Crocs Have Been Raising Hell for 20 Years, and the Haters Can Cry About It

Crocs survived the Vibe Shift, and are continuing to give us platforms, studs, tie dye prints, and a lineup of wild high fashion collabs.

Mar 18 2022, 11:30am

Can you believe Crocs turned 20 this year? It feels like only yesterday that I saw my first Croc at a California outlet mall as a teen. They were light as a feather, yet as sturdy and bendy as my post-braces aligners. Either my mother took home a pair, or we talked about it for weeks on end—either way, they left an undeniable impression. Whether you loved or hated them, you just couldn’t unsee Crocs. They were an alien life force in peak Y2K regalia, as dorky as they were mysterious. Were they really that comfortable? Well, everyone’s boomer dad seemed to think so. 

Unisex Adult Classic Clog
$30 at Amazon

$49.99 at Crocs

You could rock Crocs at the beach, the lake, or the mall. You could cake them in mud, and power-wash them clean without leaving so much as a scratch on their fleshy resin surface. 

But even for all of their earnest utility, Crocs remained polarizing. Soon, there were anti-Crocs websites such as I Hate Crocs Dot Com, and the vitriol hit a boiling point by the late 2010s, when everyone was going hard for millennial pink and a minimalist, mid-century modern decor revival, not a trypophobia-inducing clog. Or so it seemed, because they continued to fly off the shelves. Regardless of where you stand on Crocs, the memes were, and remain, top-tier. There are over 1,200 results on Instagram under the #crocsmemes hashtag, and the account @beancrocdaily posted the same exact picture of these bean-filled Crocs every day—but we digress.  


The conversation shifted again once high fashion got Crocs-curious; which isn’t to say it stopped, but it had to answer to a new era of Crocs that was a little cheekier and more self-referential; the brand leaned into its role as the shoe everyone loved to troll, and trolled them back by lining up impressive designer collaborations that continue to roll out like clockwork—and sell out even faster. The collabs began in 2016, when Christopher Kane presented an over-the-top collaboration with the brand, and really hit their stride in 2018 when Balenciaga released massive platform Crocs onto the runway:

Soon, the public noticed how Nicki Minaj personalized her pink Crocs, along with a slew of other stylish celebrities such as Post Malone and Pharrell. We watched Idris Elba and Pete Davidson wear Crocs on the big screen, and saw Bad Bunny release glow-in-the-dark Crocs that sold out in a heartbeat. Ever the faithful collaborator, Balenciaga’s Spring 2022 boot and ass-kicking, studded Crocs have become the most recent offering to the Cult of Crocs and the streetwear kids who worship them. 

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And you know what? Us regular folks love Crocs, too. “They make your feet look like gigantic doll feet,” writes one Amazon reviewer. “But they are THE most comfortable and convenient shoes I’ve ever worn”; “I must stand my ground with my feet in these suckers,” said another customer, “[they] feel like what I imagine [walking on] Minions from Despicable Me would feel like”; “GO HARD OR GO HOME,” wrote a fan of her hot-pink Crocs.  

There will always be folks who insist that Crocs are shit, but they’re… categorically wrong? Cheugy? Not in matters of opinion, of course (please, like what you like!) but definitely in terms of sartorial power. Crocs have left the pillory for good, and ascended to the ranks of normcore royalty along with socks with sandals and fanny packs. After all, what piece of footwear has been as iconic—and affordable—as Crocs over the past 20 years? Sure, UGG boots are getting their moment in the sun again with Telfar, but only Crocs can say they’ve bridged the gap between the new millennium to the 2020s. Somehow, they’ve successfully crossed over in The Great Vibe Shift


Today, Crocs are fixtures of gorpcore bros, streetwear lovers, and your uncle in Colorado with the great garden. They go great with berets, cargo shorts, and rhinestone bikinis, because if you choose Crocs, you choose comfort—but you also choose chaos. Not that Crocs care what you think about them, anyways. (Have you seen their removable charms?) They’re busy. But whether you’re looking for a new set of comfy house shoes, casual slip-ons, or Crocs worthy of a wedding (fight me), you can bet there’s a set of these sweet toe peepers for you. 

Are you new here?

Baby’s first Crocs can be anything, from le classique Croc in black (or any number of the two dozen colors these Crocs come in), to the inspired set born from Crocs’ collaboration with Peeps—yes, those Peeps. We’ll get to them in a moment.  

Unisex Adult Classic Clog
$30 at Amazon

$49.99 at Crocs

You’re Guy Fieri

Take your feet to Flavortown with these Crocs, which are like the footwear equivalent of passing yourself through Pimp My Ride thanks to their electrifying, flammable (not actually, though) prints.  

