Style

The YEEZY Runners, Post Malone, And The Renewed Popularity Of Crocs

This past Friday, YEEZY fan account YEEZY Mafia leaked a promotional photo from an upcoming issue of British music and fashion magazine, The Face. The image showed the soon to be released YEEZY Foam Runners and naysayers on Twitter went off all day long. Critics were quick to point out the Foam Runners resemblance to foam clog brand Crocs, and many dismissed the design as a clear misstep on Ye’s part.

The thing is… criticize the Foam Runners all you want, but if you’re under the impression that Kanye has an upcoming failure on his hands, you couldn’t be more wrong. Crocs have never been more popular in youth culture.

The YEEZY foam runners have since been officially announced on The Face’s Instagram, and while we initially suspected the Foam Runner was purely a speculative name, it turns out that’s indeed what these shoes will be called. Keep in mind that running in possibly rubber shoes with giant holes in them is a recipe for a disaster. Especially with no socks.

Maybe you’ll be able to run in them underwater. Maybe.

If you’re still puzzled as to why Kanye West is designing a shoe so obviously influenced by Crocs, a brand that is seemingly universally mocked and despised, you haven’t been paying attention. Business Insider reports that Piper Jaffray’s survey of teen preferences from 2018 shows that Crocs are the 13th most popular footwear brand amongst teens, which might not sound impressive until you consider that in 2017 the brand was ranked 38th. Crocs aren’t just coming up, they’re coming fast.

If you’re still not convinced, look no further than the foam clog brand’s two-time collaboration with Post Malone. Yes, you read that right — Crocs has collaborated with Post Malone not once, but twice. The collaboration came about after the brand hit up the rapper when he tweeted “U can tell a lot about a man by the Jibbitz in his Crocs.” Jibbitz being the charms that people stick in the holes of their Crocs.

The Post Malone Crocs are just as tacky as you might’ve expected. If you hate the Foam Runners, you’re not going to end up liking these. The duo’s first collaboration, the Post Malone x Crocs Dimitri Clog featured Post’s very own custom devil Post Co. logo pattern printed across an off-white foam clog, and his second, The Barbed Wire Clog, featured a coiled barbed wire pattern over a bright yellow clog. Both pairs came with six unique Jibbitz.

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So how did Posty do with the collab? According to Bustle, the Barbed Wire Clog sold out in 10 minutes. That’s faster than any Croc has the right to sell. Of course, it’s easy to think, “Yeah, but that’s Posty! He’s wild! Tacky is his whole vibe!” But explain Ariana Grande, the biggest modern pop star in the world who just last week posted a photo on Instagram of herself dressed in a white pair of Crocs with white socks.

Are you telling us that if Ariana Grande wore a pair of Ye’s Croc-inspired shoes people wouldn’t suddenly think they were fire as f*ck? Come on.

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Okay, but lowbrow comfort is in right now. This all fits under that heading, right?

Nope. Luxury fashion brand, Balenciaga has also collaborated with the brand on several footwear drops, one of which held a list price of $1,075. Yes. Somewhere, someone bought a Balenciaga Croc for over a grand. Believe it.

But why? What is it about foam clogs that are so appealing to trendsetters, tastemakers, and the youth market? The answer is simple, the kids love a good meme, and wearing Crocs, caring about Jibbitz, and pissing off out of touch older generations who think their tastes are still what defines a new generation, is hilarious to them. Younger generations rely on trendsetters to, get this, set trends — and fashion really is as simple as this: Cool person does a thing, people copy said cool person in the hopes of also being cool.

This is how every trend works. Crocs are no more or less complicated. Though the company shifting from “cozy clogs for chefs and dads” to “cozy clogs for the Post Malone generation” is obviously a masterstroke.

Look, there are a lot of battles in this life. But if this is your stylistic line in the sand, you’ll probably lose. If Kanye West, Ariana Grande, and Post Malone say Crocs are cool. Does that mean we’re saying you need to go out and get a pair of Crocs and some sweet Jibbitz in order to level up your style game? God, no. And you’ll surely never see a pair hitting our weekly SNX article. But you should take solace in the fact that as we enter a new decade, we’re living in a time when upping your style game isn’t about buying the most expensive (The Post Malone Crocs were priced at $59.99) and hard-to-get brands like Supreme or Off-White.

It’s about rocking whatever the hell you want, so long as you’re rocking it and not just wearing it. Because fame isn’t what gives Ariana and Post a pass on loving Crocs, confidence is. If you want to wear Crocs but you’re embarrassed about what those closest to you will think and say put all those anxieties behind you and step out into the new decade in foam-footed comfort, knowing you’re one of the people pushing the envelope further while the rest of us are busy hating.

Because — and this goes without saying — people will be hating.

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