The Surprising Reason Why Converse Sneakers Have Fuzzy Bottoms

Have you ever noticed that thin layer of felt on the bottom of a pair of Converse sneakers? It gets torn up almost immediately, of course, as you walk on the shoes. So, why is it there in the first place? It turns out that that the felt is there not for functional reasons, but for economic ones — shoes with fuzzy soles are taxed less when imported than those with rubber ones. That's because importing house slippers is cheaper than importing sneakers. Converse changed the shoe material of their sneakers, which decreased the tariff from 37.5% down to just 3%. This kind of finagling is something called “tariff engineering,” and it’s not uncommon. Dolls (which represent humans) and toys (which represent non-humans) are also taxed at different rates. In fact, Marvel actually went to court to argue why their action figures X-Men were not considered human. So, in the end, your X-Men action figures aren’t human and your Converse sneakers are cute fuzzy house slippers. In other words, tariffs ruin everything.

Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020

Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020

On This Day

1869 - Thousands of businessmen were financially ruined after a panic on Wall Street. The panic was caused by an attempt to corner the gold market by Jay Gould and James Fisk.

Fact of the Day

In Japan, if a working day falls between two public holidays, that working day becomes an additional holiday by law, also known as “Citizen’s Holiday.”

Nature Oddities

When jaguars eat the leaves of the yaje plant, the are affected in much the same way as domesticated cats are affected by catnip.

Food and Drink

Tater tots were invented in 1953 when Ore-Ida founders were trying to figure out what to do with leftover slivers of cut-up potatoes. The product was first offered commercially in stores in 1956.
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