Canvas shoes are an excellent addition to any wardrobe. Men, women, and children can all enjoy the comfort and style of canvas shoes. Perhaps the most famous of all canvas shoes are the legendary Converse All-Stars. Converse first released this seminal athletic shoe in 1917, and people of every age and gender have been wearing them ever since. All Stars are relatively inexpensive and always make a fashion statement. They can be punk rock and they can be preppy. They're available in innumerable colors and prints. All Stars aren't the only canvas shoes out there, though. Keds, Nike, and many other companies manufacture canvas shoes. Most canvas shoes are not what would be considered performance apparel. They once served a serious athletic function, but modern advances have pushed them out of competition and retired them into the everyday fashion scene.
The word "canvas" is derived from the Latin word "cannabis" which means hemp. (It's not the stuff people smoke!) Canvas fabric was originally made from hemp and that's how it got its name. It's now made from a variety of materials such as flax or cotton. It's a coarse fabric originally made for sails, tent material, and a medium on which to do artistic paintings. It's a strong, durable fabric well-suited to the rigors of the outdoors. It was a logical step for manufacturers to start using it for shoes.
Canvas requires relatively little maintenance compared to other popular shoe materials such as leather. You never have to polish canvas, and if your canvas shoes get dirty you can just toss them in your washing machine. If you don't want to throw them in the wash, you can clean them by hand in the sink with a rag or a gentle brush and some detergent. If you do throw them in the wash, it's best to not put them in the dryer and just let them air dry as they may shrink in the high heat. Canvas dries quickly which is another good reason to consider buying canvas shoes. For example, when shopping for a new pair of deck shoes to wear on your boat, consider canvas shoes instead of the popular leather ones. You'll appreciate the canvas the first time you get them wet and you see how quickly they dry.
A nice feature of canvas shoes which you may not have been aware of is that they are quite excellent for dying. That's probably a big reason why All-Stars and other canvas shoes are available in so many different colors and prints.
Before you don your new pair of canvas shoes you should think about treating them with some fabric care spray made specially for canvas. These sprays help repel water and dirt. It's unlikely that such a spray will make your canvas shoes totally water-proof but it will do an excellent job of keeping your feet dry in the rain.
So next time you go shoe shopping, take a look at canvas shoes. They're inexpensive, easy to maintain, and always in style.
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