The Truth About Crocs: An Honest Review


Crocs Review

Crocs are a cult. There is no doubt in my mind. The sheer number of die-hard Crocs fans out there defies conventional logic. How could such an ugly, bulbous pair of “plastic” shoes win the hearts of so many without some kind of mass delusion involved?

With all the hype, the truth about Crocs can be a bit murky. So, my goal in this Crocs review is to give you my own unfiltered opinion as a Crocs owner – both the good and the bad.

Basically, it’s like this: Crocs are all about comfort and practicality. Looks have nothing to do with their popularity(until recently).

But, are Crocs really worth it? Yes, for comfort. Yes, for durability. No, for style(unless you are following the current Crocs trend). There are also a number of negatives that most reviewers miss that I want to point out in this article. So, stick around.

Crocs logo

Crocs Facts:

  • Crocs are not made from plastic or rubber. They are made of proprietery closed-cell resin called Croslite which remarkable impact absorbtion and underfoot cushioning.
  • The first Crocs were designed as a grippy, water proof, clog for boaters
  • The original clog was designed and manufactured by a Canadian company.
  • The founders of Crocs discovered the design while sailing the Carribean together and loved them so much they bought the manufacturing license and started the Crocs company.
  • The first run of 1000 Crocs sold out as soon as they were unveiled at a Florida boat show in 2002.
  • 700 million pairs of Crocs have been produced since then!

The Crocs Cult: Hype vs Reality.

One twitter follower described Crocs owners as a bunch of “middle-aged stoners with ponytails.” Funny! While, dismissing the huge following that Crocs has with silly stereotypes is fun, it would be a mistake.

The problem is sorting the truth from the hype. Crocs are so zealously promoted by die-hard fans that marketing departments barely have any work to do at all. The fans are the marketing department. I admit, I bought my first pair of Crocs because a friend of mine kept pestering me about them until I finally caved and bought a pair to try out.

Crocs are by no means perfect, so to combat the cult hysteria, here are some pros and cons of Crocs that I have observed from my own experience.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Very Durable(considering the price)
  • Water Proof
  • Grippy when Wet
  • Uber comfy
  • Go anywhere casual style
  • Ideal for long hours on hard floors
  • They happen to be “cool” right now
  • Available in a gazillion colors and styles
  • Easily cleaned: spray off (even dishwasher safe!)
  • slip on or secure with heal strap(clog versions)

Cons

  • Large bulbous look(a face only a mother could love)
  • Collects sand at beach(Clog versions)
  • Low puncture protection
  • High possiblity you will forget you are wearing them to church, weddings and funerals. (Yes, I’m guilty)
  • grippy nubs in the footbed of some crocs models can finer socks to wear out more quickly.(if you dare to where socks with crocs!)

Crocs Classics Review

When someone says “Crocs,” nine times out of ten, they are referring to the iconic Crocs Classic clogs (Amazon). Obviously, this Crocs review would be incomplete without taking a closer look at the one clog that started it all.

Crocs Classics Foot bed

A common theme I’ve noted in my research is that durable products are typically simple designs that are both tough and highly practical. The Crocs classics became a success because they checked all those boxes.

Crocs classics feature a large ventilated toe box, excellent arch support, a thick Croslite resin footbed, and a heel strap that swivels forward and stows if you prefer slip-ons.

The oversized-toebox leaves plenty of room for wide feet and air to circulate.

The polkadot ventilation holes are a bit goofy looking but they do the job. For example, if you get them wet while wearing them the inside will still dry out while you are wearing them. FYI: There is a whole subculture of Crocs fans that decorate their Crocs with pins specifically designed to fit into the vent holes.

Of course, the crosslite footbed is what every one comes for. The deep resilient cushioning is hard to beat. I do wish the grip numbs in the footbed were a little less agressive though. Also, those nubs tend to wear out socks more quickly.

Crocs Review

The sole of the Classics are made from the same Croslite resin as the footbed. Similar to the softer rubber on snow tires, the resin soles tend to grip well even without overly aggressive treads. I wouldn’t describe Crocs classics as “ultra grippy” but definitely much more grippy than flip flops.

The heel strap works well and stays in place. Keep in mind that the heel strap is not adjustable but it does stretch a bit. So, make sure to size your Crocs correctly. I personally never use the heel strap and just stow it.

Walk-Around

How Much Do Crocs Cost?

The prices for a pair of Crocs usually start around $30 and can go much higher from there depending on the model, and design patterns. Here are some of the latest prices from Amazon:

The Crocs You Should Know About

Best Seller: Crocs Classics

The Crocs Classics are available in a gazillion colors and designs. I’ve never seen over 200k positive reviews on an Amazon product before! These are, by far and away, the best-selling and most iconic Crocs ever.

Check Price on Amazon

Pool and Beach: Crocs Bayaband Flip Flops

The popular Bayabands are the quintessential poolside flip flop. These Crocs have a bold, clean design and the same cushioning as the clogs along with a rugged unibody design. Unlike the clogs, you won’t struggle to shake out the beach sand either.

Check Price on Amazon

For Professionals: Bistro Clog

The Bistros are very popular among foodservice, hospitality, and health professionals. They are designed to meet safety standards with upgraded grippy outsoles, and easy-clean surfaces, and a closed-toe design.

