Crocs aficionados know that the primary appeal of the rubber shoes preferred by children and sex pests alike is comfort. Armed with this knowledge and also with the understanding that Denma Gvasalia, the troll king that currently designs for Balenciaga, has done this before, I have some questions. Namely, who among us is interested in these stiletto comfort sandals and why?
First, it is essential to acknowledge Crocs detractors, though I believe quite firmly that they are wrong. Yes, Crocs are “ugly,” but they’re also not going anywhere anytime soon, as they’ve been scooped up by the streetwear community, Bad Bunny, Justin Bieber, and KFC, while still maintaining their hold on their core audience of children, gardeners, and people who like shoes they can hose off in the yard. The argument about Crocs being ugly is that in order to wear the children’s shoe ironically, one has to be hot. Arguably, just because famous people who are hot are wearing Crocs now doesn’t mean that this is true; these famous people are merely capitalizing on a trend that has been bubbling for a minute, driving up the price of Crocs for the normies. Price gouging by Crocs is the issue, not aesthetics. But in the case of Balenciaga’s recent Croc stiletto, aesthetics and comfort are both under fire in a way that is beyond reproach.
It’s worth remember that a heeled Croc already exists and was so popular, or something close to it, that it sold out. I’ve tried to find these bad boys myself, but have had no success, though one of my sisters snagged a pair at a thrift store in New Mexico for under $10—a bargain and a miracle if I ever saw one. Coincendentally, $10 is the most I’d pay for the Balenciaga iteration, as they are impractical in the way a heel is impractical, and also really, really ugly—not ironically ugly, just ugly-ugly and confusing to look at.
The heel looks like the stretched-out post of a Jibbitz—those little charms you can stick in the hole of your Crocs for fashion that cost, I’m sorry, $4.99 each. (I am ashamed to say that I recently spent $20 at an outlet mall in Smithfield, North Carolina, on four Jibbitz and I do not regret that decision.) Structurally, the heel is too delicate for the front of the shoe, which means the wearer will likely feel the comfort of the footbed in the front and then shooting heel pain in the back, from being tooted up like a car at a garage getting its undercarriage checked out. It’s not that I wouldn’t try these on at the store— absolutely I would, because I love to prove myself wrong. But in this case, I’m pretty sure I’m right.