I recently got two versions of the Comme des Garcon Play Converse. The CDG Play Converse One Heart version I got in the official Comme des Garcon store in Japan, whilst the Multiple Hearts I got online from SSENSE. Without paying too much attention you can notice some slight differences between the shoes. I thought to make this post to show the differences between the two. Note that I did contact Converse customer service and they told me that “We have had a number of collaborations with Commes Des Garcon over the years and each one results in a slightly different design. This would account for the stylistic and manufacturing differences that you have found. It is likely that these are two pairs of Commes Des Garcon are from collaborations with Converse at different times.“
Here are some of the differences in the CDG Play Converse that I spotted:
1. The Box
The Japanese version of the CDG Play Converse comes in a smaller box (left) and the, I guess, European/World version comes in a larger box (right). When I browsed through Google Photos I saw that the larger box is more common. I suppose that the Japanese version is the single one out compared to the rest of the world.
2. Soles of the Shoes
Not sure if it’s super noticeable from the photos but the soles in the Japanese CDG Play Converse (left) is more matte. The world/Europe version feels and looks more rubbery/plastic-like (and shinier). The Japanese version is also slightly shorter than the world/Europe version. Hopefully you can see the difference from the photo below.
4. The Converse stamp and stitching of the shoes
Sorry for the dirty shoes, I’ve been wearing them on and off for the past few months and they’re a bit difficult to keep clean! I do notice that both shoes get dirty fast, but I feel like the Japanese version gets dirtier even faster. I suppose it’s because the soles of the Japanese CDG Play Converse are more matte and the dirt stains the shoes a little bit more. This doesn’t mean that the world version is anti-dirt. It attracts dirt just as much but I think it’s a bit easier to wipe off.
Anyways, onto the stitching and the Converse stamp. The back of the Japanese version is almost all black whilst the European/World version has visible white stitchings. I do like the Japanese version better in this regard, but it’s not that noticeable in person and it’s not really a life-changing difference.
As you can also see, the stamp on the Japanese CDG Play Converse is a bit smaller in comparison to the world/Europe version. I think this might also be because the world/Europe version has a taller sole/heel.
5. The insole of the shoes
Design-wise I think you can already see the differences. But, comfort-wise I would say that the Europe/World version wins 100%. The Japanese CDG Play Converse (left) has thinner insoles and feels like it gives less support. The insoles of the world/Europe version is more cushion-y and thick. I feel like that one is a lot more comfortable especially if you’ll use the shoes the whole day. Slight disclaimer though, I got the Multiple Heart version (world/Europe version) in size 39/US 6 whilst I got the One Heart version in size 38/US 5. I am in between sizes and for these shoes in particular, 38 is a bit more constricting than the 39. That could also be why the Europe/World version is more comfortable for me. But, I suppose the cushion in the world/Europe version adds a lot to the comfort level.
6. Bottom Soles
Again, sorry for the dirty shoes! The CDG Play World/Europe version has dark brown soles and hides a lot more whilst the Japanese version comes in white and obviously shows a lot more. As pretty as the white soles are, I wish that the Japanese version also comes with the dark soles because the dark one seems a lot more practical.
My personal opinion
I think that the Japanese CDG Play Converse is very minimalistic and is a bit more muted whilst the European/World version stands out a little bit more (especially because of the shiny thick soles). But, I think that I prefer the Europe/World version a little bit more because it offers more support and height. Also, the thick rubber/plastic bottom feels a bit more sturdy compared to the matte. All in all, the two aren’t very different from each other. Both versions work and they both look great.
It is a bit more difficult to find the Japanese version when you’re abroad- or even when you are there (I compiled some tips on where you can get them in Japan, check it out here). But, you might have a better chance of getting the world/Europe version from other retailers online (the online retailers are also linked here).
Price-wise they’re not too far apart. I think I paid 15,000¥ (approx. 126€) for the One Heart version at the official Comme des Garcon store in Tokyo and I paid 150€ + 20€ shipping for the Multiple Hearts version from SSENSE.
I hope that this helps, let me know if I have missed anything or if you have any questions 🙂
*Styling the CDG Play One Heart (Japanese version)*
**Styling the CDG Play Multiple Hearts (World/Europe version)**
Thanks for reading.
Hi… good comparison on both the Japan and the Euro/World version of the CDG converse sneakers. My friend bought a pair for me from Japan and I was wondering if the Japan version is as authentic/original as the Euro/World version?
Hi Ann, thanks! I think they just have a different version that’s unique to Japan. None of the stores (which I visited in Japan) sell the world/Europe version and they only had the version I showed in my article. But, I guess it also depends on where your friend bought it. So long as they got it at one of the official Comme des Garcon stores (http://www.comme-des-garcons.com/stores/jpen.html) or from reputable resellers like Dover Street Market, then I think it should be fine.
It should help that Japan has strict Anti-Counterfeit laws and the Customer Service of Converse (when I contacted them about it) explained that “We have had a number of collaborations with Commes Des Garcon over the years and each one results in a slightly different design. This would account for the stylistic and manufacturing differences that you have found.”