Once upon a time in the mid-noughties, Crocs was facing some serious teething problems. First unveiled back in 2001 at a Boat Show in Florida, their foam clogs made waves thanks to their deliciously kitsch design and healthcare benefits, both easily sterilised and ultra-lightweight. A few years later, U-turns were made due to – well, you know – the fact that just maybe it wasn’t too safe having holes in your shoes while dealing with sharp implements and the like. Banned in shopping centres and hospitals, made hideously uncool by George Bush and plagued by imitators, it wasn’t just the fashion police after Crocs.
Fast-forward to the last few years and there’s been a sea change in thinking. Thanks to a buy-out of Jibbitz – those accessories you can snap into the shoes’ holes – and a revival for all things Y2K, Crocs underwent a Lazarus-like resurgence, snapping their way back onto fashion-forward feet worldwide. Then came the collabs. Like, a lot of them. From high fashion houses to fast food joints, popstars to candy brands, no-one is safe from being called-up for a link-up. Fresh from three new team-ups this week – Free & Easy, thisisneverthat and Hocus Pocus – we’ve picked our fave collabs they’ve done to date.
Let the foam party commence.
Ruby Rose has appeared in some of the most badass shows films to ever hit small and big screens, from Orange Is The New Black to Resident Evil to Batwoman. It’s no surprise, then, that her collaboration with Crocs was equally wicked, featuring a marbled take on the rainbow that, in the best way possible, looked a little like Darth Maul’s face tattoo. Finished with Pride laces and ‘Just Love’ emblems on the back, it was a punchy take on design that still holds a special place in our hearts and on our feet.
We’re not sure if the Colonel misread Jibbitz as giblets, but whatever the hell happened, this collaboration with KFC was unleashed onto the world. Once seen, it’s impossible to unsee; bargain bucket soles blend into a frankly upsetting fried chicken facade, finished with a drumstick charm on top. The most horrific thing? It smells of chicken, possibly sounding nice in theory but likely leading to serious canine attention anytime you head out. The collaboration’s saving grace was appearing on MLMA’s feet on the cover of PAPER, proving that it can just about be styled out with an oversized white suit.
The one that began it all is still one of our faves, seeing luxury fashion designer Christopher Kane get the front row shaking in their seats via a surprise Crocs appearance as part of his SS17 show. Covered in a precious, marbled print and featuring cute, mineral charms, it took us to far-flung pebble beaches and ancient rock formations, where, ironically, they probably wouldn’t be all too practical. As expected, it intensely divided opinion; but it also paved the way for future collaborations, proving that there is a place on the runway for cheap, garish foam clogs after all.
Alt-rap titan Post Malone became the first celebrity to partner with Crocs back in 2018 and since then, he’s not looked back. By the time of writing, he’s slammed his way through five different collaborations, all selling out like hotcakes made from gold. For us, though, it’s the OG design that still makes us smile, featuring a ‘Posty Co.’ stamp, a devil-face pattern and charms based on Post’s face tattoos (meaning you can try ‘em out on your feet before doing anything permanent, you!)
We’re mega fans of upcycling genius Nicole McLaughlin, and her ability to showcase that being green is never, ever dreary. We were on the precipice of our office chairs, then, when this collab was announced last year, and boy did it not disappoint. Inspired by a survival kit, it morphed Jibbitz from throwaway charms into utilitarian tools, featuring a clip-on headlamp, paracord, carabiner and compass. Look, real talk, we’re not exactly sure how safe it is to wear these out and about hiking considering the tic-unfriendly holes, but wearing these around the house makes us very happy campers indeed.
Camo Crocs are a vibe right now (see thisisneverthat’s new collab), and it’s thanks in part to this recent Palace team-up. Designed with the kind of desert camouflage that you’d find on a cheap, poundshop plastic gun (in a great way), it’s finished with a retro Palace logo and eleven charms, ranging from their Triferg logo to peace signs and neon badges. Supreme, step out of the way with your Croc-less feet – this one is unbeatable in our eyes.
Hold on, we’re not talking about those recent Balenciaga Crocs, the ones in martian green with (gulp!) stiletto heels. Instead, we’re chatting about Demna Gvasalia’s first ever collab with the foam clog brand, finished in American Mustard yellow and studded with the Paris-based label’s various logos and motifs. Naturally, they sold out, but hey, if you’ve got six hundred quid spare and a bit of time to scroll through Lyst, you might just be in luck.