car—so far there’s no production or release date for them. However, they do look (and sound) pretty cool. Wearers simply wave their right foot while playing guitar to make the traditional-sounding wah effect go up and down.
An early prototype, created by Critical Mass at a hacking event, required the shoe to have two quarter-inch jacks, as seen in this 2013 video:
Now the latest edition, created by wearable technology brand CuteCircuit, eschews cables altogether by using Bluetooth to link wirelessly to a paired wah box, a Mac or an iPhone, using the sneaker as merely a controler. This removes the possibility of accidentally pulling out your cable by stepping on it, or of generally looking like a doofus with cables sticking out of your shoe.
The addition of Bluetooth also ensures wearers don’t have to worry about literally dirty connections from getting soil, beer, etcetera in the original prototype’s quarter-inch sockets.
Are these shoe designers serious? Are they out of their minds? Who are we to say? After all, never judge a man until you wah a mile in his shoes.