We’ve known for some time that James Bond wore the Converse Jack Purcell OTR Mids in chocolate and paprika during the Madagascar chase sequence at the start of Casino Royale. You can read more about the boots at James Bond Lifestyle.
Much like the Coca-Cola® bottle, the shape of the toe bumper on the Jack Purcell line from Converse is a classic. With the different materials, features and design details used in the OTR model, what you end up with is some sort of vintage basketball/skateboarding/rock climbing approach shoe hybrid that’s pretty distinctive and hard to match.
Features Wanted for the Converse Jack Purcell OTR
- Ankle height boot
- Reddish brown leather upper with minimal stitching
- Black rubber wrap around outsole with no lugs or heel block
- Black rubber toe bumper and external heel cup
- Lacing extends close to the toe box
Best Option for the Converse Jack Purcell OTR
The originals are still turning up on ebay and the fan forums; they’re rare but the prices usually aren’t completely unreasonable. As for alternatives, we’re starting to see more options turn up.
Frye Ryan Lug Midlace Sneaker in Brown: $89.92 to $188.00
The Frye Ryan one moves up to best in class. Amazon has all sizes in stock and, believe it or not, they’re not trying to shaft the common sizes too badly on the price. A size 9 goes for $135.36.
Fur lined, you say? Well, that won’t work for Madagascar. But for the upcoming winter months (and they are coming), it might just do the trick. Available from Amazon on both sides of the pond, and all sizes are in stock.
Born Sanchez in Light Brown: on sale for $69.00
The Born Sanchez shoe is a lighter brown, lower cut and uses leather on the toe and heel instead of rubber. But I’ve had a few pairs of Born boots and for the money, the quality has been excellent (one pair is going on 6 years of fairly hard use now).
The suede accents and big Polo patch at the ankle are less than ideal. But if you swap out the laces for a round pair, these aren’t too bad.
If you’re willing to lean a little more to the approach shoe design, there’s the Keen Austin in Chocolate Brown, available at both Amazon U.S. and Amazon UK. The pricing (not surprisingly) is all over the place.
Let’s say you like the look of the OTRs, but you hate laces. Introducing the Camper Beetle! All joking aside, these could be a nice alternative if you want to capture the look of the originals, but with a twist. Available at Amazon UK, but sizes are running low on Amazon U.S. If they don’t have the size you need, try Zappos, where they’re on sale for $155.99 .
If the Frye Ryans aren’t doing it for you, the company also has the the Justin Mid Lace. A more streamlined looking shoe, it’s missing the bumpers at the toe and heel. But the leather has a similar “basketball” type texture and the color is a good match.
Options from Converse
So, what’s actually available from the original manufacturer? Converse isn’t really doing much in this style right now. The closest option I could find is the Unisex Chuck Taylor All Star Combat in Burnt Umber for $84.99 to $94.99 at Amazon. They have a nice, big zipper up the front and sizes are very limited.
If you’ve found a good alternative, feel free to share it in the comments below! And remember to check out our Facebook page, Instagram account and Pinterest Boards for more James Bond style advice, inspiration and info on where to find the latest deals!
This post was updated August 8th, 2016.