Yes, Converse, but not All Stars, they’re the “Jack Purcell” model. Way back when I speculated on the status of the Converse All Star high-top as perhaps the ideal excavation shoe:
They have a fairly flat sole (especially after having been worn for a while), the sole itself is not very thick or rigid so it conforms to one’s foot a bit more, and they’re high-tops so there’s some protection from both dirt and creepy crawlies sneaking in while you’re working.
I’m revising that opinion somewhat to say that a sock might not be the best since it wouldn’t protect your foot from sharp objects very well whereas this would. Other than that, I still mostly stand by that post.
This is the first project I’ve been on where they’ve really required non-knobby soles so I had to go find something suitable. The All Stars wouldn’t do the trick because they do, in fact, have treads. But these have a flat bottom with only a rectangular cutout for the logo — not ideal, but close. These are also not high-tops; they didn’t carry them in that model. So, not the ideal, but close. Plus, you know, they were half off. . . .
So we shall see what becomes of them where the rubber meets the
Side note: These are decidedly retro. I kind of used to hate these things because the slackers used to wear them (like 10-20 years ago, that is). And I’ve been wearing the usual big, complex cross-training or walking shoes for years, like these New Balances. There’s been a movement towards smaller and flatter shoes — “minimalist” they call it — epitomized by the toe shoes (which I think I posted on earlier). I’m a bit wary of the claims being made for them, but I took the plunge recently on a pair of retro Pumas that have a very thin and almost flat sole. It took my feet a good couple of months to get used to them and some pain, but I’d already been having some pain with my old ones (outside ball of my left foot, for some reason; hurt like the dickens some times). Now after kicking around in them for some months, they actually feel better than they did before. I don’t run in them or anything, but they’re doing fine. Hence, slipping on a pair of these Converse’s has been easy as pie so far.