The Great Crocs Debate: How Did These ‘Ugly’ Shoes Become Fashionable?

A pair of crocs shoes

Love them or loathe them, Crocs are here to stay. Credit: Nathan Dumloa/Unsplash

Crocs are the Marmite of footwear. People either adore them or want to see every single pair in the world banned forever.

Akin to the pineapple on pizza debate, Crocs will cause people to have a love or hate relationship with them.

Once considered a terrible fashion faux pas, sales of Crocs soared in the first three months of the year.

The company’s revenues climbed by 64 per cent in the first quarter of 2023, reaching a record $460 million (£331m).

A Classic pair of crocs will cost you at least €44.99 and many others have sought to hitch a ride on the Croc bandwagon, especially the Chinese bazaars and street markets in Spain, where you can pick up an incorrectly sized pair for around €10.

The shoes initial design had holes, which are often mistakenly assumed for breathability.

However, they are actually intended to prevent waterlogging. This is due to the fact that they were essentially designed as an alternative to a boat shoe.

The founders started selling them in the early noughties, and they began to gain traction.

The shoes became popular for gardeners and health care workers, but soon gained a nasty reputation for their supposed ugly appearance and saw a decline around 2010.

Four weeks ago, the love it or hate debate was sparked again as Victoria Beckham, who once said she’d “rather die” than sport the comfy yet divisive shoes, posed in a pair for a photo shared on her Instagram Story.

Victoria Beckham
Go big or go home. Credit: Instagram/Victoria Beckham

Crocs, as with many items, transcend time in high-end fashion. Crocs could come in waves as many accessories do, which we could argue also contributes to the world of fast fashion today.

Although with the backing of celebrities and past their first bump in the road from bad perceptions that seemingly became primarily written off, maybe Crocs are here to stay, although, who quite knows what the future holds for the weird rubber footwear.

What do you think of Crocs? Love them or loathe them?

Use our poll to see the latest votes, and leave your comments in the box below.

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Written by

Jo Pugh

Jo Pugh is a journalist based in the Costa Blanca North. Originally from London, she has been involved in journalism and photography for 20 years. She has lived in Spain for 12 years, and is a dedicated and passionate writer.