An Ode to Crocs, The Ugly Rubber Shoe That’s Finally Getting the Respect It Deserves

crocs love letter
Courtesy of Crocs

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Update: This article was originally published on April 19, 2021. A lot has happened in the world of Crocs since then. Recently, SPY editors named Crocs one of the Best Christmas Gifts of 2021. We also named Crocs the top casual shoes of the year in The 2021 Man, our annual end-of-year product awards. To reflect these developments, we’ve updated the bottom of this post with additional resources for our fellow Crocs lovers of the world. We longer have to live in shame!

Below, you can check out our original love letter to Crocs along with new info on what’s new in the world of Crocs (surprisingly, a lot!). 

  

I’ve been holding this in for a while, and it’s high time I got it off my chest. Thank you, loyal SPY readers, for indulging me as I admit the truth:

I love Crocs.

Not in an ironic way, but in the genuine, wholehearted way.

They’re a perfect shoe. Despite the fashion-challenged look, overall lack of style and arguably high price tag, Crocs are more popular in 2021 than ever before.

crocs Image by SPY.com and Tyler Schoeber
  

How Crocs Became the Official Clogs of Comfort

Crocs first came out in 2002, and the classic Crocs have barely changed in the almost two decades since. Whereas most footwear brands constantly change and tweak their designs from season to season, Crocs are a constant.

They were first introduced as comfy boating shoes in the early aughts in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Is anyone surprised these shoes are from Florida?) They’ve since sold more than 700 million pairs around the world and made over $1 billion in revenue. The Crocs success story baffles many people to this day, because for every person like me that unabashedly loves Crocs, there are people who hate them just as much.

I don’t have time for Crocs haters, and neither does the brand. They’ve expanded beyond their flagship clog design and created Crocs sandals, slides, flip flops, wedges, loafers and even sneakers. They’re worn by frontline workers like nurses, chefs and retail workers who need a steady and comfortable shoe to stand on all day long.

Camo clog croc, best crocs Courtesy of Crocs

Crocs’ distinct look — from the thick ankle strap to the chunky rubber structure and the bulbous curved edge — is central to their charm, but it’s also the reason some people hate Crocs so much.

Crocs aren’t successful despite their ugly design. Rather, ugliness is part of their secret sauce, and with the rise of dad shoes and the anti-fashion movement, Crocs are more popular than ever. And if that’s not an inspiring message for anyone with body image issues, then I don’t know what is.

  

How Crocs Won Over the Footwear World

Crocs clogs are extremely popular with front-line workers and anyone else who needs to stand all day, but they also have a celebrity fanbase. This year we saw a collaboration with Diplo that sold out instantly. That was just the latest in a line of collaborations that has helped elevate the profile of these rubber clogs.

Other Crocs collaborations include five different pairs with Post Malone, a rapper who’s made it abundantly clear he doesn’t care about looking good. The brand has also worked with Justin Bieber on a signature pair, released a pair with country music star Luke Combs, as well as a pair with Latin music star Bad Bunny. These shoes have made it. They’ve used their soft yet rigid soles to stomp on everyone who ever doubted them.

Crocs have also entered the world of designer fashion. In 2018 Balenciaga released a pair of designer platform Crocs that topped favorite product lists for the entire year. In 2021, Balenciaga and Crocs teamed up again for two new shoes, high heel Balenciaga Crocs and an actually-stylish pair of boots.

Balenciaga crocs The original Balenciaga Crocs, released in 2018. Courtesy of Neiman Marcus
balenciaga-X-Crocs-Madame-80mm The Balenciaga high heel Crocs, released in 2021. Courtesy of Balenciaga

Crocs can be a true fashion statement. They’re a shoe that doesn’t give AF about looking even marginally attractive. It’s all about comfort and living your best life. It’s a shoe for adventure, a shoe for taking care of your tired old feet, and a shoe for tending your garden.

Crocs fulfill a deep human desire to free ourselves of restriction, to take care of ourselves and be seen and accepted by others for who we truly are — and I believe that’s why they haven’t wavered in their space within the public eye.

tie dye crocs Courtesy of Crocs

Crocs have defied all odds, and you can even find Crocs stores in some of America’s busiest shopping areas. And in a post-quarantine fashion world, we don’t expect the focus on comfortable fashion to disappear anytime soon.

Simply put: Crocs are the fucking best, and if you don’t agree I challenge you to wear a pair every day after work for a month and see what your feet tell you. I dare you to wear them on a creek stomping excursion and feel them dry out two minutes after exiting the water. I wish for you to feel the satisfying, soothing, almost tender sensation of flipping the ankle strap over the back of your foot and knowing, without a shadow of a doubt, that your shoe is going to be there for you all day long.

So if you haven’t discovered the joys of Crocs yet, then get over yourself, live a little, put your stylish shoes away and treat yourself to the exhilarating freedom that comes from wearing the most lovable, recognizable and adorably repulsive shoes ever made.

Embrace the Big Croc Energy, and live the rest of your days in peace.

  

Looking for More Crocs Goodness?

Since we first published our love letter to Crocs, we’ve actually covered a lot of Crocs news. In addition to featuring Crocs in our guides to the best dad shoes and the best gifts for women in 2021, we’ve also been keeping our readers up to date on the latest Crocs releases.

Check out some additional Crocs news, shopping guides and resources below, and start wearing your Crocs with Pride!

Read More:

crocs, best Christmas gifts Courtesy of Crocs
  

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