Here's the first in a series of Weartest features where we take some of the best skate shoes of 2018 and drag them out onto the streets to see how their performance, boardfeel and durability stands up after a solid month of skating.
First up is a firm favourite for 2018 - the skate-specific iteration of what started life as a badminton shoe and has since seen numerous collaborative releases within Converse's skate range, the most notable of which, probably being the recent Polar Skate Co x Converse Cons Jack Purcell.
Below you'll find our take on each of the features that make up this particular skate shoe, along with some before and after shots to give you an idea of how well they held up.
Fresh out of the box
The Converse Cons Jack Purcell is a low-profile shoe running the instantly recognisable silhouette originally designed in the 1930’s by badminton player Jack Purcell and subsequently embraced as a staple of the Converse Cons skate shoe range. The shoe combines a classic, simple overall look, with the impact protection and grip that skateboarders have come to expect from a modern-day skate shoe.
A month later
The Converse Jack Purcell skate shoe has a suede upper for improved durability, the iconic ‘smile’ stripe on the rubber toecap, and a grippy rubber outsole.
Inside the skate shoe you’ll find the Nike Zoom Air insoles and the OrthoLite sock liner.
From a purely aesthetic perspective, the Converse Jack Purcell is a great looking shoe: minimal fuss with maximum durability all built around one of the most iconic of all Converse silhouettes.
The shoe took some wearing in initially, and due to its low-profile nature, they started off a bit tight around the ankles - after a bit of a pre-skate walking and a roll around they soon loosened up though and became much more comfortable.
The boardfeel with this shoe is good, though some people might find the Nike Zoom Air insoles to be a bit thin, if this is the case swapping them out for the Converse Lunarlon insoles found in most of their other shoes is definitely a good option, (especially if you're more a 'jump down stairs' than a 'bounce off things' kind of skater). If you do decide to swap over to the thicker Converse insoles, this will mean that you'll sacrifice a little of the overall boardfeel, but you'll add what feels like a bit more support and heel protection. This is pretty much dependent on your chosen type of skating though so do what thou wilt on that one.
The Soles held up really well on these - even after a month - no noticeable wear pattern.
As with all skate shoes that sport rubber toe caps, it does take a little bit of time to get the Jack Purcells worn in, but once you’ve eroded away a bit of that rubber, you end up with a nice consistency with flip tricks, as well as the added protection that rubber toe cap gives the shoe (and your toes).
The grip of the sole however is perfect, no quibbles there at all.
Toe cap straight out of the box.
As we mentioned earlier the toe cap takes a little bit of wearing in, but due to the design of the shoe, it does also mean that the toe cap takes most of the heat when it comes to abrasion from your griptape. This gives the shoes a fair amount of longevity which is always a comforting thing to know. The suede upper also holds up well in the medium to long term so you can comfortably dish out plenty of abuse.
All in all, a well rounded, low profile shoe with good boardfeel and decent longevity.
Toe cap worn in perfectly.
Photography: Mike Brindley