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Jack Purcells by Converse. What a shame.

johnniegold

Moderator Emeritus
Converse's response to an email I sent regarding my disappointment at the dreadful quality of the new Jack Purcell:

Hello Robert,

Your comments in regards to the quality of the Jack Purcell sneaker made its way to my desk, and I wanted you to know that here at Converse we pride ourselves on bringing quality products to market. We did recently make several changes to the Jack Purcell LTT model that brought it's design closer to the original styling and construction of the model. Amongst the number of cosmetic/design changes we made to the model, we added several features that address comfort and durability of the style. For example:
- Reinforced stitching & molded heel counter for durability and structure.
- Replaced the flat sock liner with a molded and padded sockliner for extra comfort.
- Moved the draining grommets into the rubber sidewall for stability and durability.

As we continue to build out the Jack Purcell offering we are on a constant search for innovative ways increase the durability and comfort of this model. I hope that you continue to support our brand.

Thank You,

Your Converse Team



Although I appreciate the fact that Converse responsed in a timely fashion, I am not happy with the changes of the Jack Purcell. It looks like I have to get a pair of PF Flyers or ProKeds. :biggrin:
 
The above letter from Converse is less than truthful.

Converse was bought by Nike in 2003.
They used to make my shoe, the Chuck Taylor AllStar, in the US. I suspect the JPs were made here too.

After Nike bought Converse, they sent production to china and a handful of other poor work environments, where they abuse workers to make garbage with a nice label on it.

My Chucks used to be the most comfortable shoes I wore. But since my latest pair in 2005, when my old ones wore out, they fit terribly and are junk.

Nike Sucks. I will not buy anything with the Converse label on it that is made anyplace except the US. Which means I won't buy another AllStar ever again.

I might buy a pair of these, though:

https://www.adbusters.org/campaigns/blackspot
 
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rearviewmirror

Moderator Emeritus
Bob, I was in Nordstrom this past weekend and they had the older version of the Purcells. I checked the grommets and they were in the correct place. Might be worth looking into.
 
I was wondering if there is a difference in quality between the different JP models? You the traditional model, the new CVO LP model and the leather model.
 

The Knize

Moderator Emeritus
Interesting thread. I am holding in my hand a Jack Purcell that is at least 25 years old. It appears to be somewhere between the OP "vintage" JP and the "new" JP.

No blue in the lining, for instance, but the vent holes are in the right place. The laces are flat, I am guessing cotton, with plastic not metal ends. I am not sure nylon laces would be an upgrade. The soles are a light blue. I remember the previous pair of these I had had (which would be, say, 40 years old if I had not tossed them long ago) white or beige soles. The color seems distinctly a very light beige rather than a pure white, as the new OP JPs seem to be. I do not remember nylon laces, but metal ends seems familiar.

What is CVO LP a reference to? The fabric? Clearly, there are stylistic differences between the CVO LP version and the traditional LP. The rubber immediately behind the toe on the classic version, for instance. The rubber trim around the bottom, as johnniegold points out. I do not understand the idea of putting out something under the name of a classic shoe, yet changing the style around. Not sure I am even comfortable with a leather version. <g>

I do not even like Sperry putting a big Topsider emblem on the leather back of the heel of the classic Topsider. Who asked for that!

My JPs have held up well. Not sure I would want to play tennis in them.
 
Interesting thread. I am holding in my hand a Jack Purcell that is at least 25 years old. It appears to be somewhere between the OP "vintage" JP and the "new" JP.

No blue in the lining, for instance, but the vent holes are in the right place. The laces are flat, I am guessing cotton, with plastic not metal ends. I am not sure nylon laces would be an upgrade. The soles are a light blue. I remember the previous pair of these I had had (which would be, say, 40 years old if I had not tossed them long ago) white or beige soles. The color seems distinctly a very light beige rather than a pure white, as the new OP JPs seem to be. I do not remember nylon laces, but metal ends seems familiar.

What is CVO LP a reference to? The fabric? Clearly, there are stylistic differences between the CVO LP version and the traditional LP. The rubber immediately behind the toe on the classic version, for instance. The rubber trim around the bottom, as johnniegold points out. I do not understand the idea of putting out something under the name of a classic shoe, yet changing the style around. Not sure I am even comfortable with a leather version. <g>

I do not even like Sperry putting a big Topsider emblem on the leather back of the heel of the classic Topsider. Who asked for that!

My JPs have held up well. Not sure I would want to play tennis in them.


CVO LP means- Canvas Vulcanized Oxford, Low Profile.

This is a new model Converse released this year I believe. According to the Converse website they are made with some kind of salt wash CVO upper which is supposed to be lighter. Still has the same insole and from what I've noticed the quality is much better than the regular JPs.

  • Canvas upper in a casual sneaker style with a rubber toe cap
  • Four-eye lace-up front

  • Stitching detail, overlays add interest.
  • Canvas lining, cushioned footbed

  • Flexible rubber midsole with Jack Purcell signature Smile toe bumper and heel logo tag
  • Rubber traction outsole

But it comes at price since the are $75.00 compared to the $55.00 regular JPs.



$31Ld9OOD7EL__SL500_.jpg
$1597388_fpx.jpg
 
I just got a new pair of Purcell's in the mail today, black. I can attest to the lowering of quality. I have a pair from just two years ago that was a Woolrich limited edition pair of Jack Purcells, and the build quality was much higher. Had the stitched logo on the tongue, inside the shoe was a high quality quilted liner with a diamond stitch pattern (because they were Wool winter shoes, but still, very high craftsmanship) and the toe smile was inset and overall was higher quality. I think the designer variants on the Purcell's might user the higher quality base, I'd have to look at what is on the market though.
 

The Knize

Moderator Emeritus
CVO LP means- Canvas Vulcanized Oxford, Low Profile.

This is a new model Converse released this year I believe. According to the Converse website they are made with some kind of salt wash CVO upper which is supposed to be lighter. Still has the same insole and from what I've noticed the quality is much better than the regular JPs.

  • Canvas upper in a casual sneaker style with a rubber toe cap
  • Four-eye lace-up front

  • Stitching detail, overlays add interest.
  • Canvas lining, cushioned footbed

  • Flexible rubber midsole with Jack Purcell signature Smile toe bumper and heel logo tag
  • Rubber traction outsole

But it comes at price since the are $75.00 compared to the $55.00 regular JPs.



View attachment 343433
View attachment 343439
Thanks for the description. I guess I did not Google this hard enough.

In other words, pretty much an entirely different shoe altogether onto which they have pasted the Purcell smiley face. Nothing Jack Purcell or for that matter James Dean would have recognized and nothing anyone, say in the 1950s, would ever have played tennis in! <g>

On some level, I "disapprove." JPs have certain characteristics. 14 eyelets among them and round laces not among them. They are not supposed to be "low profile." One could argue that by wearing shoes with the smiley face on them that are so far removed from the original JPs, even though made by Converse, one comes across as ignorant of the original brand, obsessed with fashion designers, posing, or something worse! <g>

On the other hand, the original JPs are kind of heavy. And whoever designed these CVO LPs to my eye has captured much of the "lines" and appearance of the originals. So I am more or less willing to give Converse a break on this. In this case, I think the smiley face is a nice reference to the classic shoe. The shoes look pretty good to me. I might have to buy a pair. The round laces do turn me off for some reason though. Seems to me that is a departure from the original design that was unnecessary. Seems like a jarring anachronism actually. As if they were a reference to some early 2000s basketball shoes.

Thanks.
 
I have a navy pair and a forest pair from ~2000 floating around somewhere. I wish I could find them because they are more my style now than when I bought them back in 2000.

If you can handle the stitching and the big star, the One Star from Target might be an option to consider... I doubt it will offer the old JP build quality you're looking for, but the price might be more in-line with the current build quality. The color choices seem to come and go, with only grey, black, and maroon available at the moment.

