2022 marks Crocs' 20th anniversary. Despite the polarizing opinions on the rubbery clogs, their appeal attributed to comfort, customization, and individuality isn't news to us. This year, however, the silhouette with 13th-century Dutch roots seems to be having a triumphant return like no other with the slew of clogs re-imagined by footwear giants and streetwear iconoclasts alike.
From Crocs' collaboration with Balenciaga and YEEZY to Birkenstocks' team-up with Dior, slip-on "ugly" shoes have had an eventful year with appearances in fashion runways, footwear headlines, luxury retailers--and our editors' shoe racks.
Below we sort out some of the HYPEBEAST team's favorite clogs moments of 2022 with a dive into what drew them to the designs.
Martine Rose x Nike Shox MR4s
When I first saw the Martine Rose x Nike Shox MR4s, they really didn't do anything for me. But seeing more images of the shoe and styled looks, I started to wonder about the raised mule design. Interestingly, the Martine Rose x Nike Shox MR4 "Black" sat on shelves in Hong Kong despite being sold out around the world, so I picked them up from NikeLab in my size after some quick conversion due to the shoe being a women's exclusive.
Not really an everyday shoe or comfortable, but slipping on the Martine Rose x Nike Shox MR4 "Black" feels invigorating. Be it the added height or pointed-toe finish, you feel like walking with purpose when you're in these, maybe because you need to focus on where you step, thanks to the rigid bottoms and precarious rear heel. -- Nicolaus Li
Salehe Bembury x Crocs Pollex Clog “Stratus”
I’ll be first to admit that clogs and mules never really piqued my interest until the pandemic infiltrated our lives. However, as COVID ran its course, I definitely started to gravitate towards footwear offerings that were easy to slip on and off, versatile, and provided ample comfort, and that’s exactly what these Salehe Bembury x Crocs Pollex Clogs supply.
Given that few folks were able to pick up the designer’s inaugural colorways back in December, the hype was through the roof for this release and I was fortunate enough to pick up the “Stratus” pair for retail which — as any sneakerhead probably relate to nowadays — is an extremely sweet feeling. The exaggerated concaves throughout the upper give the silhouette a refreshing, obscure, and fashion-forward look all at the same time, and the fact that these are essentially done up in all-white, they pretty much compliment any outfit in my closet. – Elliot Santiago
Birkenstock A 640
I love this clog for its utility. It reminds me of the shoes I used to wear in the kitchen, but because of its mold, it has these angles and edges that put it on par with some of the more expensive and fashion-catered clogs released this year. Its price point and thick polyurethane sole (oil resistant/nonslip) mean I can wear these for years and replace them, if need be, without breaking the bank. This made-in-Germany PU clogs also use Birkenstock's suede-lined, cork-latex footbed, which means that I get an insole that contours the foot, and it's washable so I can slip them out for typhoon season in Hong Kong. You can also buy replacement footbeds, which is a big plus.
If you want something more light for everyday wear, go with the A 630. I've opted for the A 640 as the additional $10 USD gets you the steel toe cap, which is great if you're working around any heavy equipment or in situations where something heavy could possibly crush your toes. So yeah, go out into the garden, make a mess of these and then hose them down--a great piece of footwear for $100 USD. -- Ambrose Leung
adidas YEEZY FOAM RNNR “Stone Sage” or “Onyx”
There’s something about the adidas YEEZY FOAM RNNR that balances absurdity and versatility perfectly. In less than six months of wearing them, I’ve been told how much 8th graders are charged to rent a pair for the school dance, that I obviously don’t care about sneakers and that they range anywhere between disgusting and dope. Despite mixed reviews, I’ve found myself wearing them to the grocery store, to picnics, and even having the time of my life dancing in them at the club. The combination of its bulky shape, futuristic detailing, and great comfort has offered an experience that I keep going back to, despite my significant other’s wishes for me not to. -- Logan Fairbrother
Simple Original Clog “Pony Hair”
Clogs are the “no-makeup makeup” look for your feet. I said what I said. Maybe it’s the appeal of not having to worry about shoelaces, or maybe it’s the allure of slipping into shoes in 0.2 seconds flat – clogs should be a mainstay in every lazy girl’s footwear repertoire. These chunky, elevated slippers have essentially become an acceptable way to send a message to the world that, yes, I am a high-functioning sloth, but heck, I also look great while being one.
Simple’s Original Clogs are the archetype of the clog if there ever was one: uncomplicated minimalism delivering form and function in its purest forms. Adding to its existing lineup of lush, muted colorways, Simple now introduces a statement “Pony Hair” clog that promises peak cowgirl aesthetics via a country-chic brown and white cow print on the upper. Constructed with its hallmark pigskin leather footbed and lightweight outsole, these are the daily clogs that we all deserve. -- Zarah Cheng
Achilles Ion Gabriel has made CamperLab one of the most IYKYK brands around, and I can’t get enough of its Traktori clog. It takes one of the buzziest trends of the year and gives it a subverted, brutalist rave aesthetic with a heavy use of vulcanized rubber and complementing black calfskin leather, adding industrial stamping to the toe and sidewalls for that extra hit of Berghain-chic. Yet, at the same time, the Traktori manages to be sophisticated and understated, Jekyll and Hyde-ing as a formal shoe that, thanks to its recycled Ortholite insole, is one of the comfiest clogs around. As you can see, my pair are pretty worn in, so take my word for it. -- Eric Brain
Salehe Bembury x Crocs Pollex Clog “Sasquatch”
I think these are actually unreleased yet, but I got a pair during Paris fashion week back in June. I've been a fan of Salehe Bembury's Crocs collabs, and I like the all-black colorway the best as it could match any outfit. And it seems the silhouette will be around for a while with the duo's continuous imagination of new iterations, such as the "Cobbler" version donning Autumnal shades and the "Kuwata" color featuring pinkish orange hues. It's safe to say that Salehe's signature exaggerated fingerprint-inspired molds are worth a purchase if you can get your hands on them. -- Yuki Abe