As the pandemic led to lockdowns that forced Americans to hunker down at home, block heels and Oxford shoes were swiftly swapped for comfort- and athletic-driven slippers and sneakers. Another footwear trend also gained steam: the clog.
The casual silhouette officially made its comeback a couple years ago, but the shift to a work-from-home lifestyle has transformed the oft-dubbed “ugly” shoe into a household staple of sorts. They were spotted on influencers, A-list celebrities and even international runways (including Hermès’ spring 2021 show) — and now on Lyst’s proprietary third-quarter index.
Today, the fashion search platform released its ranking of the hottest women’s and men’s products of the season. While Telfar’s popular shopping bag and the $2,200 Nike Air Jordan 1 High OG Dior sneakers respectively topped those lists, the upswing in demand for comfortable, slip-on footwear has offered a serious moment for clogs.
For womenswear, the Grateful Dead x Chinatown Market x Crocs tie-dye clogs — which generated a virtual queue of more than 45,000 people looking to snag a pair on launch day — settled in the ninth position. According to Lyst, searches for Crocs are up 41% in Q3, and the recent high-profile collaboration with Justin Bieber (among other boldface entertainers) is likely to cement the brand’s strength amid the current health crisis.
Just yesterday, Crocs reported a stellar third quarter driven by a combination of trend-right products, buzzy collaborations and targeted marketing efforts. It said that, for the period ended Sept. 30, it sold 16.9 million pairs of shoes — an increase of 6.2% from the prior year, while the sales of its clogs improved 31% year over year.
Lyst also noted momentum for Birkenstock’s Boston clogs, which secured the No. 2 spot on its hottest men’s products rankings. Early last month, the company’s co-CEO Oliver Reichert described the brand as the “official home-office shoe.” (In the second quarter, Lyst said the brand’s Arizona silhouette was the most-searched shoe in the world, with a 225% increase in online queries.)
Beyond just clogs, the men’s sandals category as a whole is getting a boost, with demand surging 47%, reported Lyst. Ugg’s Scuff Deco slippers, for instance, ranked as the fourth hottest men’s item and have sold out across multiple retailers.
“With the office uniform of shirts and tailoring relegated to the benches, demand continued to rise for casual wear better suited to the new 9-to-5, as WFH-ers looked to diversify their wardrobes,” read the index. “Until the results are in and the dust settles on a tumultuous year, brands can take some comfort in the promising signals which have emerged since spring — while continuing to leverage the opportunities arising from this forced reset.”