Converse Jack Purcell

A look at the sneakers that became an American style icon

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The only sneaker to ever be designed for a world-class badminton player and subsequently find its way to becoming an American style icon, The Converse Jack Purcell remains one of the most recognizable footwear designs still in production today. However unlikely its rise to fame may have been, the low-profile, comfortable canvas sneaker has garnered such an esteemed following there’s no doubt it’s here to stay.

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Driven by design and performance, the classic black low-top sneaker can be identified from a ways away thanks to the smile-like rubber toe-cap detail and always sturdy vulcanized rubber outsole. There are plenty of colorways out there, but the basic black and white classics can’t be messed with. Clean as can be, these sneakers are an essential and an easy go-to for dressing down a formal fit or keeping a casual getup on point. Find the Converse Jack Purcell CP in black at San Francisco’s specialty menswear boutique Unionmade for $60.

Images by Lauren Espeseth and Graham Hiemstra