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In recent memory, the most buzzed-about shoes haven’t exactly flown under the radar. Lately, fashion has loved head turners and outfit stealers: everything from JW Anderson’s extremely blinged-out loafers to the just-dropped heeled-up mules from Our Legacy. But if you’re looking for sneakers that are a little less showy, designer Todd Synder has teamed up with Converse to lend his signature classic Americana touch to a timeless sneaker.
Synder set his sights on the Jack Purcell, the simple tennis shoe initially developed for the electric Canadian badminton player of the same name. (Fun fact: Back in the 1930s, the original productions were made by a company that primarily manufactured rubber and tires. Eventually, the design rights were acquired by Converse.) In the decades to follow, the shoe leaped from the badminton court into everyday wear and was embraced by well-dressed notables like James Dean, Steve McQueen, and Kurt Cobain—all dudes with drastically different but equally cool personal style.
That wide-ranging appeal makes it the perfect sneaker for Snyder, who is known for taking elevating low-key style to new heights. This collaborative sneaker stays mainly true to the original, with a couple of modernized, high-style updates. The upper is now made from organic cotton and the sole from recycled rubber. Plus, a cork liner and a suede tongue get thrown in for good measure. Look even closer, and you’ll spot a hint of warm pink in the laces, an eagle-eyed nod to the pink oxford that was popular among 1960s-era Ivy League types.
When it comes to a simple, easy-to-wear shoe for summer, the Jack Purcell holds its own with the best of them. The fact you can now get your hands on a pair that has been lovingly remixed by Todd Snyder makes it all the better. The sneaker—preppy and modern at once—is worthy of yearlong wear, but a breezy low-top silhouette like this always looks exceptionally terrific during the summer months. So, if you’re looking to kickstart your summer sneaker rotation, this is a pretty great place to start.
Todd Snyder x Jack Purcell