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Rubber Clogs Are Taking Over the Shoe World (From Vans to Merrell)

Comfy shoes reign supreme in 2023, and now that everyone from Aimé Leon Dore to Vans is making rad clogs, it’s officially #hotclogsummer.
The Best Rubber Clogs, From Vans to Merrell
Composite by VICE Staff

You may be seeing foam and rubber shoes everywhere lately, “and you may ask yourself, ‘Well, how did I get here?’” Well, the answer (according to David Byrne) is  simple: “Letting the days go by, water flowing underground / Water dissolving and water removing.” Exactly—inclement weather. Water leads to mud, which leads to ruined leather shoes. Thus, we find ourselves suddenly inundated with rad rubber clogs and shoes. It’s like we blinked and Crocs went from being just for toddlers and line cooks to the top of the footwear pyramid.  

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It’s easy to point to the pandemic as the reason for the upswing in comfort over anything else, but you can’t knock clogs—they’re comfortable, good for your back, and easy to slip into. Seriously, why do you think chefs and the Dutch have been wearing them for so long? But over the last couple of years, rubber clogs and shoes have been slowly sneaking into the mainstream. Bolstered by hypebeasts' love for Yeezy’s Foam Runners and gorpcore’s embrace of the Merrell’s Hydro Moc, Crocs’ pop culture renaissance was practically predestined by the time the brand started collaborating with Salehe Bembury on the Pollex Clog (which has since sold out many times over). Last summer, Gear Patrol declared that “rubber shoes are having a renaissance,” and now the wave is fully cresting—Aimé Leon Dore debuted garden clogs in its latest drop and JW Anderson has teamed up with Wellipets on wacky frog clogs. While you’ve probably seen the many fashion-adjacent iterations on the once-humble rubber clog (even luxury brand Bottega Veneta has a rubber clog at this point), you’re probably unfamiliar with the brands actual chefs are wearing (more on that later), and that so many of your favorite non-designer brands (including wardrobe stalwarts like Vans) now make a rubber jawn. 

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We’re ecstatic that so many brands have jumped on the foam-injected kick bandwagon because they’re (mostly) affordable, waterproof, easy to clean, and we’ll be conducting all our summer shenanigans in a pair. From designer mules for leveling up your yacht attire for this summer’s Euro trip to Realtree camo Crocs for riding ATVs and hitting the local lazy river with your friends, these are our favorite rubber clogs for every lifestyle and budget, because there’s nothing more annoying than lacing up sneakers when you could be outside enjoying the weather already. 

Merrell

Without a doubt, the Hydro Moc has been a major player in the rubber clog game. It’s basically a #gorpcore Croc that goes into hyper sport mode, with a supportive back that gives more freedom of movement than a classic slip-on style. We’re also digging the new Hydro Mules for kicking around the neighborhood. 


$60$47.99 at Merrell

$60$47.99 at Merrell
$85$58 at SSENSE
$1505 at Merrell
$85$58 at SSENSE
$1505 at Merrell

Birkenstock

No one needs convincing about how comfortable a pair of Birkenstocks are, but if you’ve only tried its classic leather sandals, take a gander at the Super-Birki. These polyurethane baddies come in dozens of colors to suit your every mood, and are water-repellant—as well as dirt and oil-resistant—so you can wear them from work to the function without showing up looking sloppy. Plus, they have a removable cork-latex footbed for extra comfort and easy washing. 


$79.95 at Birkenstock

$79.95 at Birkenstock
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Calzuro

Remember when we mentioned that we know the clogs that chefs are wearing? These are it. Calzuro’s got the Italian rubber cult-classic chef clogs with just enough of a heel to support good posture, offered in super-saturated color options that just scream cool. Let’s face it: When isn’t the Italian version better?


$106.99 at Amazon

$106.99 at Amazon

$106.99 at Amazon

$106.99 at Amazon

Adidas

Considering the highly coveted rubber Prada mules are nearly sold out (and are $625), you can just cop AdidasAdicane clogs for a much less expensive version with a very similar vibe. 

$50$35 at SSENSE
$50 at Adidas
$50$35 at SSENSE
$50 at Adidas

Merry People

For the classic “going to my country house” vibes, Merry People makes traditional Wellington clogs in unexpected colors that just scream “quiet luxury”


$99.95 at Merry People

$99.95 at Merry People

Camper

Camper always knows how to turn the volume up to the absolute max without going overboard, which is what makes the Traktori style so aesthetically pleasing. This unisex style is the perfect clodhopper for pavement stomping through the rest of these late spring showers. 


$220$176 at Camper

$220$176 at Camper

$299 at Camper

$299 at Camper

$315 at Camper

$315 at Camper
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Vans

Did you know Vans makes a rubber version of its iconic checkerboard slip-ons? Now you can literally skate directly into the pool. Oh, and of course they made a backless version so you don’t have to walk to 7-Eleven barefoot. 


$55 at Vans

$55 at Vans

$55 at Vans

$55 at Vans

Crocs

It’s probably obvious after reading this list but, if you don’t already own a pair of Crocs, what are you waiting for? Whatever vibe you’re going for, the brand comes out with insane collaborations constantly—so often, in fact, that we didn’t even know there was a new Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville collab! If wastin’ away ain’t your jam, no worries, mate. You can’t go wrong with a classic style in Realtree camo, or upgrade to the Velcro-adorned Echo clog, which is a rad style to snag if you can't get your hands on the Salehe Bembury Pollex.  


$64.99 at Crocs

$64.99 at Crocs

$69.99 at Crocs

$69.99 at Crocs

$54.99 at Crocs

$54.99 at Crocs

Shoelaces are for losers. 


The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals? Sign up for our newsletter.