The Drum Awards Festival - Extended Deadline

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By Rebecca Stewart, Trends Editor

June 23, 2016 | 2 min read

Converse has unveiled a version of its classic Chuck Taylor sneaker featuring an in-built Wah pedal for guitarists.

The prototype is the brainchild of design agency Critical Mass, which came up with the idea three years ago during one of the brand's Chuck Hack sessions. The concept for the musical shoe was made into a reality with some help from wearable tech brand CuteCircuit.

Converse has enlisted the help of Dinosaur Jr's J Mascis to debut the product, which it says "brings a new level of freedom to guitar playing" thanks to the sole of the All Star which transforms foot movement into Wah modulation, using cutting-edge micro-sensortechnology.

The design means guitarists simply have to use their foot in the same way they would a traditional Wah pedal, with the shoe doing the rest of the work. Bluetooth technology lets it communicate wirelessly to the Wah Box and it can be used in a classic-stage setup with an AMP or connect to a smartphone.

Despite the global launch, only 13 guitarists have been selected to take the All Wah Chucks on stage, so it might prove tricky for ordinary customers to get their hands on a pair any time soon.

The push fits in with plans outlined by Converse earlier this year to let fans "imbue their personality" onto the brand via a mix of customisation and word-of-mouth.

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