Deconstructed: Croc shoes

Love them or hate them, Croc shoes are a modern success story, with more than 300 million pairs sold in 90 countries

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Pixelformula/SIPA/REX/Shutterstock (9101715dq)
Model on the catwalk
Balenciaga show, Runway, Spring Summer 2018, Paris Fashion Week, France - 01 Oct 2017
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Despite having been invented by a company called Foam Creations, it was a trio of businessmen who saw the potential of these brightly coloured, lightweight, slip-on shoes. Having purchased the design, Scott Seamans, Lyndon Hanson and George Boedecker launched Crocs at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show in 2002 as a type of boat shoe. They quickly sold out.

Designed as a foam alternative to the wooden clog, these super-lightweight shoes are made from injection moulded Croslite, a closed-cell resin that shapes itself around the foot. People flocked to buy the shoes hailed for offering superior foot support, and even podiatrists extolled their virtues. However, in 2008, there were cases in the United States and Japan of children getting their rubbery clogs caught in escalators, prompting Crocs to change the design.

The bulky shoe has divided opinion, with many fashion magazines and designers declaring Crocs to be hideous, which seemed to be confirmed when then President George W Bush wore his with socks in 2007. However, as with all things fashion, time has softened the perception of Crocs, so when Christopher Kane sent them down his spring/summer 2017 runway studded with pebbles and rocks, everyone wanted a pair. Meanwhile, models for the spring/summer 2018 Balenciaga show tottered along in platform versions – in bright yellow and bubblegum pink, covered in badges, flowers and even tiny flags. Perhaps because customers were eager to support designer Demna Gvasalia, or maybe just because they needed some support for their tired feet, these designer Crocs sold out before they were released.


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