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Jack Purcells by Converse. What a shame.

johnniegold

Moderator Emeritus
I just received my new pair of Jack Purcells from Piperlime the other day. I ordered them several weeks ago but they were backordered. I didn't care since I got them on sale for $39.99. They cost between $55-60 depending on where you order them from. So, for a good deal I didn't mind the wait.

Upon inspecting them, I see th
at the quality of the iconic sneaker that has been enjoyed by generations of the sneaker-wearing public has been somewhat compromised. I'm sure there are many purists out there that would argue that the sneaker has been returned to its former simplicity but nevertheless, I am somewhat disappointed but not to the point of not wanting to wear them.

Here
are some pics so you can decide for yourself. The old pair are maybe two years old.

Let's st
art with the laces. The old pair are made of nylon and have metal tips. These have been that replaced with a fabric lace with plastic-coated tips. Not a big deal but one detail that has taken a step down, imo.




As you can see, the tongue no longer has the Jack Purcell logo on it. The tongue on the older pair was padded. On the new pair it is not. 2 demerits. One for style and one for comfort.



Note the two holes th
at allow air to circulate inside the sneaker. Clearly visible on the old pair.




On the new pair, they are buried below the insert. This is unforgiveable, imo. Poor design. What were they thinking? :thumbdown





The heel had blue-trim sewn into it. This has gone by the wayside. Small detail but nevertheless.




The ankle was padded and now it is not. 2-point deduction for doing away with a comfort-feature.







Also note the airholes in this picture. You can see on the new pair how they are covered up.



THE SMILE

It is the smile on this iconic sneaker that makes it instantly recognizable and don't worry, it is still there. On the old model it was somewhat recessed while on the new pair it is not. However, I do recall, on pairs that I had owned in the past, the smile was not recessed.








So, am I a little disappointed that Converse decided to cheapen a product that I have worn for years? Of course. Has it been so drastic that I would not buy them again? Well, let's just say I'm glad I didn't pay 60 bucks for them. :biggrin:
 
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Like so many other things....

I'm with you though, some of my favorite things are my favorite because of small details. Of course I end up being that way about a lot of things. Take away those details and it just isn't as nice.

The placement of those holes is the most egregious of the offenses though. I'd suspect they are defects from the look of it. Why would the holes be designed so low?
 

johnniegold

Moderator Emeritus
Like so many other things....

I'm with you though, some of my favorite things are my favorite because of small details. Of course I end up being that way about a lot of things. Take away those details and it just isn't as nice.

The placement of those holes is the most egregious of the offenses though. I'd suspect they are defects from the look of it. Why would the holes be designed so low?
Hmmm. Defects. Perhaps the reason for the sale price. Let's face it, Jacks are meant to be beaters but I don't mind payin for quality. When I see the quality go down and price going up, it just makes you wonder.
 

Isaac

B&B Tease-in-Residence
Moderator Emeritus
Sadly, the quality of converse across their production range has suffered greatly. If you can find them cheap, they are a nice quick buy. They arent the company of my youth though.
 
Thanks for the detailed comparison pictures. The new version seems like a cheaply made knockoff of the old version.

Are you sure it doesn't say Conburse or Donverse or Con-first or something to that effect on the label?
 
I noticed the same thing. My old ones were by john varvatos. The new ones are only marked Converse but do cost half of what I paid for my old pair.
 
Cool tidbit of history:

"Purcell designed a canvas and rubber badminton sneaker for the B.F. Goodrich Company of Canada in 1935. He designed the shoe to provide more protection and support on badminton courts. In the 1970s, Converse purchased the trademark rights to Jack Purcell sneakers - which it still produces and sells today."
 
I'm sorry to read the quality of the iconic Purcells have gone by the wayside. If one lives long enough and has a slightly discerning eye for quality you'll see such drops in quality in everything items nowadays.
Men's clothing is generally badly made, badly fitting, yet overpriced. The same goes for footwear, tools, and many other things.
 
Funny you would post this. I've been looking for a pair of JP's in the Chicago area and I cannot find a place that sells them except Nordstroms. I was looking at the CVO LP model but they are $75.00,

Been reading some reviews online and others have echoed what you have been saying. That the quality has gone down, so I'm not sure I want to part with my money if the quality is subpar.
 
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+1000 I loved my gold suede leather Converse All-Stars I got in 1971. I wore them for 8 years before they wore out and they were comfy. Sad to see the Converse shoes of today. Same with Fred Perry tennis shoes. They used to be decent shoes to play tennis in, but now they aren't fit to walk 100 yards.

Just more of the "Wal-Martization" of the US. Everybody wants cheap stuff they can buy right now and don't want to save for even a week to buy something. Rant over.

Sadly, the quality of converse across their production range has suffered greatly. If you can find them cheap, they are a nice quick buy. They arent the company of my youth though.
 
Just more of the "Wal-Martization" of the US. Everybody wants cheap stuff they can buy right now and don't want to save for even a week to buy something. Rant over.
What Converse is doing is the opposite of Wal-Martization. They're cutting costs, but not the price. Wal-Mart would make them cheaper and sell them for ten bucks, not $40+.
 

Doc4

I'm calling the U.N.
Moderator Emeritus
What Converse is doing is the opposite of Wal-Martization. They're cutting costs, but not the price. Wal-Mart would make them cheaper and sell them for ten bucks, not $40+.
Converse has a reputation, a brand recognition for quality, that it is living off of, resting on its laurels as it were. At least with Walmart, you know it's crap but it's cheap so you don't mind so much.

But Walmart is part of the larger trend where people are no longer interested in spending more for quality. They want it darned cheap and that's about it. When people *do* make an exception and look to spend more, they look not to inherent quality but to a brand name that they want; they are buying a label and an image, rather than a product. The same guy who would willingly spend three grand on an Armani suit ... because it's Armani ... would refuse to pay three grand for a bespoke suit from some tailor from somewhere he's never seen talked about on TV ... even though the bespoke suit is of much higher quality.
 
+1000

Converse has a reputation, a brand recognition for quality, that it is living off of, resting on its laurels as it were. At least with Walmart, you know it's crap but it's cheap so you don't mind so much.

But Walmart is part of the larger trend where people are no longer interested in spending more for quality. They want it darned cheap and that's about it. When people *do* make an exception and look to spend more, they look not to inherent quality but to a brand name that they want; they are buying a label and an image, rather than a product. The same guy who would willingly spend three grand on an Armani suit ... because it's Armani ... would refuse to pay three grand for a bespoke suit from some tailor from somewhere he's never seen talked about on TV ... even though the bespoke suit is of much higher quality.
 

johnniegold

Moderator Emeritus
Another difference is that on the bottom of the sneaker the white trim is also gone around the cut-out section. Another thing I noticed is that on the soles of all the previous Purcells I bought it had an "R" on the bottom to signify Registerd Trademark. It is not on the bottom of the new ones. I'll post pics when I get a chance to demonstrate what I'm referring to.
 
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