Tennis Warehouse

Converse Jack Purcell Evo Shoe Review

Upsides

  • Traction
  • Comfort
  • Styling
  • Lightweight

Downsides

  • Wide fit
  • Durability
Converse Jack Purcell Evo Shoe Scores
Comfort 4.2
Ventilation 4.0
Arch Support 3.8
Foot Support/Stability 3.7
Overall Sole Durability 3.5
Toe Durability 3.9
Traction 4.5
Weight 4.3
Overall 4.1
Video Review

Don't judge a book by its cover. Have your cake and eat it, too.

We've all heard these popular idioms at one time or another, but what do these two particular ones have in common?

They both apply to the Converse Jack Purcell Evo shoe. Still scratching your head? Let me explain.

At a glance, the Converse Jack Purcell Evo seems to be a nice, casual sneaker that would go great with a pair of jeans. The original Jack Purcell is a classic, timeless shoe, that all ages can wear and pull off. And why not? With its unique black line wrapping around the toe, it has produced "smiles" for decades.

The original Jack Purcell shoes are known for being great looking, extremely comfortable casual shoes. But back in the day the original Jack Purcell was a court performance shoe, and Converse has decided now is the time to bring the Jack Purcell name back to the courts. That's where the "Evo" name comes in. Short for Evolution, the Jack Purcell Evo is designed to fill the demands of today's serious tennis player. Underneath this unassuming look are the nuts and bolts of a high level performance tennis shoe, and like its counterpart casual shoe, it is offered in unisex sizing, presenting yet another unique attribute to the Evo.

Converse, utilizing some of the latest Nike technology, has come up with a unique offering in today's performance tennis shoe market. The Jack Purcell Evo is a highly technical shoe, but unlike other highly technical shoes, the technology is not highlighted. Instead, Converse has taken modern technology and found a way to incorporate it into tremendously stylish lines. For instance, Nike's Flywire technology is used throughout the upper for support. Rather than just highlight the Flywire as a technology, Converse has used it in a Glenn Plaid pattern to create style, as well as support.

Under the foot, a Lunarlon midsole discretely provides exceptional light weight cushioning, while an XDR outsole provides traction and durability, yet incorporates an outsole pattern that is not too far removed from the original Jack Purcell. You could say that this shoe is the antithesis of the "if you've got it, flaunt it" mantra.

So, when it comes to the Converse Jack Purcell Evo, don't judge a book by its cover. Look deep, and you could very well have your cake, and eat it too!

Comfort - Score: 4.2

Enjoying his double helping of cake was Chris, who said, "I loved the comfort offered by these shoes. They felt great from the very first wear to the completion of the test. The Lunarlon cushioning system did a great job of taking the sting out of hard court play. I also enjoyed the comfort of the uppers. The shoes felt pliable and flexed well with my feet. I scored the shoes highly, and the only thing holding me back from a perfect 5 in comfort was that the wide fit had me sliding around inside the shoes a little. Due to that sliding, the bottom of my feet got a little sore towards the end of a tough match."

Brittany was a fan of the cushioning. She said, "I really liked the comfort of these shoes right out of the box. There was no break-in period, and they offered good cushioning in the heel. I did feel a little bit of rubbing on the top of my foot when I started playing, but it was because my narrow foot was moving in the shoe, causing some friction."

Thrilled with the use of Nike technology was Jason. He said, "I was very happy to see that this shoe is utilizing the Lunarlon cushioning system. The ride was well-cushioned, yet responsive and low-to-the ground. I thought the shoe needed no break-in at all. I had to knock off a few points because of the toe box. It narrows quickly, so I had some slight rubbing on my pinky toes. Other than that, it was fantastic."

Spencer felt the shoe allowed him to go full speed from the get-go. He said, "I was very happy with the comfort of the shoe, with the exception of it fitting a tad on the roomy side. There was no poking or pinching from the upper. It flexed and creased in the right spots for me. Because of the fit, I cinched up the laces more than I usually have to, and felt the shoes performed well from the first hit. There was no discomfort before, during or after my first session of hitting, where I was going full throttle. Well, as full throttle as I can go, mind you."

