Crocs trend reignites debate between lovers, haters of the shoe

Crocs+reentered+the+fashion+world+when+celebrities+started+rocking+the+comfortable+clog%2C+but+mixed+opinions+soared+surrounding+the+trend.+Photo+courtesy+of+Alexandra+Golden.

Crocs reentered the fashion world when celebrities started rocking the comfortable clog, but mixed opinions soared surrounding the trend. Photo courtesy of Alexandra Golden.

Catie Pusateri, Reporter

As the world went on lockdown last year, comfort replaced couture. Crocs, arguably one of the most polarizing footwear brands, returned to the fashion scene during quarantine. These shoes garner attention and strong opinions about their bright colors, unparalleled design and self-proclaimed comfort.

Ever since its release in 2002, Crocs have faced numerous debates about whether or not the shoes are ugly. Despite disagreements over Crocs’s attractiveness, its popularity is undeniable. Crocs has sold more than 600 million pairs and currently makes about $1 billion in annual sales. 

In the past year, some celebrities donned these slip-on shoes and reignited the Crocs trend. Post Malone, Justin Bieber, Ruby Rose and Bad Bunny collaborated with the brand and sparked conversations about Crocs’s practicality and its place in the fashion industry. 

“I’m really thinking they [Crocs] are going to be a new trend because I see all these celebrities wearing them; you know, it’s like the trickle-down fashion from the celebrities always goes into the general population,” said Harry Seremetis, a sophomore fashion design major at Kent State. “I’m thinking we’re going to see a lot more of them in the future.”

Celebrities often act as glamorous fashion influencers, but the revival of the Crocs trend shows some celebrities choosing a more accessible and relatable shoe. Justin Bieber recently paired a bright yellow outfit with matching Crocs, while Bad Bunny sported a monochrome white ensemble with matching Crocs. 

Contrary to popular belief, Crocs are not made of rubber or plastic. They are made of Croslite, a proprietary closed cell resin that makes the shoes lightweight and odor-resistant, according to FootArt. The brand also sells Jibbitz charms that fit into the Crocs’ holes and let customers personalize them.

Despite some celebrities incorporating Crocs into their wardrobes, the general population seems largely split when it comes to loving or hating Crocs. The brand promotes its shoes as “delightfully comfortable” on its website, and some Crocs lovers echo this sentiment. 

“I love Crocs because they’re really comfortable and easy to put on,” said Elise Smith, a Kent State sophomore visual communication design major. “They’re just a good shoe to wear if you have to go outside to do something quick or you don’t want to dress up that day. They’re just a good, dependable shoe to do everyday activities.”

On the other hand, some people disagree with Smith and other Crocs lovers. There is a blog solely dedicated to hating Crocs entitled ihatecrocs.com. Created by Vincenzo Ravina in 2006 as Crocs were on the rise, the blog sold anti-Crocs merchandise and posted videos cutting up the shoes. The website sat dormant for about 10 years until September 2020 when Slate interviewed Ravina about Crocs returning. 

Although Ravina’s blog is no longer active, disdain for Crocs lives on. Janelle Sessoms, a Kent State sophomore fashion merchandising major, said she finds Crocs ugly and unstylish. 

“I don’t think they’re cute,” Sessoms said. “I don’t think they’re high fashion, I don’t think they’re commercial. I just passionately do not like them personally. I don’t own a pair. I would never buy a pair.”

Crocs bounced in and out of popularity over the years, but made it to the runway in 2017. Balenciaga unveiled platform Crocs at Paris Fashion Week retailing for $850. Crocs even made it to “RuPaul’s Drag Race” this year as Ginny Lemon, a drag queen from season two of “RuPaul’s Drag Race UK,” rocked bright yellow platform Crocs on the runway. 

“With anything with fashion, people are either going to love it or hate it,” said Jamie Spangler, a freshman interior design major at Kent State.

After Crocs’s popularity among celebrities in 2020, they could be the trend to look out for in 2021. Fashion is all about self expression and if Crocs are this year’s outlet of choice, then brace for brightly-colored Crocs adorned with personalized Jibbitz charms. 

“Do your thing,” Seremetis said. “I mean it’s sick; I’m not going to sit here and clown you for wearing Crocs because fashion is subjective.”

Catie Pusateri is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected]