Converse has cut corners without cutting the price. I have been wearing Jack Purcells for the last six years, replacing a worn out or dirty pair about once every 10 months. I received my latest replacement pairs (one navy, one white) in July 2012. The cost cutting measures and decrease in quality are blatant, abhorrent and disappointing. In no particular order, I am starting with the overall feel of the shoe. The canvas feels flimsier than that in shoes past, and that may be because some of the extra layering around the ankle and heel has been removed. Also gone is the blue detailing on the inside of the back of the shoe, which helped with providing substance, as well as style, to the inside of the heel. The tongue of the shoe is now just one piece of unadorned flimsy canvas, whereas in the past it used to have a little padding and the Jack Purcell logo stitched on it (as you can see in the picture on the Zappos website as of July 10, 2012). That logo is gone. The sole of the shoe also lost a layer. In the past, the multicolored sole was, from center outward, red, navy, white and light blue (as you can see in the picture on the Zappos website as of July 10, 2012). Now the shoe no longer has the white layer. The insole also has changed, from the nice navy with stitched-in tag (as you can see in the picture on the Zappos website as of July 10, 2012) to one layer of stamped ecru canvas. The heel of the shoe used to sport a raised and inked Jack Purcell logo (as you can see in the picture on the Zappos website as of July 10, 2012). Now the rubber on the heel is just stamped with the logo, a logo that rubs off very easily. At the toe of the shoe is the Jack Purcell signature smile. In the past, the smile (i.e., navy horizontal line) was indented on the toe, providing some texture and depth (as you can see in the picture on the Zappos website as of July 10, 2012). Now, it is just painted on the top. This also means that the line is prone to scuffing and being scraped off. This has never happened to any of my previous Jack Purcells, but has happened to the new pair after one day of city walking. And even the laces are cheaper. Gone are the steel aglets at the end of the laces. They have been replaced with clear plastic. The craftsmanship on the rubber between the canvas and the sole also is poor. The vertical seam tying the rubber together is very evident. What has not changed, however, is the price. I would have gladly paid a bit more if Converse decided to maintain the quality that they had just one year ago. Instead, I feel like I am wearing a full-priced, poor quality knock-off.
From my first pair of Jack Purcell's in January of 2009, I have been a devotee. My first pair (white) went with me to London while I studied abroad. They were my main pair of shoes as I trounced all over that city and many others. I bought a second pair (navy) upon my return to mix it up a bit. I still switch between the two to this day, but decided it might be a good time to get some new white ones for summer. My current ones have a lot of character, if you will (they're completely falling apart, where I would've expected them to have a long time ago). I, like a few other reviewers, am extremely disappointed in the quality of these Jack Purcells. Converse has ruined them. Comparing them to my beat up pair exposes the following faults: 1. New, less comfortable (when sock-less) insole. 2. Cheaper laces, lacking the signature metal ends (which actually used to sport the Purcell logo). 3. Tongue lacking the Jack Purcell emblem (it looks so blank and boring!!) 4. The vents are now covered by the rubber insole, thus, no ventilation! 5. No padding on the inside of the tongue or around the ankle, again making them less comfortable sock-less (a classic way to wear Purcells). 6. The signature smile on the front of the toe cap used to be recessed into the rubber, no it's level. This doesn't really make an aesthetic difference, but it's still noticeable. I can only imagine that all of these changes have been made to cut costs. An innocent bystander probably wouldn't notice - they still have the look and feel of the classic Purcell that I have loved. However, their classic nature was part of what made them so cool! I cannot recommend paying for these, as you're only paying for the Converse name and the smile on the front. The quality is awful. You're better off spending $10 on a pair of canvas shoes at Old Navy or Gap or some other retailer whose bread and butter isn't shoes. On the plus side, Zappos has exceeded my expectations as always (a somewhat dangerous game, as I may someday assume them to bump up my shipping when they don't/can't). I ordered them on Saturday and they were at my door Monday. Zappos is incredible. I really don't know how they do it.
These were my go-to shoe for almost any outfit, but the white ones that Zappos sent me were not the ones pictured. They were Purcells, but as one other reviewer stated, these aren't the same shoes. The insole is now a tan color, and is not the blue 'suede-feeling' sole that you could so easily go barefoot in...the Jack Purcell logo is no longer present on the tongue. The two eyelets on the inside arch are now put through the rubber. The toe box is longer. The upper is now only one cheap-feeling canvas layer, as is the tongue. The laces are thin and have no metal tips. The Jack Purcell 'smile' is now level with the rubber on the toe, not recessed as before. Not sure if the company was trying to cut costs, but this shoe now feels cheap. I have since returned them and hope I can find a white pair from the better days. I'm disappointed with the changes to this shoe.
Purchased the white JPs and was delighted. So much so that I decided to buy the black version as well. I don't think this has anything to do with Zappos, but something has gone wrong in the short few months since. The black version does not have the black sole as pictured, the laces are thinner and cheap and do not have the trademark metal ends, the lip has no padding and does not have the embroidered JP logo, the canvas material feels very cheap, and the padding around the ankles is gone. Worst of all, the two vent eyelets have been lowered into the rubber midsole and are now completely covered by the insole--providing no ventilation. What happened???