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11 Geeky Hats to Keep Your Noggin Warm This Winter

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Firebox

Ever hear that humans lose half their body heat through uncovered heads? Though that ubiquitous warning is total nonsense, a warm hat is still crucial for colder weather—because cold ears hurt. Protect your head with one of these unusual hat options.

1. MEGA MAN; $10

Make your wildest dreams come true and become Mega Man—or at least look like him. This officially licensed knitted beanie mimics the iconic helmet worn by the character. It's currently out of stock, but it's going to make a reappearance on the shelves in about two months.

Find it: ThinkGeek

2. UNICORN HOOD; $32

Keep yourself warm with the magic of a unicorn. This cozy hat/scarf/glove combo is perfect for staying covered up in cold weather. No actual unicorns were harmed during the making of this hood—it's cotton and polyester.

Find it: Firebox

3. HOGWARTS HOUSE BEANIES; $20

If you put on the sorting hat, where would you end up? Probably Hufflepuff, but luckily we Muggles/No-Majs can decide for ourselves when picking out Harry Potter-themed headwear. Grab a beanie adorned with the crest of Ravenclaw, Slytherin, Gryffindor, or Hufflepuff.

Find it: Amazon

4. BLACK CAT; $16

Don't settle for a normal ribbed knit beanie when you can have one with little cat ears and an embroidered face. It will look great with the rest of your cat lady ensemble.

Find it: ASOS

5. POKEMON; $14

Play video games in style with this black embroidered beanie. The pom-pom adorned headwear is covered in a pattern of smiling Pikachu faces.

Find it: Amazon

6. SPIDER-GWEN CONVERTIBLE HEADWEAR; $10

This tube-shaped bandana can do it all. Creative dressers can fold and knot this polyester scarf to turn it into a variety of accessories to wear on the head or neck. The headwear can be used to keep heads warm or protect identities when dabbling in some vigilante work.

Find it: ThinkGeek

7. WAMPA BEANIE; $20

Anything that lives on planet Hoth has to have a thick coat to stay warm in the arctic climate. This beanie incorporates the Star Wars creature's white fur and horns into its design. Thanks to the double lining and ear flaps, this hat is warmer than the inside of a tauntaun.

Find it: Amazon

8. DOCTOR WHO; $15

Let this TARDIS-inspired hat transport you to a world of warmth. The ear-flapped hat fits snuggly on most heads, so Whovians of all ages can enjoy.

Find it: Amazon

9. MINECRAFT; $12 - $25

Any builder in Minecraft is familiar with the dreaded Creeper. Now you can celebrate the annoying green monsters with a threatening looking beanie. Complete the look with a Creeper scarf and you're ready to start slinking around in the night.

Find it: Amazon

10. RICK AND MORTY REVERSIBLE BEANIE; $15

Some days you're Rick and some days you're more of a Morty. If you can't decide which of the titular characters best suits you, get a beanie that can do both.

Find it: Amazon

11. FIREFLY; $24

In an episode of the short-lived sci-fi show Firefly, tough guy Jayne Cobb gets a hand-knit beanie in the mail from his mother, which he happily wears. Now you too can look like Cobb with a matching beanie that was also hand-knit.

Find it: Etsy

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11 Classic Facts About Converse Chucks
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iStock

Converse’s Chuck Taylor sneakers have been around since the early 20th century, but they haven’t changed much—until recently. In 2015, The Chuck II—a new line of Converse that looks much the same as the original shoe but with a little more padding and arch support—hit stores. In honor of the kicks' staying power, here are 11 facts about Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars.  

1. They were originally athletic shoes. 

The Converse All-Star debuted in 1917 as an athletic sneaker. It quickly became the number one shoe for basketball, then a relatively new sport (basketball was invented by James Naismith in 1891, but the NBA wasn't founded until 1946). By the late 1940s, most of the NBA sported Chucks. They remain the best-selling basketball shoes of all time, even though very few people wear them for basketball anymore. (Many teams switched to leather Adidas in the late ‘60s.)

2. Converse previously made rain boots.

The company started in 1908 as a rubber shoe company that produced galoshes.  

