In case you missed it, Crocs are cool now.
A slew of pop culture collaborations, as well as easing fashion norms, have encouraged a widespread adoption of the highly comfortable and affordable footwear. With a sense of irony and if you know, you know energy, Balenciaga has sent multiple pairs down the runway, Questlove wore the clogs on the red carpet, and Kendall Jenner and Kanye West both traded in their Yeezy Slides for Crocs.
Now Crocs, seemingly emboldened by its long-standing partnership with Balenciaga, has dared to go where no other clog has gone before. Combining its signature comfort with its newfound high-fashion status, the brand partnered with London-based fashion label Kurt Geiger to create Crocs featuring faux fur trim and chunky crystals. Inspired by the holidays — and begging for a seasonal party — the glossy, platform slippers incorporate Kurt Geiger’s signature rainbow design, meant to signify “kindness, joy, inclusivity, and hope.”
As a rhinestone enthusiast, I found the bedazzled pair particularly enticing. Its glittering assortment of crystals seemed to offer a more formal Croc, while its massive curved platform literally elevated the shoes enough to replace typical party heels. Still, I wondered if I could really pull off Crocs, especially a pair so festive.
Even in their most popular era, the rubber clogs are polarizing. Critics have scoffed that they’d “rather die” than wear the slippers, with one particular Facebook user noting, “the little holes are where your dignity seeps out” — although it’s worth mentioning that Kurt Geiger’s Crocs have no holes, thanks to their permanently embedded crystal Jibbitz.
With what little dignity 2021 left me with, however, I didn’t know if I could handle bedazzled Crocs. Already, I owned far too many slippers — “justified” by the pandemic’s WFH policies — and I wasn’t sure another pair of clogs would improve my life. What could Kurt Geiger’s Crocs give me that my Birkenstock Boston Clog or The North Face’s ThermoBall Eco Traction Mule V Slippers couldn’t?
See, with a shoe collection as large as my own, each pair must have its own “purpose.” The Boston Clog serves as a fashionable mule that can be worn indoors or outdoors; The North Face slipper, heavily insulated, is ideal for strolling around the cold hardwood floors of my home; a third option, a pair of rubber Birkenstock Arizona sandals, doubles as a summer sandal and a traveling shower shoe. There seemed to be no slipper-wearing occasion I was unprepared for.
Yet unlike the mules sitting in my closet, Kurt Geiger’s Crocs demand to be taken out on the town, with purpose. The bejeweled pair isn’t meant to add on to existing outfits, instead it insists on being the center of attention: Rainbow gemstones and a near three-inch platform aren’t to be ignored. If my other clogs meant business, these meant party.
Despite the mulement’s best efforts, slippers haven’t yet broken into the formal party scene. Balenciaga’s $695 Crocs are still considered streetwear — wearing them to lunch with Anna Wintour is about as fancy as it gets — and Justin Bieber’s iteration of the clogs seems best fit for chilling by the fire while you’re eating fondue. Kurt Geiger’s Crocs, on the other foot, are ideal for any event serving cocktails (or rather, Croctails).
‘Tis the season
Unfortunately, rising COVID cases derailed my plans to debut the statement Crocs at a holiday party, so I styled the rhinestone pair in a more casual manner. To match the fashionable yet comfortable vibe of the Crocs, I opted for black cargo pants, a black crop top, an oversized green quilted jacket, and accessorized with a vintage bedazzled belt. The look wasn’t exactly show-stopping, but it let the platform slippers take center stage.
Now typically, those who don Crocs are left alone while running errands: Prior to the brand’s collaborations and celebrity endorsements, wearing Crocs in public seemed to be a sign of giving up. In a small-town Target, however, I found the Kurt Geiger Crocs were anything but incognito, drawing both compliments and stares throughout the store. Wearing them around made me feel like a celebrity at an airport — attempting to fit in with everyone else’s definition of comfort, but still out of the loop.
To add to this feeling, the Crocs’ massive wavy platform boosted my height to model levels (or at least, what I imagine that would be). My height, as written on my driver’s license, is 5’06”, but while wearing the elevated slippers, I stood at 5’09”. Is this how Bella Hadid feels?, I thought to myself before remembering that the model might not ever be caught in Crocs, save for a co-branded Balenciaga pair.
My steps felt secure, and at times I even forgot the fact I was wearing gigantic rubber shoes.
Walking in the platform Crocs was much easier than I anticipated. Especially with the clog’s treaded outsole, grippy insole, and ankle strap, my steps felt secure, and at times I even forgot the fact I was wearing gigantic rubber shoes. In the Target parking lot, I also tested whether I could run in the Crocs — I could, still with surprising ease — which garnered some more stares. Those, at least, could be blamed on me and not the clogs.
A true gem
While the curved platform and crystals on the Kurt Geiger Crocs made me feel very regal, the shoe’s comfort far exceeded any party shoe I had, even rivaling the coziness of my extensive slipper collection. Like my Birkenstocks, the rubber clogs feature built-in arch support as well as a plush insole, no doubt assisted by its hefty platform. Wearing the Crocs was an experience nearly as luxurious as their design.
All in all, there’s not much to criticize when it comes to Kurt Geiger’s glitzy take on Crocs — other than their extremely limited supply. Since launching in early December, pairs of the bedazzled clogs have sold out repeatedly, although you can find pairs of its faux fur counterpart still on sale. At $99, the Crocs are priced higher than the brand’s typical collaborations, but their blinged-out look is one splurging for. I promise you won’t find another pair like these.