It’s always there, but we never questioned it. When you get a new pair of Chuck Taylors, you may have noticed that there is a nice fuzzy sole. Something that almost looks like the little sticks of rubber coming out of a brand new tire. Well, the extruding rubber on a tire is to classify the tire as new or slightly worn.
Why do Chuck Taylors have a fuzzy or felt sole?
According to Smithsonian Magazine’s Smart News:
Felt on your sneakers is there not for function, but for economics – shoes with fuzzy soles are taxed less when imported than those with rubber ones
By adding the felt to the sole of the shoe, this classifies the Chuck Taylor Sneaker as slippers, not sneakers. Perhaps you have noticed that the first few days of wearing your fresh new sneakers are a tad bit slippery? This could be why. The not so distance cousin of the Chuck Taylor shoe, PF Flyers, are known to do this as well.
Now, the interesting thing is that this tariff is only related to the US, so you may not see these type of fuzzy soles on a fresh pair of international Chucks.
Read more on Smithsonianmag.com