How Crocs made it back onto our feet again

Alice Sholl
Contributor
A classic 2007 pair of Crocs [Photo: PA]

You can see why Crocs are a controversial shoe.

More garden furniture than footwear in appearance, they’re hardly sophisticated or subtle, and dare to defy the ‘no pain no gain’ rule of fashion by being very, very comfortable.

Yet, they’ve been making a comeback. Apparently, eBay recently reported a massive uptick in online searches for the shoes logging a massive 25,000 hits in the month to April.

Mail Online reports that they sold almost 15,000 pairs during the same period, which is the equivalent to almost 20 pairs sold an hour – baffling people that see them as universally ugly.

Crocs’ success is a result of their unconventional attributes, however, rather than despite them.

We all know that the catwalk has a habit of picking up on whatever gives us goose bumps and putting it in the spotlight, and it’s done this with Crocs for months.


Scottish fashion designer Christopher Kane made headlines last summer thanks to his Crocs collaboration, which involved creating pairs of high-end, tiger-striped Crocs complete with pom-poms.

That autumn, he persisted again, walking Crocs with added gems and fur trims at his Spring 2018 London Fashion Week Show.

At which point he was joined by the ever-baffling Balenciaga, which swapped out its usual stilettos for a pair of platform, pink embellished Crocs at Paris Fashion Week.

Still think Crocs belong in your mum’s greenhouse rather than Instagram? Well, it wasn’t long ago that we thought dad sneakers should stay somewhere similar.

And nowadays, an Ikea bag is no longer just an accessory to argue over a Billy bookcase with.

Back in the land of footwear, there are also other super-plasticky shoes making waves that might ring a few bells.


Kim Kardashian has been rocking Kanye’s Yeezy footwear for years, including this pair of Cinderella heels that look fresh from a 3D printer and could well pass for Crocs’ high-maintenance cousins.

But unlike Kanye’s painful-looking shoes (and loads of other fashionable kinds of footwear), Crocs’ unique selling point is comfort.

And comfort – more specifically, self-care – is having a big moment right now. Instead of something sensible and dull to rebel against, wellness has become a lifestyle movement in its own right among younger generations.

Looking after yourself mentally and physically is at the heart of self-care; ditching late nights and booze for a good night’s sleep and healthier habits.

Being sensible has become cool. And Crocs just happens to be one of the few footwear brands that screams sensible – its website even stating that it’s “dedicated to the future of comfort”.

Hell, even Kanye has tried bringing a Croc-like slider to Yeezy recently, to mixed reactions.

Whether it comes from a desire to break convention or be super-comfortable, the Crocs wave has arrived.


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