3. The All-Star design hasn’t really changed since 1917.

The updated Chuck II is Converse’s first real attempt to update its flagship product since the early 20th century. The company is understandably reticent to shake things up: All-Stars make up the majority of the company’s revenue, and like any classic design, its fans can be die-hards. In the 1990s, when the company tried to introduce All-Stars that were more comfortable and had slightly fewer design inconsistencies, hardcore aficionados rebelled. “They missed the imperfections in the rubber tape that lines the base of the shoe,” according to the Washington Post. The company went back to making a slightly imperfect shoe.

4. Chuck Taylor was a basketball player and trainer ...

Chuck Taylor in 1921. Image Credit: North Carolina State University via Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Taylor was a Converse salesman and former professional basketball player who traveled around the country teaching basketball clinics (and selling shoes) starting in the 1920s. His name was added onto an ankle patch on the sneaker in 1932

5. ... And though he sold a lot of Chucks, he wasn't always a great coach.

Taylor is in large part responsible for the shoe’s popularity with athletes (the company rewarded him with an unlimited expense account), but his training advice wasn’t always the best. As former University of North Carolina player Larry Brown told Spin in an oral history of the shoe:

My greatest memory of Chuck Taylor—probably ’61 or ’62—is that he told Coach [Dean] Smith that he’d make us special weighted shoes in Carolina blue. The idea was that we’d wear the weighted shoes in practice, and then during the games, we’d run faster and jump higher. Well, we tried them for one practice and everyone pulled a hamstring.

6. Converse didn’t intend for their shoes to be punk.

“We always thought of ourselves as an athletic shoe company,” John O’Neil, who oversaw Converse’s marketing from 1983 to 1997, told Spin. “We wanted to sell a wholesome shoe.” The company was still touting its shoes as basketball sneakers as late as 2012, and some of its non-Chucks sneakers still have pro endorsers.

7. The company owns a recording studio.

Finally embracing its role in the music scene, the company launched Rubber Tracks, a Brooklyn-based recording studio where bands can record for free, in 2011.

8. Not all the Ramones were fans. 

Chuck Taylors are associated with punk rockers, especially the Ramones, but not everyone in the band wore them. “Dee Dee and I switched over to the Chuck Taylors because they stopped making [the style of] U.S. Keds and Pro-Keds [that we liked],” Marky Ramone told Spin. “Joey never wore them. He needed a lot of arch support and Chuck Taylors are bad for that.”

9. Chucks were initially only high tops. 

In 1962, Converse rolled out its first oxford Chuck Taylor All-Stars. Previously, it had just been a high-top shoe. Four years later, the company would introduce the first colors other than black and white.

10. Rocky ran in them.

In 1976, All-Stars were still considered a viable athletic shoe. If you look closely at the training montage from Rocky, you’ll see the boxer is wearing Chucks. 

11. Wiz Khalifa loves them. 

The rapper named his record label Taylor Ganag Records, in part due to his appreciation for Chuck Taylors. In 2013, he launched a shoe collection with Converse featuring 12 styles. 

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Adidas, Mari Orr
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Adidas Collaborates With Artists to Create Sneakers for All 50 States
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Adidas, Mari Orr

For a recent project from Adidas and Refinery29, artists were given a women’s running shoe to use as their blank canvas. Their only prompt: Design the sneaker to represent one of the American states. The results are as varied and colorful as the nation itself.

As Adweek reports, the initiative, dubbed BOOST the Nation, takes an all-American look at Adidas’s UltraBOOST X footwear line. Refinery29 selected several artists—all women—to put their regional stamp on the plain white shoe. Some have been decorated with state flora. For instance, the Florida sneaker sports a tropical frond and the shoe for North Carolina is embellished with Venus flytraps. Food is also a popular theme: Wisconsin cheese, Maine lobster, and Tennessee barbecue have all been incorporated into sneaker designs.

Each sneaker is one-of-a kind and only available through auction. All proceeds raised will go directly to Women Win, an organization dedicated to bringing sports to adolescent girls around the world. The auction runs through Tuesday, July 11, with current bids ranging from $110 to $2000. Check out the artists’ handiwork that's for sale below.

Sneaker designed to look like a peach.
Georgia

Checkered running shoe.
Indiana

Adidas, Jen Mussari

Yellow running shoe with cracker tag.
Wisconsin

Sneaker designed to look like a mountain.
South Dakota
Adidas, Mari Orr

Sneaker decorated with wheat.
Oklahoma

Adidas, Jen Mussari

Sneaker embellished with fake roses and leaves.
Kentucky

Pink running shoe with lobster claw.
Maine

[h/t Adweek]

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