Dave Mustaine, Metallica’s original guitarist, was ejected from the famous heavy metal group for his unchecked alcoholism and tendency to turn violent when drunk. Before this, his Converse Pros didn’t go unnoticed on stage. These sneakers gained their place in the annals of heavy metal history, as Mustaine was famously pictured thrashing out in a pair—circa 1982. Fans of Metallica strove to resemble their rockstar idols. So, they grew out their hair and bought a pair of stylish Converse Pros.
With its origins in basketball, the Pro Leather was worn by an array of sports stars in the ‘70s and early ‘80s. But Mustaine wore the shoe in a totally new setting, which was pioneering at the time. This widened the appeal of not just the shoe, but the brand itself.
Less than ten years after its release, the Pro Leather was a big ticket item in the currency of cool, and it wasn't just the hip hop crowd who embraced it. Nonchalant heavy metal lovers also wore Converse, and this new lackadaisical following later gave way to the brand’s resurgence during the grunge scene of the early ‘90s.