Work Bistro Flame Graphic Slip-Resistant Clogs

$49.99 at Shoe Carnival
Unisex Adult Bistro Clog with Lightning Print

$44.99 at Amazon

The best Crocs to go with your Yeezy sweats

This one's for the folks whose rugs stay white (easy, when they’re washable shag), and cloud-like couches. When you’re not lounging around the house in a robe that feels like a wearable duvet, or perfecting your already perfect skincare routine, you’re doing something else that reads as effortlessly chic in these “Chai” faux-fur-lined Crocs.   

Classic Lined Clog
$59.95 at Amazon

$59.99$44.99 at Crocs

Feeling a tad moodier? Then the black Yukon Vista II Clog is the perfect fit thanks to its faux-leather details and velcro strap. If an Escalade was a shoe, this would be it.   

Classic Yukon Vista II Clog

$59.99$44.99 at Crocs

You’re a Dead Head

Next to Nike’s Air Max 90, no shoe will ride as hard for Jerry. These tie-dyed and, eh, herbaceous Crocs pour a little extra gravy on even the most basic of outfits, dressing up everything from concert ‘fits to formal attire. To complete the look in the kitchen, pair them with the latest dancing bear and skeleton aprons from Hedley & Bennett’s Grateful Dead collaboration

Classic Solarized Clog
$54.95 at Amazon

$54.99$41.24 at Crocs

Unisex Classic Tie Dye Clog

$41.96 at Amazon

Classic Printed Hemp Leaf Clog
$54.95 at Amazon

$54.99$41.24 at Crocs

You lick light bulbs

… And you probably gave Grimes the recipe for her beloved sludge. Whether you’re attending fashion week, coding, or train hopping, you need some neon cyber baby Crocs to help you carry out your mission. 

Classic Clog in Grass Green

$49.99$37.49 at Crocs

Sexy swamp logger

Spring is nigh, so we’re turning our yard into a lumbersexual paradise and letting all the birds nest in our beard. We wear our Gucci x North Face boots whilst chopping logs, obviously, and our camouflage Crocs when we slide out of our natural sulfur jacuzzi for another bite of deer jerky.  

Unisex Classic Realtree Camo Clog

$54.99 at Amazon

Marbled Crocs look good enough to eat

Yet another pair of Crocs with a 4.8-star rating on Amazon, and the kind of wavy, marbled motif that would be perfect for both an alternative wedding outfit, or an afternoon at the dog park.  

Unisex Marbled Clog
$54.95 at Amazon

$54.99$41.24 at Crocs

Crocs made just for work

There’s an entire portion of Crocs’ website dedicated to all of the shoes designed especially for keeping your feet comfortable and safe at work, including the Bistro Pro clog; you’ll notice there are no little holes on the top, so you can sploosh hot coconut oil, glitter, and gasoline everywhere without worrying about your toesies. 

Bistro Pro Literidge Clog
$44.99 at Amazon

$64.99 at Crocs

Fresh from the Hidden Valley Ranch

Once upon a morning when we overslept, we lost our spot in line for this iconic Hidden Valley Ranch x Crocs collaboration drop. Luckily, the internet never sleeps, and it’s still slinging these suckers on sites such as eBay. Granted, the price mark-up is real, but they’re a collector’s item at this point—and just think of how invaluable they’ll be for flirting at the bar; everyone likes a little dressing on the side. 

Crocs x Hidden Valley Ranch
Classic Clog

$195 at eBay

You miss the Spice Girls

The Spice Girls killed the platform shoe game of the 1990s, but you know who else did long before? Short kings like Humphrey Bogart. That’s right, jabroni. Elevator shoes have been around for ages, and anyone who has ever wanted to stand a little closer to God has indulged in them. Crocs just made it more comfortable. 

Women's Classic Bae Clog
$31.49 at Amazon

$59.95 at Zappos

The most interesting person in the room

The drama of a stiletto heel, with the comfort of a Croc. Balenciaga gave us the best of both worlds, Heaven and Las Vegas, when they created these towering Crocs. 

Crocs x Balenciaga
Green Crocs Edition Madame Heels

$625 at SSENSE

The infamous Peeps Crocs

Told you they were real. 

Crocs x Peeps
Classic Clog

$200 at StockX

The best Crocs swag

Lest we should forget your Croc charms—or “Jibbitz,” as they’re formally known—here is a small taste of the accessory, courtesy of the brand’s official collaboration with Lisa Frank, and the absolutely unofficial offerings of this 29-piece studded accessory set and a lone, statement-making charm shaped like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. 

Crocs x Lisa Frank
Jibbitz Charms

$16.99 at Crocs

Shoe Charms (29 Piece. Set)

$16.99 at Amazon

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson Shoe Charm

$5 at Etsy

Now go forth, and spread the Good Word of the Crocspel. 

The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.


Balenciaga, Shoes, Evergreen, Crocs, Normcore

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