The Comeback of Crocs

Are the fashionable water shoes making a return?

By Lizzie Sexton.

If you grew up in the early 2000s, there’s a decent chance you owned or at least wanted a pair of Crocs. I know I did. The foam clogs had a decent hold on adolescents for a number of reasons; maybe it was the versatility, the resilience, or the customization. Regardless, Crocs were the shoe to have after their release in 2002. But what about now?

20 years later…

Shortly after the 2002 release of Crocs, the shoes gained immense popularity. Many said it was the comfort the shoes provided, also stating they were a “ubiquitous summer shoe” since they are waterproof, but it’s no secret that Crocs were somewhat controversial within the fashion community (Retail Wire). The clog-looking appearance of Crocs turned many off, but, contrarily, the peculiarity drew many in. It became ironic to wear the unique-looking water shoes. Soon enough, Crocs introduced Jibbitz, charms meant to decorate and personalize one’s Crocs, which did nothing to aid their foolish image. The overall style of the Croc became laughable. Who would wear a silly, childish shoes? Turns out–in 2022–everyone.

It’s all fun and games…

Crocs are like the time 11:11 on the clock, once you notice them, you never stop. After seeing one pair of Crocs on SMU’s campus, the rest accumulated like a plague. Why had I seen nearly six pairs of Crocs and I hadn’t even made it to my second class? The popularity was specifically among the male student body. Over the course of the last 20 years, Crocs have marinated within the fashion industry, only causing their irony to grow. Wearing Crocs has become ironically hilarious. So much so that Croc lovers were willing to invest in the most elaborate of Crocs. Among these desirable designs the featured Crocs Shoes Crocs X Margaritaville Men’s Classic Clogs. This style is a collector’s edition and can easily run for upwards of $100 on eBay. The shoes showcase a tropical motif with all sorts of decorative Jibbitz, including a salt shaker, lime, shot glass, ice cubes and a working bottle opener. While this design isn’t the most practical, the absurdity is just outlandish enough to be desirable for Croc enthusiasts and Margartiaville lovers alike. 

Stand out, wear Crocs.

Wearing clothing items ironically isn’t a new practice. Even the most famous fashion houses embrace irony on the runway. While Balenciaga is collaborating with Crocs, Vetements is turning slouchy t-shirts into high fashion and Moschino is releasing dresses designed after plastic bags. What’s that saying? “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”? These high fashion brands are not expecting consumers to throw on heeled Crocs for a quick trip to the grocery store, the separation lies within the financial aspect. Only a few can afford the impracticalities of ironic, “ugly” designer pieces. Hence: ironic fashion. Although, college-aged boys have always been the best judges of fashion, haven’t they?

Ultimately, Crocs are unique, versatile, and insanely customizable; some would say “all terrain.” If you need a pair of shoes to take you from day to probably late afternoon, these are the shoe for you! Whether it’s the Margaritaville or Balenciaga collaboration, there’s a Croc for everyone. And don’t forget to accessorize with Jibbitz!

Lizzie Sexton

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