We get it, Crocs are comfortable, like an oversized sweatshirt. Introduced as boating shoes in 2002, a craze began when Crocs initially launched to the public. The clog comes in a variety of colors and offers an ergonomic design. At one point there were even Crocs with molded insoles sold as diabetic footwear to reduce foot injuries. Sexy, huh?
But even if they are comfy and practical, the weird shape of Cros turns a lot of people off. Tim Gunn, co-host of Project Runway, once told Time magazine, “The Croc — it looks like a plastic hoof. How can you take that seriously?” Still, despite the well-publicized backlash, some designers just can’t resist coming up with homages to Crocs.
Sadly, the era of the Croc may be nearing an end, as the company is slowing down production. But for those who still love the idea of Crocs, here are some great alternatives. Because, remember, ugly is the new pretty … we guess?
1. John Elliott x Suicoke Sandals
With their shearling lining, these sandals are a dream for your feet. Also featuring neoprene-lined straps and cowhide uppers, they offer a unique design that doesn’t skimp on comfort. $298, johnelliott.co
If you can’t bear to part with your Crocs, Birkenstocks are likely your best alternative. Constructed from flexible EVA material, the lightweight Birkenstock is shock-absorbent, waterproof and skin-friendly. $60, birkenstock.com
3. ZERØGRAND Fuse Oxford
This Oxford from Cole Haan is dressy enough for work and also offers proper support with full-length cushioning. It’s lightweight and thus a “packable” shoe, fitting nicely in any piece of luggage. $270, colehaan.com
4. Wallabee Boot by Clarks
A footwear classic since 1965, Clarks moccasin boots have never really been out of style. Billed as the world’s first comfort shoe, the Wallabee Boot has plantation crepe outsole cushions beneath the foot, and the toe box allows your toes to spread naturally. $140, shop.nordstrom.com
TOMS is known for its comfortable canvas shoes, and this limited-edition design features a glow-in-the-dark DNA print with molded removable insoles and rubber outsoles for traction. $55, toms.com
6. 990v4 from New Balance
The 990 series from New Balance is the OG dad-shoe. The latest version, the 990v4, combines new technologies in comfort with that iconic NB style. $175, newbalance.com
7. Triple S by Balenciaga
Speaking of the dad-shoe craze, Balenciaga has capitalized on it with its signature Triple S series with thick soles and other embellishments. The Triple S may look chunky, but it’s one of the most comfortable sneakers ever made. $895, balenciaga.com
8. Wally Knit from Hey Dude Shoes
This footwear company, Hey Dude Shoes, specializes in cutting-edge textile technology. The Wally Knit style bonds two textiles together to increase durability, flexibility and breathability without adding weight. And maybe best of all these shoes are machine-washable. $70, heydudeshoesusa.com
9. Perey Nubuk Trainers by Acne Studio
Tastemakers love how Acne Studios’ low-top Perey Nubuk trainer captures a streetwear vibe. This trainer is made of smooth, dusty-pink leather with a round toe. It also boasts sculptured rubber soles and two large Velcro straps that epitomize “geek-chic.” $380, matchfashion.com
10. Teva Ember Moccasin
Famous for its sandals, Teva’s Ember Moccasin is two shoes in one. You can either wear it pull-on style or as a slide, thanks to the collapsible heel counter. Its rib-knit collar offers durability and comfort, and its pull-tab loop on top allows for an easy-on. $75, nordstrom.com