Check Price on Amazon

Ladies Capri V Flip Flops

Attention Ladies: The Crocs Capri V’s are true “go anywhere” flip-flops. They combine Crocs famous deep heel cushioning with a refined look you would not expect from the brand. The Capri Vs come with very high ratings and a price point that is easy on the wallet.

Check Price on Amazon

Are Crocs Durable?

My friend’s Crocs: after a couple of years of hard use
Crocs treadwear
Treadwear after 6 months

T

Crocs definitely last longer than standard flip-flops while maintaing a lot more under foot cushioning over their lifespan. You can expect a good 2 years of regular use from a pair of Crocs. For $40, that is actually a remarkable value.

The proprietary Croslite foam footbed is extremely resilient and resists compression over the long term. Also, since most Crocs models are a unibody design, toe posts and side strap pull-outs are almost unheard of. A Crocs cult friend of mine did manage to tear the heal strap on his Crocs once, but I would describe him as an “extreme user” (ie. construction)

Note: Crocs offer very low puncture resistance. The soles are very soft and nails, tacks etc will punch right through them like butter. Once, stood on a sharp branch while pruning a crab-apple tree in my front yard…it went right through my Croc and into my foot like a hot knife through butter. Felt great!

Are Crocs “In?”

Apparently, Yes, and we can thank(or curse) Covid-19 for it. Millions of us were reduced to shuffling around our homes during Covid-19 lockdowns while doing zoom calls wearing dress shirts and pajama pants(or less). This new, ultra-casual lifestyle played a huge part in catapulted Crocs right back into the spotlight.

I don’t expect the craze will last much more than a couple of years, yet it is what it is.

Crocs are the king of casual slip-ons. Teens, in particular, have re-discovered Crocs classics and are rocking the more bold colors and designs.

Are Crocs Really As Comfortable As They say?

Mostly, Yes. Comfort is the single biggest reason why Crocs are so popular. How else could 100’s of millions of people forgive how ugly they are? On the negative side, some Crocs like the Crocs classics come with little grip nubs in the foot-bed which I found a tiny bit too aggressive on my delicate tootsies. After a bit of time, though, they wore down enough not to notice them.

Crocs offer underfoot cushioning that is about on par with an expensive pair of thick gel-soled running shoes..without all the laces, socks of course. and more significantly, at a quarter of the price.

This is why medical professionals are huge Croc’s buyers, they cost far less and are equally as comfortable as expensive sneakers.

Are Crocs Sweaty?

This was actually one of my first concerns when I was considering my first pair. Surely all that plastic surrounding my foot would make my feet sweaty and stinky!

Answer: If you stick with vented style Crocs like the classics, you should be fine. I would avoid the closed-toe Crocs if you tend to have sweaty feet or live in tropical climes. I am rocking my Crocs Classics in the sweltering heat of West Africa without any issues. Odour is never a problem, but maybe it’s because I hose them down once in a while.

How Practical are Crocs?

Next to comfort Crocs are very utilitarian in nature:

  • Nurses and Doctors use closed crocs because they are comfortable on hard floors long hours, and unlike porous sneakers, Crocs can be cleaned disinfected very easily. “Crocs at Work” is their special line designed for healthcare workers with washable footbed liners and special anti-slip treads.
  • Housekeepers find Crocs ideal for similar reasons as health professionals
  • Foodservices: easy cleaning, non slip and easy on the feet for long hours: they make a lot of sense for chefs.
  • Gardeners use find the close-toed versons ideal for the same reason the Dutch love wooden clogs for gardening.
  • Slippers: Lined clogs are great for this or just where some warm socks with them. Either way you can still use them run the garbage to the curb on a rainy day.
  • Pool/Beach: I’d go with the flip flop versions like the Bayabands. The clogs give awkward tanlines and collect sand on the beach so I’d skip them
  • Casual Shoes: As if it weren’t obvious the vast majority Crocs users wear them for anything that doesn’t require them to “dress up” and even then they push it a bit.

Are Crocs Good for Your Feet?

The short answer: Crocs are not “terrible” for your feet as some critics say. They offer excellent cushioning and arch support, especially when compared to most other open-healed sandals and flip flops. Crocs are often recommended for people who have very high arches and those who suffer from swelling in the feet.

There are a couple of critiques worth noting though:

  1. They are criticized for not providing low ankle support. I find that a rather stupid argument. It’s like criticizing a VW bug for being slow around the Nurburge ring! It’s not made for it! These are lounging shoes. If you use Crocs for “twisty ankle stuff” like sports or hiking then you get what you deserve.
  2. Crocs are also criticized for having an overly flexible shank(area between the toe and heal). I will concede this point. An overly flexible shank can lead to arch and heel pain if you are taking long walks. Crocs are fine for standing long periods of time or walking short distances, but use sneakers for the longer jaunts.
  3. Due to the bulbous toe-box, you can trip more easily in Crocs. So stick to level ground and lift your feet just a little more going up the stairs.

Conclusion

Crocs Classics side vents

Crocs don’t offer much protection from sharp objects, but they do offer good arch support, excellent shock absorption, ease of use, and they clean up easily with a quick hit from the hose.

I admit, I was a reluctant convert to the Crocs cult, and I still feel a bit self-conscious popping out the store in them, but then I think… “Stuff it! I’m only going out for some milk and bread!” I usually can’t wait to kick the shoes off my feet when I get home, but my Crocs don’t come off until it’s bedtime.

If you’re still on the fence, I understand. Think about it this way: 40 bucks is a pretty tiny financial risk to discover if you have been missing out something great.

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