Model: Utility Explore Ox
Release Date: October 18, 2022
Buy: Slam Jam
Editor's Notes: While it's been keen to emphasize that fan favorites are going nowhere, Converse continues to step into more technical-heavy territory with its latest models.
This year alone we have seen it launch the Sponge Crater together with A-COLD-WALL*, a laceless design crafted from crater foam, as well as the Aeon Active which combines a space-age aesthetic with practical sneaker sensibilities.
Now, the newest model that's a far cry from your beaten-up Chuck 70s or One Stars, is the outdoor-ready Utility Explore OX.
As you may have guessed from the name, this is a utilitarian take on a sneaker. While it might not be decked out in GORETEX fabrics and Vibram sole units like those made purely for hiking, it's a shoe that can hold its own on tougher terrains.
Much of its trail-ready credentials come from Converse's signature 'Traction Utility' rubber sole which arrives with a thick lugged tread for extra grip. The sole unit then blends into a rubber toe cap and mudguard which provide extra protection.
A feature we've seen in the other new Converse models released this year, another standout element of the shoe is its experimentation with a traditional lacing system. Giving you extra freedom to change the fit of the shoe, the brand has added what it calls a "modular Rail Adaptive Design system" above the laces — or, in plain English, a set of adjustable straps.
Releasing in two colorways, both of which forefront suitably autumnal colors, I get the feeling this isn't the last tech-heavy sneaker release we will see from Converse this year.