Since late 2018 Crocs have been rising in popularity, they’re an ugly piece of footwear so what’s the real reason?
By: Christopher Claxton
Starting in 2015, Crocs became a meme after a video of a son asking his grandmother “What are those?” and pointing at her feet went viral. From then on, if anyone saw a pair of Crocs they would yell the same question. The “What are those?” memes took off, T-shirts were made, videos were produced, and Crocs catapulted into stardom once again.
Crocs used to only be popular with Gen Z, restaurants, and hospital workers due to their comfort but now you’ll see them on the feet of many different walks of life. A shoe that was once a joke is now more popular than ever … but why?
The brand used the oldest trick in the book. Crocs did a full 180 on their marketing strategy, and geared it more toward the younger generation by using high-profile celebrity endorsements, collaborations, and increasing the outreach of their products on social media.
They did a TikTok Crocs hashtag takeover called “#ThousandDollarCrocs challenge.” The brand saw an instant success on the app and got more than 100,000 followers in one week on the platform.
The brand set various Crocs collaborations with Natalie Dormer, KISS, Zooey Deschanel, and most notably with Post Malone. Celebrities who aren’t partnered with Crocs, like Serena Williams also shouted the brand out, only furthering their newfound popularity.
Ariana Grande posted a picture wearing a pair on Instagram and the internet loved it.
Most recently, they released a collaboration with extremely popular Puerto Rican singer, rapper, and songwriter Bad Bunny. They partnered up with the well-known and loved artist to create glow-in-the-dark Crocs in two different colors.
Now Justin Bieber officially revealed an upcoming Crocs collaboration as well.
Not only did they do collaborations with celebrities but with brands as well. The recent partnership with Chinatown Market, a Los Angeles-based streetwear brand, took the internet by storm.
They also produced a collaboration with Alife, a New York-based streetwear brand. That pair of crocs featured removable 3D printed Jibbitz that depict a variety of iconic New York City landmarks on a classic clog silhouette.
Jibbitz are charms that snap into your Crocs, and allow an individual to customize their shoes to show their personality. They have vast options that include initials, animals, and astrology signs.
As you can see they put a lot of time and energy to make their shoes appealing and persuade young people to buy them, even though the founders aren’t too fond of their footwear.
“Co-founder Lyndon “Duke,” Hanson told parents that the founders of the company all thought that Crocs were ugly when they first began selling them, but still loved the product because it ‘was comfortable, slip-resistant, could float, and didn’t stink like most boating shoes do,’” according to an article on The List.
Crocs are named one of the 50 worst inventions by Time Magazine, “It doesn’t matter how popular they are, they’re pretty ugly,” the article stated.
After all the advertising, promotions, and celebrity endorsements, some people still won’t hop onto the trend.
“I will never ever wear Crocs,” said Jesus Moran, a Sneakerhead from the Bronx.
“I can’t wear Crocs, not even to the beach,” Said Angelique Sherwood. “I wouldn’t date a guy who wears Crocs, and he can’t walk outside with me wearing them.”
Since Crocs could rebrand so well, whoever is running their marketing team should win an award. The younger generation is embracing the trend that hopefully dies off soon.
Some people suppose that Crocs are so popular at the moment because many people are following trends and wearing what celebrities are telling them to.
Many claims are being made that Crocs “are different,” “they’re cute,” and “they allow you so show your individualism.” People didn’t think Crocs were cute in 2015, and only became a trend recently because of many influencer’s effects on consumers.
Wearing Crocs can be considered a failed attempt at standing out since everyone is wearing Crocs nowadays. What makes you any different?
Feel free to embrace the trend, but don’t lie and say you like them because “they’re cute,” since even the creators know they’re not.
In the words of Niam Whale: “Crocs are trash.”