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How Crocs made a comeback

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A person’s pair of feet wearing a pair of white Crocs shoes. The controversial shoe has regained popularity and garnered recognition in the footwear world, collaborating with big names and brands such as Justin Bieber, Balenciaga and Bad Bunny.

The controversial shoe has regained popularity and garnered recognition in the footwear world, collaborating with big names and brands such as Justin Bieber, Balenciaga and Bad Bunny.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash / Michelle Budge, Deseret News

I recently attended a celebratory family gathering and amid the hustle and bustle of greeting family members, my eyes were immediately drawn to four particular pairs of feet.

My brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew were each proudly sporting their own pair of Crocs, a shoe that I thought was long forgotten, and even loathed, by most people. I couldn’t help but stare at their feet as I was reminded of my elementary school days, when I, too, was proud to show off my pair of red Crocs, adorned with the personalized charms that fit perfectly into the quintessential perforations throughout the design of the shoe. Those charms — I recently learned — are called Jibbitz, by the way. My brother swears by the comfort of Crocs, and even gifted our mother a pair last Christmas. This got me thinking, “Am I missing something? What else don’t I know about the controversial shoe at the center of fashion debate?”

Turns out, Crocs have reclaimed a spot in the footwear world. The shoes have become a multigenerational footwear staple for many and the brand has collaborated with a range of celebrities — including Post Malone, Justin Bieber and Luke Combs. Crocs are also Amazon’s No. 1 best selling shoe, according to Today. The brand has even collaborated with high-fashion giant Balenciaga — the two companies’ design visions merged to create the “Balenciaga HardCrocs.”

Sales for the shoe skyrocketed during the pandemic, and in the first quarter of 2021, Crocs saw an increase of nearly 65% in sales, BBC reported. I can see why the pandemic provided solid ground for the shoes’ comeback, since many of us were not only online shopping while confined in our homes, but many of us also prioritized comfort over our typical style. It was Crocs’ time to shine.

Although the pandemic provided a unique opportunity for Crocs, they seem to have kept their upward trajectory going, offering a variety of styles for different ages, niches, seasons and even different professions. Their “Crocs At Work” line features shoes for chefs, hospital workers and even slip-resistant shoes.

In fact, as I browsed their website, it seems as though the brand has a line for every occasion. And I mean every occasion, even the obscure. Crocs had a past collaboration with Hidden Valley Ranch — which sold out, according to their website — and recently released their 7-Eleven x Crocs collection. This isn’t just a behind-the-scenes collaboration — the partnership clearly reflects on the end product.

On a more mainstream note, Crocs’ Disney Hocus Pocus collection, which is “reappearing for a limited time” according to their website, strategically coincides with the upcoming sequel, “Hocus Pocus 2,” right in time for spooky season.

The shoes are seemingly everywhere, and not just at Crocs stores and online. They can be found on the shelves at retailers such as DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse, Famous Footwear, Scheels and more.

So, it appears, I’m the one who is behind the times. Crocs is making moves in the footwear world, culturally and financially. The company recently placed No. 3 on Forbes’ list of America’s Best Employers for Women. Regardless of whether or not I overcome my aversion to the shoes themselves, Crocs will go on. Pretty successfully, it seems. The company has accrued a $2.1 billion revenue for this year so far, according to Forbes. Perhaps I’ll dip my toes in the water and ask my brother for a pair this Christmas — we’ll see.