There's imitation, blatant copying, and the outrageous rip-off... and then there are these super-soled shoes from China. Looking like the result of some bizarre footwear design collaboration between Elton Brand and Elton John, the "High-Bottom" shoes combine classic Converse All-Stars styling with a triple-thick sole worthy of ol' Reg Dwight in his Goodbye Yellowbrick Road days.
The shoes are sold by a seller calling themselves HELLO大小姐 at China's huge – and hugely popular – Taobao online web mall. Priced at 64 yuan (about $10) per pair, the shoes are available in your choice of white or navy canvas. Sizes range from 34 through 38 inclusive.
Both color options have white laces, red & blue pinstripes on the ultra-thick white soles, and a zipper that runs up the inner part of each shoe.
The familiar circle & star logo adorns the outer part of each shoe, but hold on just one minute - let's take a closer look at that logo...
Wow... just wow! The manufacturer makes no bones about just who inspired their design and makes very little effort to hide it, either. Instead of “All Star” there's “A. Shine”. Then in place of the original's “Chuck Taylor” signature divided by the blue star we see “Taylor Chuck”. Even the font is the same. Is this one of the most brazen examples of Chinese copyright infringement EVAR? Cue the voice of Marv Albert: “YES!!”