Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Always in style, always smiling, too!

The Jack Purcell sneaker/ Always in style, always smiling, too!

The original Jack Purcell sneakers were known for their great, classic look and timeless style. Designed with comfort in mind and worn with casual attire, they were easily identifiable by their signature "smile" across the toe. Today, they are still known for these same, great qualities. And, they're more colorful, too.

Great design never goes out of style.

While perusing the San Francisco designer shoe store DSW, near Union Square, on a recent Sunday afternoon, I couldn't help but notice the navy blue Jack Purcell shoes that were on display. Seeing them brought back fond memories of my childhood.

My parents bought me my first pair of Jack Purcell sneakers in the middle-to-late 1960s while I was growing up in southern California. Back then, the only colors manufactured were in basic black and white. I loved them equally. Jack Purcells were popular as athletic footwear along with Converse's Chuck Taylor All-Stars in an era before Adidas and, later, Nike became the athletic footwear of choice for generations of Americans. 

The namesake of the stylish Jack Purcell footwear is John Edward "Jack" Purcell, who was a Canadian world champion badminton player. It was during his athletic career that Purcell (1903-1991) designed a canvas and rubber badminton sneaker for the B.F. Goodrich Company of Canada in 1935. The idea behind his shoe design was to create a sneaker that could provide more protection and support on badminton courts. 

Fast forward and Converse now owns the trademark rights to Jack Purcell sneakers, and their appearance and variety of bright and vivid colors are similar to the Chuck Taylor All-Stars. While both Jack Purcells and Chuck Taylor All-Stars are now known more for their vintage fashion appeal than for their athletic use, there is still a "wow" factor to them. And, in recent years, their colorful, unisex appeal has become quite noticeable, especially among teens and young, college-aged adults. Yet, I truly believe all ages can pull off the look. Which is why I still love to wear Jack Purcell sneakers.

While I don't remember how many pairs of Jack Purcell sneakers I've worn in my lifetime, I maintain an appreciation for their style ~ even if they are a lot more expensive than I remember them being as a kid. They look equally cool worn with khakis or blue jeans. And, now that they come in navy blue ~ my favorite color ~ I just might be tempted to purchase my first new pair of Jack Purcell sneakers in ages.

After all, great design never goes out of style.

Photograph of Jack Purcell sneakers by Michael Dickens, copyright 2012. All rights reserved.

No comments:

Post a Comment