Also finding the fit of the shoes to be a little roomy was Kana. She said, "The shoe is relatively wide, so there was some slippage in the forefoot area. It seemed to pinch where the toe box creased, and I could feel where the material came together. The insole offered excellent comfort, as well as the heel collar and tongue. For me, it was a comfortable street shoe, but not comfortable for match play."

Ventilation - Score: 4.0

Adidas Baricade

For the most part, our testers felt cool and comfortable in the Jack Purcell Evos. Not noticing a lack of ventilation was Jason. He said, "I wore them on the court, as well as casually, and the shoes never felt hot to me. At the same time, I never felt these shoes were well ventilated either. What mattered to me was that I didnÕt have to think about the ventilation."

Spencer had similar sentiments, saying, "I didn't think this was the best ventilated shoe, but I never felt my feet overheating, either. The ventilation, or lack thereof, was a non factor."

Chris was impressed with the breathability. He said, "My feet never got hot in these shoes. No matter if I was playing all out or wearing them casually, my feet felt cool and comfortable. Top marks from me, here."

Brittany thought the Evo had room for improvement with ventilation. She said, "I felt there was some ventilation in these shoes. They were breathable, but at times I felt my feet heating up."

Kana expected more venting from the shoes. She said, "The shoe wasnÕt as breathable as I expected. The top seemed to have the most airflow, but the insole and sides felt like the cause of the heat build-up."

Arch Support - Score: 3.8

With a low fit through the arch area, fit was somewhat polarizing for our testers. Kana felt at home with the low arch support. She said, "There is barely any arch support, but because my foot is so flat IÕm okay with it being that low. I wouldÕve liked a little more support, but it kept it in line with the low-to-the-ground feel."

Preferring a higher arch for his feet was Chris. He said, "The arch support was low fitting, and I have medium to high arches. I definitely would have enjoyed a higher arch, but torsionally they were solid, and my feet felt safe in them."

Brittany had no issues with support, saying, "I had no complaints with the arch support in this shoe. I had zero issues, and the arch supported my foot without any pain."

The lower arch support worked well for Jason. He said, "I felt the support was slightly lower than medium, which was great for my feet! Not much to complain about here."

Spencer liked the support the shoes offered in the arch. He said, "The arch support was placed properly, with a low to medium height. It worked well with the contours of my feet."

Foot Support/Stability - Score: 3.7

The overall design of the Jack Purcell Evos proved to be both stable and supportive, with the only issues stemming from the wide fit. Chris felt the shoes were fast on court. He said, "These were flexible, fast shoes, rather than being ultra stiff and stable through the chassis. However, the shoes flexed in a good way, allowing the outsole to stay connected to the court during quick changes of direction. The shoes fit me a little too wide, but wearing two pairs of socks helped me fill them out. I had some issues with my feet sliding around inside the shoes, which lead to some discomfort on the bottom of my feet, but otherwise I did not feel my movement was hindered at all. I never had to worry about rolling an ankle, and I felt safe playing in the shoes."

Brittany had some fit issues. She said, "The shoes were too wide for my narrow feet. I had to tie my laces pretty tight to keep my feet from sliding side to side when moving on the court. even with the tight laces my heels were slipping, and I could have used a little more ankle support."

Jason liked the fit. He said, "This shoe fit my foot shape very well. Unlike the other playtesters, I did not experience any sliding around within the shoe. Side to side movement was fine, but I could feel my feet sliding at times when I moved forward and back. The lacing system on the shoe had me slightly concerned. I wasnÕt able to fully lock in my foot, no matter how tight I tied my laces. My ankles didnÕt feel totally secure, but the results were good because I had no problems once I started playing. I think the Flywire technology really helped the torsional support of the shoe."

Impressed with the performance was Spencer, who said, "At first glance it's tough to fathom this shoe providing a high level of support and stability. I suppose that's why we wear them, and don't just look at them. Maybe they offer a casual look, but they perform with the best of them on court. The Flywire did its job with the support in the upper, while the stiff shank and supportive midsole offered excellent stability. This is a solidly built shoe that can compete with all the top tier performance shoes."

