Tracing the Meteoric Arrival of the Converse Sponge Crater
The Chuck Taylor All Star is the ultimate pair of Converse kicks, but 100-plus-year-old basketball shoes aren't all the brand is known for. They’re reminding everybody of that vehemently, as the new Sponge Crater has just crash-landed in the sneakersphere. Let’s see the mark that this disruptive style has made – at first sight, they’re the most un-Converse-like Converse shoe yet.
The most sensible place to begin with the Sponge Crater is its namesake Crater Foam shell. The recycled compound is derived from Nike Grind methodology that blends scrap shoe components into a craggy foam conglomerate. Previously used to add another dimension of comfort to midsoles, this model is the first to explore its structural use on the upper.
‘It is both an exploration and exaggeration of Crater Foam as a comfort material and a study in reducing complexity. It is made of only a few components, most notably our first full cage structure crafted from Crater Foam, which speaks to the silhouette’s design and also plays a part in helping ensure comfort,’ says Matt Sleep, design director of Energy at Converse.
As comfort is one of the key brief points of the Sponge Crater, there are plenty of considerations made to maximise the good times on-foot. Doing away with shoelaces is already a sign of the times, but check out how it takes the sock-fit to the next level. An engineered knit fabric bootie provides three-dimensional ergonomics and superior ventilation, all while holding the foot down. However, the ultimate mod con is the XL heel kick that encourages handsfree removal of the shoes.
The eggcrate-style tread is a 21st-century evolution of the idiosyncratic diamond outsole pattern found on the Chuck Taylor, and is now integrated directly into the sole rather than as a separate piece for direct comfort. While the Sponge Crater is visually about as far removed from Converse heritage as possible, it can’t help but incorporate just a touch of history.
Given the out-of-this-world form factor of the Sponge Crater, it only seems appropriate that the latest colourways look like they came from outer space – even without the A-COLD-WALL* co-sign that launched the model earlier this year. Tonal 'Black' and 'Natural Ivory' editions accentuate the craggy texture of the Crater Foam shell, while matching opaque inner socks invite a closer look at their intricate knit. Large pull tabs on the heel and front of ankle collar offer a semblance of familiarity, before entering a shoe from the future.
And the future is now: the Sponge Crater is available to shop directly from Converse. Hit the buttons below to cop them.