Ah Crocs, AKA the shoe that's sparked a thousand debates - be it in your home or the fashion world at large. Now they're in the headlines again thanks to a slew of stylish A-listers and, with warm weather drawing closer, it's time to ask the age old question once more: are Crocs cool?
Pull up a seat and get comfy folks, because here is the first piece in our new content series focusing on Marmite-type trends (AKA trends that people feel very strongly about). To kick things off, two Cosmo fashion staffers weigh in on the divisive sandal and whether they'll be wearing them in 2021.
I'm a fan!
Maddy - Acting Shopping Editor
Okay, I’ll just lay it on the line: I own a pair of Crocs. Well, knockoffs that I’m pretty sure I panic-bought en route to a rainy camping trip, but…they’re basically clones of the real deal.
Look, it’s not my fault. I was born and raised in the semi-rural US, and most of our free time involved some sort of messy outdoor pursuit. Like on my first proper date, when a boy gallantly took me “mudding,” AKA skidding around forest trails in a ginormous Jeep. Or jumping off the rope swing after school, which involved a mile-long trek down a soggy riverside path.
I spent my youth trying to ignore the need for the practical outdoor shoes that these activities so obviously required. My teenaged vanity (insecurity, let’s be honest) protested loudly that practical shoes looked “ugly” with a bikini, but I eventually had to relent after dramatically cutting my toe on a tin can at the river, requiring stitches at A&E. (Sorry, dad, you were right).
So we a) spent most of our time in a swimsuit and b) also some questionable-looking, but arguably very sensible, outdoor shoes. Crocs, Tevas, Birkenstocks, Chacos, Rainbows, even cowboy boots - all of these have been worn and loved in my hometown for my entire life, by everyone from little kids to otherwise-trend-conscious-teenagers and our parents. You just needed them, so the “ugly shoe” factor somehow got neutralised after a while. Everyone had them, so it didn’t seem weird or try-hard.
Every so often, the fashion industry “reclaims” one of the ugly shoe stalwarts and pitches them as the must-have accessory again, to varying degrees of success. I’m here for it every time tbh - I own all of them anyway. Crocs are having a renaissance right now, kind of like how Uggs made a big comeback with Hollywood stars this winter. Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj, Ruby Rose… they’re all styling Crocs in different ways.
I think they’re hilarious, and the kind of comfy shoe that you throw on to run to the corner shop in. Or walk the dog. Or wear on a mega-long road trip. IMO they work best with sweatpants and superrr casual, colourful clash-y outfits, and I am secretly obsessed with the camo ones. They’re the shoe that everyone’s favourite class clown would wear – just being goofy and not taking anything too seriously, including fashion. And tbh that’s my whole attitude towards post-lockdown dressing – if it doesn’t spark joy, I don’t want it. (Plus, comfort is high on my agenda after a year of snuggly home-clothes and slippers.)
I say, if you want to wear them, wear them! Even if Victoria Beckham says otherwise.
Eh, I need more convincing
Natasha - Fashion Editor (Print & Digital)
You know how Gretchen Wieners kept tryna make ‘fetch’ happen, but Regina George wasn’t picking up what she was putting down? Well, that’s exactly how I feel about Crocs and their fashion comeback. In fact, I think Victoria Beckham summed it up perfectly when she (rather dramatically) stated that she would "rather die" than wear the lilac Crocs Justin Bieber sent her (lol).
But before I go on, I have to caveat this by saying that everyone’s sense of style is different - that’s what makes fashion so damn cool. After all, it would just be boring if everyone dressed exactly the same, right? And I’d never dream of suggesting that there are hard and fast ‘rules’ that everyone must follow, because where’s the fun in that? But, for me, I just don’t get Crocs. At all.
Over the years, the chunky sandals have shifted from being a pop-culture reference to now slowly (and squeakily) creeping their way into the wardrobes of edgy A-listers ranging from Post Malone to Miley Cyrus. There’s no denying their popularity is on the rise, but the one question I still can’t quite answer is why?
Granted, I have to admit, they’re kiiiiind of practical. But so are trainers. The only scenario where I can imagine Crocs having an edge over the tradish lace-ups is if you’re wading through shin-deep water which is a) mega unlikely for most of the year, even in the UK, and b) even then, would deem said Crocs practically invisible anyway.
The arguments of ‘but they’re ironic’, or ‘a bit of fun’ are all fair, and true. But I’m still not convinced they’re 'cool' #sorrynotsorry. And I'm all for some 'ugly' shoes, like Birkenstocks and the dad trainer trend (although the latter is more likely due to my enduring love of all things sneaker-related). But Crocs? I’ve just never understood it. Heck, maybe I never will. And that’s ok! As with any divisive fashion trend, the most valuable piece of advice is: you do you, boo.
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