The Controversy of Crocs

Whether you love them or hate them, Crocs are undoubtedly recognizable. The rubber shoes can be spotted on six year olds at your local public pool, populating the lockers of high school athletes, or any location where people have forgone dressing up. Crocs have even made it onto the runway, with notable iterations of the shoe at Christopher Kane’s spring/summer show in 2017, and the infamous platform Croc at Balenciaga’s spring/summer 2018 show. In more recent years, celebrities such as Post Malone, Justin Bieber, and even Drew Barrymore have collaborated with the brand. 

Crocs were released in 2001 as “boating shoes,” but based on my personal experience, let me tell you that this description is completely inaccurate. I sail in the summer, and wearing rubber slip-ons on a wet, slick surface is a recipe for disaster. Moreover, they are extremely buoyant, so if there is ever water in the boat or you fall in the ocean, your feet will immediately float to the surface and render you unable to swim. While this buoyancy prevents the shoes from sinking to the seafloor if they fall overboard, there are plenty of other shoes that are better equipped for boating. Although they really don’t deliver their intended purpose of boating (and they look like rubber “hooves” in the wise words of Tim Gunn), these things are incredibly comfortable and definitely better suited for leisure wear. The design gives great arch support, and while rubber and foam are an unconventional choice, they can be easily cleaned, and do not get worn out easily. All in all, a great shoe for after a long day of sailing, but not too hot on the water. 

When they were released, Crocs were immensely popular. So popular in fact, that the funky clogs were subject to counterfeit “croc-offs.” Crocs have also had their fair share of legal disputes with well-known brands— they’ve sued Skechers for copying patented designs, and are involved in ongoing lawsuits with another rubber clog company called Dawgs. Now, if any sensible person looked at a pair of “Dawgs” (which is an unfortunate name), they would see that these shoes are clearly a rip-off. Although they are made of the same material and adventure strap, the holes are square instead of round, and “Dawgs” can’t even be accessorized with jibbitz. Thus, this misfortunate shoe ends up looking like the cheapest sandals you can buy at the resort in Turks and Caicos on your family vacation when you lose your own flip flops at the water park. They should have never been allowed to exist or piggyback off of the Crocs enterprise.  

Personally, I am a long-time fan of Crocs. The aforementioned comfort, colors, different styles, and personalization available with jibbitz are all wonderful qualities. A favorite variant of mine is the fur-lined Crocs, which provide insulation from the snow and cold temperatures in the harsh New England winters. I currently have five pairs: white with Lightning McQueen jibbitz, navy blue with Spongebob jibbitz, black with a flame print, camouflage with fur, and a pair of black Crocs sans-ventilation holes that I *customized* and painted fish onto. Despite being a total eye-sore, Crocs never disappoint in being a nostalgic and comfortable choice of footwear.