Brand: Richardson x Converse Japan

Season: Addict Jack Purcell

Release Date: December 23

Price: ¥30,800 (about $270)

Buy: Richardson's Japanese web shop and Tokyo flagship, select Japanese Converse Addict stockists

Editor's Notes: Richardson is ending the year strong with its collaborative Converse Jack Purcell, part of the Japanese footwear company's Holiday 2021 collection. It's about as high-end as Converse get, though you'll have to travel abroad to get hands-on with it.

Converse Addict, if you aren't familiar, is the premium sub-label of Converse Japan. Note that Converse Japan isn't owned by Nike; in a series of licensing legalities, it became Japan-only in the '80s or so and is still distinct from the operation overseen by The Swoosh.

Of all the Japanese Converse product, Addict is the most premium offering. Made in small batches and rarely sold online, Addict collections include a Chuck Taylor or two, maybe a Jack Purcell and, occasionally, a one-off silhouette inspired by Converse heritage, like the One Star Loafer.

Having already issued some nifty collabs with Nonnative x Wacko Maria and L.L. Bean, this Richardson partnership is a strong end to Converse Japan's commanding 2021.

Fitted with a branded suede upper, Richardson's special Jack Purcell also boasts GORE-TEX lining, a removable insole, a reinforced rubber midsole, metal aglets, and the signature Addict Vibram sole.

It's modeled by multi-disciplinary artist Paul McCarthy in a shoot helmed by photographer Glen Luchford, affecting a suitably louche attitude.

Not only is this one of Richardson's few sneaker collaborations — it created a pair of Vans several years back but they were canceled — but this is one of the year's finest Converse, if not one of the best Converse ever (with a price tag to match).

I mean, does it get better than suede, GORE-TEX, and Vibram, with all the fixin's? Too bad they won't drop anywhere outside of Japan.

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