Look, the title up there is phrased as a question but I think, in our heart of hearts, we know the answer. Crocs are peaking and you can either get on board the incredibly comfy footwear train or step aside.
It started as a trickle. First, we noticed friends in the hospo industry mentioning their adoration for the unapologetically clunky shoe and rocking them beyond the kitchen. The plastic clogs are a long-time favourite among chef-types for their supportive sole, in-built ventilation and the ability to quickly kick them off should something hot or saucy accidentally spill on you. (Let’s not think about what’d happen if you spilled boiling liquid on your feet while wearing sneakers.)
We started noticing them on our favourite fashion people-who-know. Flex Mami, aka the gal who spurs a thousand “add to cart” clicks with her on-point recommendations is a fan, as are Instagram fashion pathfinders Alani Figueroa and Devon Lee Carlson.
There’s been a myriad of increasingly high profile Crocs collabs. Post Malone’s Crocs collections have consistently sold out—to my initial confusion, but then, what isn’t confusing about Post Malone? There was Ruby Rose’s aggressively ugly platform pair, which also sold out. After, that is, being copped by the aforementioned Flex Mami and our cool friends who had mullets last year—well before they were a thing. And most recently? The man himself, Bad Bunny, dropped a crispy fresh white pair of Crocs complete with retro glow-in-the-dark Jibbitz charms. They have, of course, sold out.
Now, as a long time birks wearer—yes, birks and socks too—the appeal of a somewhat aesthetically divisive but extremely ergonomic shoe is nothing new. But Crocs? The evidence itself is overwhelming: Crocs are cool. But how did we get here? As with any perplexing sartorial matters, I slid into the DMs of some friends of Syrup.
O.G. Syrup writer Jamie Weiss (@prosecco_prole), currently slinging words at D’Marge, agrees. “My mind tells me no, but my body tells me yes,” he says, adding, “I think there’s a way to wear them.” Weiss points out that Romeo Beckham’s a fan too.
“I love them,” Polina Patrusheva (@polpats), a Sag working in media agency land, tells me. She copped the Ruby Rose ones, of course. “I wear mine constantly, they’re so comfy,” seconds Kelly Newton (@tofupuffdaddy), an Aries PR gun and yoga teacher in training.
“Honestly, I used to be a huge Croc hater when it was my mum wearing them, but I am a recent convert because I’ve seen them styled really well,” Patrusheva explains when I ask about the current Croc renaissance. “I think, like anything, when they’re styled well they look cute! Also, you can personalise them and it gives them a bit of personality. They are really comfy too, and just easy to wear,” says Patrusheva. “I’d consider them similar to sandals, as in they’re a fun summer vibe!”
When I ask how we feel about the Bad Bunny ones, other than ‘good because it’s Bad Bunny’, the feedback is positive. “I love the Bad Bunny ones,” Patrusheva says, “they’re really on-brand for him.” Meanwhile, Newton tells me that it was actually the Anwar Carrots Crocs collaboration that converted her partner, Sydney-based rapper Lt. Bil.
It’s not just clout from collabs that’s part of the Croc appeal, though. In fact, it might be more about their innate tongue-in-cheek playfulness. “I used to be a Croc hater too but the platform ones are so cute and comfy,” says Newton, “Like, they’re just not that serious with the lil charms, good to put on for going to yoga and etc.”
And in a year of disconnection, maybe Crocs are the shoes of the people? Inexpensive, durable, comfortable and a *conversation starter*. “They’re a conversation piece I feel, people always comment on them,” says Patrusheva. Newton agrees, “Yes! People comment on them all the time. The reaction is pretty sweet, I had a kid walk past and say I had cool shoes, which was adorable.”
So we’ve established Crocs are cutie, but how do they stack up next to our long-time favourite Birks? “Crocs are comfier than Birks, but Birks are more subtle,” intones Newton, “I wear them for different things. Get you a girl that does both.” This comfort ranking is news to me, and I press for more details. (I bought a pair of waterproof EVA Birks after reading a review by someone who walked the Camino de Santiago in a pair.)
“I would say that the platform Crocs are super comfy and I wear them often, but they are less practical if you’re going on a walk or etc,” says Newton. Patrusheva agrees that long-haul walks are a flat Croc-only zone, no platforms, please.
She also gently disparages the leather versions of my sandals of choice, “They’re nice when they’re new, but like realistically, everyone that has those sandal birks, every time I see them, the soles look like they’ve walked through a swamp in them. Which is fine if you want to look like a swamp witch, but Crocs won’t give you that look.” She backtracks, “Actually they kinda do too… whatever swamp witch realness all day e’ery day.”
Newton crystallizes the thought, which I feel is a perfect ending point in this pro-Croc investigation, “Crocs give you pastel swamp witch.” The final question plaguing me? What colour should I choose for my own entry into the wonderful world of Crocs.