Kana struggled to find a supportive fit. She said, "The shoe was too wide, so my feet slid around a lot. I felt there was enough support towards the heel, but in the forefoot there was just too much room. I donÕt mind wearing them for a casual hit, but for match play they felt too clunky."

Sole Durability - Score: 3.5

Adidas Barricade Women's Shoe

For durability, the Jack Purcell Evos offer Nike's XDR (extra durable rubber) outsole compound. Jason was happy with the durability he found. He said, "I wore the shoes for about 15 hours and was impressed with the outsoles. There was slight balding on the medial forefoot of both shoes, but that was about it. Truth be told, I was more conscious of my footwork and playing time when I wore these shoes because I didnÕt want to mess up the cosmetics. That probably played a factor in how the shoe wore down."

Not surprised with the wear on the outsoles was Chris, who said, "The outsole material seemed geared more towards traction than durability. The rubber is somewhat soft and started to show wear quickly. These shoes are more like the Vapor than the Ballistec, and I felt the level of wear was on par with what I've experienced in the Vapor 7 and 8."

Brittany felt the wear was a tad premature. She said, "The soles started to show some wear after a couple of weeks. The wear was mostly on the front sides and was a little more then I normally see."

In agreement was Spencer, who said, "For an XDR outsole, I was a tad displeased with the durability. I did notice some premature wear to the medial front side of both shoes. It could be that the soft rubber composition excels more on the traction front, resulting in a shorter wear period. "

Kana, who rarely experiences durability issues with her shoes, said, "The wear areas seemed average compared to other shoes IÕve tested."

Toe Durability - Score: 3.9

With its rubber toe bumper design borrowed for the original Jack Purcell, the Jack Purcell Evo proved durable at the toe. Chris felt the bumper held up well with his toe dragging. He said, "The toe bumper is pretty extensive due to the classic Jack Purcell styling, but the rubber was also pretty soft. While toe durability proved to be impressive, I was not happy with the scuffing on the toes because I loved wearing them casually so much. It was a first for me to worry about my toe dragging and what it would do to the cosmetics of my shoes."

Finding the wear to be standard was Brittany found normal wear on the toe box. She said, "This shoe held up to my toe dragging. You could see some smoothing on the toe box but nothing more than normal wear, and it didnÕt impact the cosmetics of the shoe."

Traction - Score: 4.5

Our entire team came away impressed by the level of grip they found in the Jack Purcell Evos. Chris gave high marks in the traction category. He said, "I thought the traction was exceptional. This is the fastest feeling shoe I've worn in a long time (perhaps since the original Vapor, the Air Zoom Vapor S2). I really enjoyed the way the outsoles would hook up with the court surface so I could make that all-important explosive first step. The outsole also transitioned exceptionally well from heel to toe. There was some nice lateral flex to further increase traction. If I were to go out and do court sprints, this would be my shoe of choice."

Finding solid traction was Brittany. She said, "These shoes were a little long for my foot size. When I was changing directions on the court, I could feel my foot sliding up and back in the shoe. Even though the shoe was wide, the traction was solid on the court."

Impressed with the traction was Kana, who said, "Right out of the box, I felt extremely confident making sharp cuts on the court. I could go for shots that were a far reach without worrying about slipping."

Jason liked the tack of the outsole. He said, "The full herringbone tread pattern provided the shoe with great traction. I felt the XDR outsole compound had great tack. There were only a couple of instances when I had to quickly change direction that I felt the shoe slide a bit. It was slight, but noticeable."

Fond of the amount of grip provided was Spencer, who said, "The traction was excellent. What the Evo lacked in durability, it made up for with traction. Kind of like performance tires; better stick means less durability. These outsoles had the perfect amount of tack to them."

