‘Ugly’ Fashion Has Made Crocs More Popular Among Teens Than Ever

Cool Crocs? No oxymoron there.

It turns out that the slip-on clog brand has found its niche among Gen Zers, surging from 27th to become the No. 13th-most-popular footwear brand among teenagers, according to a Piper Jaffray study.

The firm’s semiannual “Taking Stock With Teens” survey showed that Crocs reached its highest ranking in the list’s recent history, across all genders and incomes. In the spring of 2017, for example, it took the 38th spot — well behind comfort footwear names such as Sperry Top-Sider at No. 5 and Birkenstock at No. 9. (The survey took into account results from about 8,600 teens averaging 16 years old across 48 states in the country.)

One of the study’s notable brand gainers, Crocs has seen a resurgence through the rise of ‘ugly’ fashion — a trend characterized by the apotheosis of a traditionally uncool item such as Teva’s flatform and the ever-divisive dad shoe.

Case in point: Designer Demna Gvasalia’s very own take on Crocs, an $850 embellished foam platform that he sent out on Balenciaga’s spring ’18 runway in September of 2017. Months later, the brand gained even more attention — this time, for an inches-high version of the brand’s orthopedic-looking style dubbed the Cyprus V Heel. (Unfortunately, the shoe is no longer sold on the company’s e-commerce site.)

Last year, Crocs announced plans to close more than 150 underperforming stores as it continued to work on its transformation. The company also ditched owned factories that likely cost more than they contributed — a move that prompted the internet in August to erroneously declare the end of Crocs.

“Quite the contrary; Crocs will continue to innovate, design and produce the most comfortable shoes on the planet,” a spokesperson for the brand shared at the time. “We’re extremely grateful — but not surprised — that our passionate fans are rallying around the brand today. Our future is bright, bold and colorful.”

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