Check Out These Chuck Taylor All Stars Honoring Hispanic Heritage Month

ray polanco jr puro platano converse hispanic heritage month platanos sneaker featured image
Ray Polanco, Jr.

Photographer and creative consultant Ray Polanco Jr. recently collaborated with Converse on a new Chuck Taylor edition called Puro Platano in honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Hispanic Heritage Month began in 1968 as a week-long observance of the histories, cultures, and contributions of Americans whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Ronald Reagan expanded the week to a 30-day period in 1988, and today we celebrate the greats like Cesar Chavez, Sonia Sotomayor, and Jennifer Lopez every year from September 15 to October 15.

In similar fashion, the Converse Puro Platano will be available online through October 15, 2018.

Polanco Jr. drew inspiration for the custom Chucks by representing the Dominican Republic “in a way that hasn’t been seen in the sneaker industry,” he writes. “No, seriously, Google ‘Dominican sneakers’ and the results are quite redundant. With that said, I was excited to cook something up (literally) for the culture.”

Going deeper than the colors of the Dominican flag, Polanco Jr. sought to communicate the essential culture and people of the Dominican Republic. As a member of sneaker-industry royalty (having worked with Nike, Vans, and Adidas in the past, to name a few), Polanco Jr. began with a design that wasn’t “too intimidating to wear” and “had something special beyond what Converse already offers.”

The result is a shoe we’d be damn proud to stunt.

The green upper represents the platano, or plantain, in its purest form. “Growing up, there was always a bowl of platanos sitting as the centerpiece to our dinner table,” Polanco Jr. says. The Converse patch and eyelets are done in gold, representing the cooked platano “in the form of popular Dominican dishes — tostones (fried version) and mangu (similar to mashed potatoes, but with platanos),” he writes.

The sole bears the Dominican flag colors of red, blue, and white, while the liner is a rich brown camouflage pattern to embody the range of skin tones found within Hispanic culture. “Even though colorism is a very real problem, Hispanic Heritage Month serves as a time to think about how beautiful we all are when we come together as one,” Polanco Jr. says.

Wearers can customize the white heel strip with a personal message of power. Polanco Jr. suggests “de lo mio,” similar to the English phrases “my bro” but more directly translates to “one of my own,” or “que lo qu,” which means “what’s up” or “what’s good.” And unlike your Fourth of July-ready, American flag-printed shoes, the Puro Platanos ($75) remain stylish year-round.

For a little more information on Dominican culture, learn all about the country’s best drink: mamajuana.


Idaho is the Ideal Place for a Mountain Home and Payette Lake Cliff House Proves It

Massive boulders seem to rise up out of the ground right into the home at this innovative retreat in Idaho.

Beards, Booze, and Bacon: Interview with Mario Andretti

The Manual's podcast host got a chance to interview Mario Andretti. And ride in a race car. No big deal.
Food & Drink

7 Best Tequila Bars in Mexico City

Jaime Salas, the national brand ambassador for Milagro, takes us on a tequila-drinking journey via the best bars in CDMX.

Beards, Booze, and Bacon: The Whole Animal Cooking Episode

What is the 'Lord of the Flies' experience at The Cannibal? You'll have to tune in to find out.

L.L. Bean Teams Up with Main Craft Breweries for New Beer and Boot Collab

You can win a free pair of boots by simply enjoying some beer. Incredible, we know.
Fashion & Style

Gear Up for Winter With the Best Fleece Clothing for Men

You definitely won't get "fleeced" when buying one of these great fleece, including gloves, sweatshirts, and pants.
Fashion & Style

Must-Have Winter Accessories to Get You Through this Year’s Cold Season

If you're warm, you're ready for the frigid days ahead.
Fashion & Style

Strike the Perfect Balance With the Best Yoga Pants for Men

Keep your chi centered and your goods comfortable with the best yoga pants for men — no matter the position.
Fashion & Style

Transition from Fall to Winter Seamlessly with These Stylish Shirt Jackets

With an aesthetic that draws inspiration from early 20th century work and soldier wear, this garment is cozy, strong, and resistant to the wear and tear of the everyday.
Fashion & Style

10 Best Men’s Watches Under $500

You don't have to break the bank to own an awesome timepiece.
Fashion & Style

The Snow Peak Pendleton Wool Blanket Is Camp Comfort Done Right

One of our favorite outdoor outfitters meets our favorite blanket maker in one killer collab.
Fashion & Style

Shop the Hottest Men’s Thermal Shirts Before It’s Too Cold

Thermal shirts are the best casual basic to throw on during a weekend at home.
Fashion & Style

Say Goodbye to Down with the United By Blue Bison Puffer Jacket

Bison fiber is also remarkable for its laundry list of benefits — it regulates temperature, it’s hypoallergenic, and it’s actually warm when wet. 
Fashion & Style

The Best Work Pants for Men That Are Both Sturdy and Stylish

Work pants aren't just for the outdoorsman, but if that happens to be you? All the better.