Crocs are the weirdest fashion shoe trend of 2017.

When fashion magazines released their 2017 trend lists, they included a new, high-quality look that, despite their garish colors and bulbous shape, no one saw coming. In addition to trendy earrings and khakis, style experts have told consumers to watch for the return of… Crocs, that’s right, those tacky synthetic shoes you thought only your mom and Mario Batali wore. .

Crocs, which faded from popular discourse around 2008, resurfaced on a London runway last year, when Christopher Kane paired delicate and romantic dresses with rubber clogs during his Spring / Summer 2017 runway show. Kane largely covered the shoes with raw gems, the move has always shocked critics and sparked a lot of conversation.

When the New Years rolled around, magazines picked Crocs as the next big thing in the “ugly shoe trend”. Over the past few years, Tevas, Uggs, and Birkenstocks have been brought up from ‘don’ts’ lists to getting stylish, but in a fishy way. You can find updated versions of these shoes at any major store, including a somewhat spooky Teva-Ugg hybrid.

To be fair, ugly shoes that are suddenly in fashion are a good thing for women who want to be both healthy and uncomfortable. Wearing high-heeled or pointy-toed shoes leads to foot problems ranging from ankle sprains to bunions. Many aspects of a typical “ugly shoe” – rounded toes, flat soles, and natural materials – are also qualities that make shoes more comfortable.

Yet none of the ugly shoes so far have had as much of a bad reputation as the Croc. Which begs the question of whether the fashion crowd sees Crocs as nothing more than a weird perversity. The irony has been running high with trendsetters lately, who have embraced everything from branded ’90s sportswear to counterfeit handbags to mom jeans. It’s possible they just couldn’t resist the lure of Crocs as the ultimate shabby-chic incongruity.

To wit: even companies that have endorsed Crocs simultaneously seem disgusted with them. Fashion forecasting company Edited includes Crocs as a key trend, but describes them as shoes “worn by toddlers, the elderly and your strange lonely colleague”. And Vogue United Kingdom describes the shoe with an implicit sneer: “It looks like a pastry and comes in colors so awkward they look like the flag of a newly developed country. “

Fashion industry motivations aside, the real danger here is for the innocent, somewhat style-savvy consumer looking for a truly comfortable shoe. Birkenstocks are now all the rage, but they are also a great product. While they might not have the aesthetic appeal of a Christian Louboutin pump, they are premium shoes made with high quality leathers and a sole designed to distribute weight evenly across the foot.

Crocs, on the other hand, are ugly without most of the ergonomic benefits of ugly shoes. Some even claimed they were dangerous. The company faced a series of lawsuits from 2008 to 2012 after several separate incidents of children with fangs getting their feet caught on escalators. The company denied the incidents were due to a defect in its product, but saw fit to launch an escalator safety awareness initiative. This included important tips such as “Stand facing forward in the center of the step”.

In defense of Crocs, they were originally designed as boat shoes and are made entirely from a proprietary foam resin. If you wear a deck shoe outside of its natural surroundings, you run the risk that it is not equipped to take on the challenges of any terrain. The Croc also lacks other features of a shoe designed to be worn all day. It does not fix the wearer’s heel and does not support the shank of the foot. Podiatrists have suggested that the shoes are best suited for short walks around the pool.

And yet, they are on the podium! Fashion hunters should feel free to embrace fashion and slip their feet into those ripped pieces of insulation; but in the opinion of this foot lover, self-righteous people should protect their puppies and allow this particular trend to remain a joke inside the street style ensemble.

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