FN Names the Crocs Classic Clog as the 2021 Shoe of the Year

It’s official. 2021 really was the Year of Crocs, and on Nov. 30, Footwear News will crown the Crocs Classic Clog as the Shoe of the Year at the 35th annual FN Achievement Awards.

When exactly did the Crocs clog cement its winner status?

Maybe it was when Nicki Minaj reportedly crashed the Crocs website after posing in a pair on Instagram. Maybe it was when social media went wild over Diplo’s trippy mushroom-covered Crocs. Or when the brand unveiled its latest collabs with Salehe Bembury, Hidden Valley Ranch, Justin Bieber or “Space Jam.”

Or it when the company created a sustainable new Croslite material for its clogs — or leaned into the socks-and-Crocs controversy by launching legwear.

Crocs, Hidden Valley Ranch, Saweetie, collaborations, clogs
Hidden Valley Ranch x Crocs clogs.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Crocs

In 2021, the Crocs Classic Clog had so many big pop-culture moments it was hard to keep count. But what’s even more impressive is that the company translated its buzz-making prowess into sales.

After having a banner 2020 and taking home the Brand of the Year award last winter, the company accelerated its pace with even bigger gains this year. In the third quarter alone, it posted record revenue of $625.9 million, a 73% increase from the same period in 2020 — with the bulk of sales coming from its Classics collection.

crocs, diplo, clogs, slides, sandals, tie-dye, mushrooms, trippy
Diplo x Crocs Classic Clogs.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Crocs

In an interview with FN earlier this year, Crocs CEO Andrew Rees said the brand’s strategy has been focused on attracting the type of consumer he calls the “explorer,” who is characterized by being young, expressive, self-confident, active on social media, and generally, though not exclusively, female.

However, the Crocs clog is perhaps the most universal style trend out there, appearing on the feet of everyone from toddlers to baby boomers — and both men and women. In fact, some of its biggest red-carpet moments this year were courtesy of male trendsetters like Nick Cannon and Questlove.

And the phenomenon has been global as well. U.S. sales for the company skyrocked 94.5% in Q3, followed by 42.8% growth in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and 21.2% growth in Asia Pacific.

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - OCTOBER 01: Nick Cannon attends the 2021 BET Hip Hop Awards at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center on October 01, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET)
Nick Cannon attends the 2021 BET Hip Hop Awards on Oct. 1 in Atlanta.
CREDIT: Courtesy of BET

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. Previous Shoe of the Year winners have included the Nike Dunk, Adidas Yeezy Boost and the Fenty Puma Creeper.

After going virtual in 2020, the FNAAs will return with an in-person celebration on Nov. 30 at Cipriani South Street in New York. The event is supported by presenting sponsor Nordstrom, as well as Authentic Brands Group, FDRA, Informa, On and Wolverine Worldwide.

Other honorees include Ronnie Fieg as Person of the Year, Law Roach as Style Influencer of the Year, Allyson Felix for Launch of the Year and Authentic Brands Group as Company of the Year. Additionally, Kathy, Paris and Nicky Hilton will take home The Icon Award.

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