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Why the Crocs Classic Clog Was Everywhere in 2021 and Became the Shoe of the Year

On Nov. 30, the Crocs Classic Clog will be honored as Shoe of the Year at the 35th annual FN Achievement Awards. Below is an article from the magazine’s Nov. 29 print issue about its winning streak.

The Crocs phenomenon grew to a full market takeover in 2021, with its quintessential Classic Clog appearing on the feet of customers of all ages, across the globe.

Here, company execs and partners explain why the shoe has been such a hit.

crocs ceo andrew rees
Crocs CEO Andrew Rees in the brand’s Boston store.
CREDIT: Doug Levy

Andrew Rees
CEO, Crocs

“Making the strategic decision to double down on the Classic Clog was an important moment for us. The Classic Clog is incredibly polarizing, yes, but it also represents a celebration of individuality — something we stand for as a brand and a theme we inspire our consumers and customers to embrace. The clarity of that vision, and our commitment to the Classic Clog, will unlock the full potential of the Crocs brand.”

Crocs Bretman Rock
Crocs ambassador Bretman Rock
CREDIT: Courtesy of Crocs

Bretman Rock
Fashion, beauty & comedy star, Crocs ambassador

“The Crocs Classic Clog deserves to be the Shoe of the Year because it is for everybody. You can find a color, pattern, size and Jibbitz charm that is for you. I could probably find a pair of Crocs that match my outfit right now. Crocs [also] aligns with what I want to do with the fashion industry, which is turn it upside down and take away labels, and I love that the Crocs Classic Clog is unisex.”

Michelle Poole, president of Crocs
Crocs president Michelle Poole.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Crocs

Michelle Poole
Brand president, Crocs

“This last year has been another difficult and uncomfortable one, and everyone could do with more comfort in their lives. Our beloved Classic Clog has been able to bring comfort — and joy — to more consumers across the country and world than ever before. And fully loaded with Jibbitz charms, our Classic Clog allows our fans to tell their story and express their individuality in their own unique way.”

Anne Mehlman
CFO, Crocs

“When you wear the Classic Clog, you’re making a confidently comfortable statement. Strap forward or strap back, solid colors or tie-dye, Jibbitz charms or not, the Classic Clog is a conversation starter that sparks association with fun, confidence, comfort and rebelliousness. When I wear them, I feel all of that and I know our fans do, too.”

Alex James Pleasures
Alex James, co-founder of Pleasures
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand

Alex James
Co-founder & director of Pleasures, Crocs collaborator

“In a world of comfort fashion, the Crocs Classic Clog is the undisputed global champion. Functionality, style, ease of wear and the ability to customize really makes this the most ideal footwear choice for anyone.”

Crocs Arielle Vandenberg
Crocs ambassador Arielle Vandenberg
CREDIT: Courtesy of Crocs

Arielle Vandenberg
Comedian & host, Crocs ambassador

“Why does the Classic Clog deserve to be Shoe of the Year? Because I’m wearing them right now!”

Adam Michaels
Chief digital officer, Crocs

“Since its inception, the Classic Clog has been one of the most iconic silhouettes in footwear and has never been more a part of our lives than it is today. And consumers have spoken: 2021 was, without question, the year of the Classic Clog.”

Crocs Kelli Erdmann
Crocs ambassador Kelli Erdmann
CREDIT: Courtesy of Crocs

Kelli Erdmann
Dancer, Crocs ambassador

“The Crocs Classic Clog is more than a shoe — it is a cultural icon. Any time I see someone wearing Crocs, I instantly know two things about them: They value comfort and they are a kind person. Can you imagine a mean person wearing Crocs? Neither can I.”

Emma Minto
SVP & GM of Americas, Crocs

“The Classic Clog is a shoe that offers it all — comfort, personalization and self-expression — and inspires fans around the world to ‘Come As You Are.’ With a delightfully democratic appeal and inherently simple design, our Classic Clog is not only relevant today, but will remain so in the future as we strive to create a more comfortable world and achieve net zero by 2030.”

Heidi Cooley
Chief marketing officer, Crocs

“The Classic Clog is synonymous with swagger. Not only is it physically the most comfortable shoe you’ll ever wear, but stepping out in a pair of Classic Clogs means you’re unapologetically confident and comfortable with who you are. We created an icon, but it takes a bold tapestry of fans to make it one-of-a-kind.”

For 35 years, the annual FN Achievement Awards ­— often called the “Shoe Oscars” — have celebrated the style stars, best brand stories, ardent philanthropists, emerging talents and industry veterans. The 2021 event is supported by presenting sponsor Nordstrom, as well as Authentic Brands Group, FDRA, Informa, On and Wolverine Worldwide.

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