The Converse Pro Ox and Star Player are other options built on the All Star lower with more structure and higher build quality than the current All Star... the former can be had as low as $40/pair and the latter for $45-$60. The main caveat is whether the Star & Chevron design works for you, though some of the designs are color-on-color so it really blends in.
 
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johnniegold

Moderator Emeritus
Ok... and we’re back!

Today, I received a new pair of Jack Purcell’s ordered directly from Converse. So, let’s see what’s happened since 2013 when the last post was entered in this thread.

The Box (no surprises there)
0E044CB2-0D2A-47D0-8763-9F42AF77CFA4.jpeg

Pair of sneaks wrapped in tissue paper.
A43534D2-0C52-4C72-9A96-6ABBA78877FE.jpeg

Inside, the iconic sneaker with that unmistakeable smile on the front.

5C7CAB8F-D834-4FF8-B019-1DFD2830343B.jpeg

Same simple profile. The stitching by the area of the pinky toe has changed. If you go to earlier pix you can see a sort of box pattern. That’s different but nothing noticeable.

The same label on the back of the sneaker.

15CD9E37-7218-452A-938A-3E8A489615FA.jpeg

For you sons of badgers that were here in 2013, you may remember how these side vents were embedded below the rubber insole (see previous pix). It was so unforgivable that I felt compelled to write to Converse to say “what da hecking?” They replied but to no avail until now.

The next two photos show the vents to be properly placed to allow air to circulate inside the sneaker. Additionally, these new footbeds I must say are fairly comfortable.
316CC344-E8B2-4E1C-94DB-23F2BCFB2DF8.jpeg 56009DDB-B453-4BAE-ADEB-2DD8760996AE.jpeg


Oh. I forgot to show you the bottom of the sneaker....


NOOOOOOO!!!!!

They changed the baby blue smooth bottom that forever identified this sneaker. Why? WHY! :rolleyes:
859040B8-AAFC-4D18-AB81-B9D4164D3EB7.jpeg

All in all, I have to say that this sneaker has always been a fave of mine. In the 3 versions presented here in this thread, the first version was the best one (although it did not mirror the original as it had some enhancements that were not part of the original sneaker.). The second version (with the buried vent holes) was by far my least favorite.

This Mach III version of the iconic Jack Purcell sneaker is a close second to Mach I and is definitely more much comfortable than Mach II.

There you have it. A more favorite lazing-around-on-a-Saturday afternoon sneaker I cannot find.

6C98621B-72BC-4915-B492-E6C8BAB0CC06.jpeg

312E9B2A-0E9E-420A-8708-1255CD396C27.jpeg
 

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Toothpick

TACO HOUND
Moderator
Interesting. I clearly need to venture out from the Sperry Boat Shoes. I dislike socks during the warmer months. These shoes have a very simple design yet elegant.
 

The Knize

Moderator Emeritus
I am glad to have the follow-up in this thread. The latest version looks quite classic to me. I will have to compare to what I have at home from now 35 years ago, but these new ones look very close, except for the soles. That change seems outrageous to me.

Interesting that these were originally designed as badminton shoes. I would have said they were clay court tennis shoes designed for real red clay and that the smooth bottoms were intended in part not to harm that kind of court. In fact, I would have said that back in the day you wanted the soles to be reddish from playing on such courts in order to be cool. I do not know that they bottoms were always pale blue. i think the first couple of pairs I had were beige or white.

I think one could go socks or no socks with these. White socks being a reference to actually playing tennis, or, I suppose, badminton in them. No socks or colored socks, hanging out, just like James Dean. I would certainly wear low cut Chucks with no socks. I do not know if I would wear high top Chucks with no socks. Real Sperry Topsiders, never socks! I do not know about the many other kinds of shoes Sperry is now calling "Topsider."

Thanks for the in depth discussion!
 
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.
X2
Sad but true
I had many pairs of jacks and converse in the day. At one point i had several leather converse
This report about the Jack model is sad for sure. But the quality has been lacking for a long time. Since the 80s maybe. Especially when they would be uncomfortable out of the box.
 
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