Weight - Score: 4.3

Adidas Barricade Beauty Women's Shoe

Our team was happy with the weight and balance of the Jack Purcell Evos. Kana felt she could move well. She said, "These shoes were heavier than most of the other shoes IÕve tested, but they transitioned from heel to toe very well, so I felt faster than I thought I would."

Chris enjoyed the light weight feel. He said, "I thought the shoe played very light. I was moving absolutely at my full potential in these shoes. The way the shoes transitioned from heel to toe was excellent. I enjoyed the way they flexed and moved with my feet, and I think that contributed tremendously to the light feel I found."

Also feeling quick on court was Brittany, who said, "Considering the shoes were a bit on the heavy side for my liking, I felt they were remarkably fast on court. I felt light and quick when wearing them."

Jason liked the movement these shoes allowed him. He said, "I have no idea what the static weight of these shoes are, but I do know that they feel phenomenally light on my feet. With the light weight and the low to the ground ride, I felt like I could move very well out on the court."

Feeling the weight was distributed well in this shoe was Spencer. He said, "These weren't the lightest or the heaviest feeling shoes. They were, however, balanced well, making it easier to move around the court. I enjoyed the movement I had when playing in them. I didn't feel they were slowing me down in any way, shape or form."

Overall - Score: 4.1

The concept of a casual looking performance tennis shoe satisfied our test team. From a performance standpoint, the shoes impressed. The Nike technologies proved beneficial for even the most intense on-court exchanges. Though not all the testers agreed on what the best performance aspects of this shoe were, they did agree on the cool factor. Both on and off the court, these were shoes that offered a versatile fashion aspect. With the Jack Purcell Evos, one really can have style and performance. Now, back to that cake. Go ahead and have a second helping.

Likes

Kana - "The cosmetics and every day comfort of the shoe were excellent."

Chris - "I loved the light and fast feel, the traction, the comfortable ride, and most of all, the styling. Best looking tennis shoe I've worn, and I managed to keep them clean enough and free of scuffs that they still look great with jeans."

Brittany - "The cosmetics of these shoes are unique. On the court or off the court, the look is appealing to both men and women."

Jason - "First and foremost, I love the cosmetics! Performance wise, the traction, comfort and weight was what really did it for me."

Spencer - "The casual/hip/old skool cosmetic, with top of the line performance."

Dislikes

Kana - "It wasnÕt the performance shoe I was hoping for, as it fit too wide and felt clunky."

Chris - "The fit was wide for me and the arch support could have been higher."

Brittany - "The fit of the shoe. It was too wide for my foot."

Jason - "The lacing system could be improved to enable the uppers to be cinched up tighter. A bit too narrow of a toe box for me."

Spencer - "I would have liked the sizing to be more true. "

Compared the Jack Purcell Evos to other shoes they've worn, our testers said:

Kana - "Cosmetically, this has been one of my favorite shoes in the tennis world. In comparison to other tennis shoes, this shoe lacked the glove like fit, which brought down the comfort and performance on the court."

Chris - "On court these shoes reminded me of a wide version of the Air Zoom Vapor S2, as they were light, fast and not at all durable. However, the styling is truly unique, and I absolutely love the way they look when worn casually. This was the first shoe I've ever tested where I was concerned about how much I was scuffing them up on the court."

Brittany - "I like narrow fitting shoes like the Nike Lunar Speed 2 and the Nike Air Max Breathe Free II. This, unfortunately, fit me wrong in all areas."

Jason - "Reminds me a bit of the Vapor shoes, especially the Vapor 7s. It has that same lightweight fast feel to it. Cosmetically, there is nothing currently out on the market like this shoe."

Spencer - "In some ways I would compare them to the Vapors, as it has the same feel concerning cushioning, traction and a thin upper with Flywire."

 


Playtester Foot Types:
Chris - Narrow width/low arch
Jason - Wide Width / Low arch
Brittany - Narrow width/Medium arch
Kana - Wide width/Low arch
Spencer - Medium width/Medium arch

Review date: Febuary 2011. If you found this review interesting or have further questions or comments please contact us.

All content copyright 2011 Tennis Warehouse.