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Crocs are arguably the ugliest shoe ever created. No, scratch that, they are definitely the ugliest shoe ever created. The first time I saw Crocs on a real person in real life, I was instantly repulsed: the oversized upper that rendered a human foot as some shapeless, bulbous protrusion; those holes that looked overly cutesy and juvenile; the way it made nearly everyone who wore it waddle like they were nine months pregnant. These clodhoppers are better suited to those who aspire to be Big Foot than a regular person wishing to be a part of normal society.
For years, I derided all who would even think of purchasing them. Surely there were comfortable shoes that could be more attractive than these aberrations of footwear. Of course, there are exceptions. Crocs for kids are not only okay, they are unbearably cute. Everyone I know with kids has at least two pairs per kid. But they are the exception that proves the rule: Crocs are still one of the biggest faux pas in fashion.
But that all changed for me when I was scrolling through Instagram a few days ago and came across a post by Christopher Kane showing off a pair of fur-lined Crocs that he had just sent down the runway. I paused, my finger hovering over the image, wanting to continue its mindless swiping. But something stopped me. My gut reaction wasn’t one of repulsion, but of interest. I was, shockingly, intrigued. The longer I stared, the more they grew on me. I soon went from passive interest to “Oh-My-God-I-Sort-Of-Want-This.”
This isn’t the first time Christopher Kane tried to make Crocs a thing. Back in September, when Kane showed his spring/summer 2017 collection, all the models wore Crocs embellished with cut geodes, the jagged crystals sparkling against the Crocs’s smooth rubber. But the shoes still felt clunky and awkward; the models looked as if they forgot to change their shoes on the way to the runway. The embellishments were juvenile, like a crappy arts-and-crafts project you would be forced to make in summer camp. They certainly didn't remake the Crocs into something inspired or lust-worthy. (The shoes, an actual collaboration with Crocs™, are currently available at a number of luxury department stores for a cool $375.)
But this time around, for his fall 2017 collection, Kane won me over. Something about this version just spoke to me. The lush brown fur against the squishy rubber, the oversized, round exterior the perfect receptacle to such luxury. The holes, something I've always felt was a defining characteristic to the Croc’s ugliness, in this context feels edgy and unique. It's like the counterculture answer to the Gucci fur slides that had the fashion set in a tizzy this past year. Where the Guccis say WASP-y man lounging in his silk velvet red robe as he downs a bourbon in a Baccarat glass, these Crocs say quirky aunt with a strange obsession with animal-print fabric and a love for all things avant-garde. And that’s a look I could adopt.
Timidly, I re-posted the Christopher Kane Crocs onto my Instagram, imploring others to see it my way. The answer was an emphatic “NO.” One of my friends told me that although she likes the idea of a ventilated fur shoe, she associates Crocs with taking out the dog to poop at 2 a.m. and “would never be caught dead in them.” My husband implored me, “Don’t you dare bring that monstrosity into our home. For God’s sake, our children sleep here!”
So obviously my love for these shoes is an unpopular opinion. But I won’t stop obsessing over them. Apologies in advance to my husband and anyone else who has to look at my feet next fall: The fur Crocs are on my wish list, and they’ll be coming home with me.