When Crocs announced that Salehe Bembury, the creative director behind the brand's Pollex division, would be leading their venture into the world of sneakers, expectations were undoubtedly high. However, the debut sneaker, the Juniper, has proven to be anything but conventional. Designed to challenge preconceived notions, Bembury's creation marks a significant departure from the iconic Crocs clogs that have become synonymous with the brand.
First and foremost, the Juniper deviates from the norm by not utilizing the familiar foam material, Croslite, found in Crocs' signature clogs. This unexpected material shift immediately sets the Juniper apart from its more traditional counterparts. The sneaker is also not a wipeable slip-on, a characteristic trait associated with classic Crocs. In essence, the Juniper challenges the very essence of what it means to be a Croc.
Contrary to the bulbous clogs that have defined Crocs for years, the Juniper sneaker introduces a more streamlined and contemporary silhouette. One of the few features reminiscent of the classic Croc design is the presence of ventilation holes on the toe, albeit in a scaled-down version compared to the familiar Classic Clog. The rest of the shoe, however, seems to belong to an entirely different universe of footwear design.
If not for the unmistakable Crocs branding on the tongue, hangtag, and interior, one could easily mistake the Juniper for a creation from another avant-garde sneaker label. Salehe Bembury's distinctive touch is evident in every detail, showcasing his reputation for pushing the boundaries of conventional sneaker design.
Despite its departure from the traditional Crocs aesthetic, the Juniper embodies a unique and progressive product that aligns with Bembury's adventurous design philosophy. Although an official release date is yet to be announced, the Juniper is just the beginning of Crocs' ambitious foray into the sneaker market in 2024.
Crocs, renowned for its iconic clogs, seems poised to redefine its image with a series of sneakers that reflect a more stylish and contemporary approach. As the brand expands its horizons, Bembury's influence is likely to play a pivotal role in transforming Crocs into a bona fide sneaker brand. The Juniper, with its unexpected design elements, sets the stage for an exciting chapter in the evolution of this iconic footwear label.


Adam Jordan Moosa