It is time to let the 'ugly shoe trend' die

The Crocs catastrophe has swept the nation since their reboot in 2017, and the tragic effects of this regeneration can be seen on the feet of students here at Mississippi State University.

The comeback of Crocs is a continuation of the "ugly shoe trend," popular in high fashion for several years now, and has trickled down into more affordable options.

To understand why all your friends now think it is cool and acceptable to wear Crocs, I think you first have to understand the overarching progression of which they are sadly a part. Before anything can be done to put a halt to this movement, we have to recognize it for what it is.

Christine Van Deemter of Vogue attributes the trend to fashion’s new tilt toward comfort. "Perhaps it started with Birkenstocks, the treasured hippie sandal now ubiquitous in every influencer’s wardrobe. That trend morphed into the plastic pool slide, which is now a perennial bestseller, despite conjuring up horrifying visions of gym showers. Clogs and slip-ons followed in our quest for ever-more comfortable feet," Deemter explains.

What may be seen as a brilliant and inspiring business comeback for the company is a calamity for innocent feet everywhere. According to Nathaniel Meyersohn of CNN, the company’s newfound success can be attributed to its new director, Andrew Rees. 

Meyersohn claims Rees "has emphasized cutting underperforming lines, lightening Crocs' inventory levels, and investing in core clogs, sandals and flip flops with different colors and graphics. Rees' strategic shift has worked, and Crocs has been able to stay relevant with shoppers and adapt to retail upheaval." 

Crocs' stock more than doubled in 2018. The clunky, rubber, ventilated boat shoes have also squirmed their way onto high fashion runways, and people are quickly following behind. Crocs have been revamped by brands such as Balenciaga and Christopher Kane. In 2017, Balenciaga released their Croc remakes during Paris Fashion Week.

Claudia Croft of Vogue described the shoes as "a cartoonish 10cm platform version of the famously ugly shoe encrusted with Balenciaga gibbits and what looked like the kind of plastic fridge magnets sold in airports." If you have seen the shoe they are writing about, I think you would agree with this description.

The harrowing shoes sold for $850, and according to Amanda Krause of Business Insider they sold out and secured the number 10 spot on Lyst’s Hottest Women’s Products for 2018. 

I will admit, I owned a pair of bright pink Crocs in the fourth grade. All my friends had them, and I adored the little charms with which I could decorate them. Up until recently, I could look back on my pink-Crocs-wearing days and think of them fondly. However, seeing my fourth-grade shoe of choice on the feet of my college-aged friends is unnerving. It is like everyone decided to pick up macaroni art again just for the heck of it. 

I recognize if you live at the beach or if you work around water, Crocs may be a sensible shoe for you. However, if these two conditions do not apply to you and you find yourself wearing crocs, yank the rubber atrocities off your feet. Crocs do not match your outfit. Crocs are not adaptable to weather conditions, even if you are wearing socks with them.

I also recognize everyone has the right to buy whatever shoes they please, but personally, I will not be purchasing Crocs. If you love crocs and find their chunky, clumsy appearance endearing, by all means, wear them to your heart's content. But if you are merely trying to half-heartedly fit into a trend, I beg of you, please do not spend $40 on a pair of shoes you do not even like for the sake of seeming ironic.


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