Crocs fans swear by the "comfy", colourful, airy, practical, perfect-for-summers and dishwasher-safe aspects of the clogs and some have even compared walking on Crocs to "walking on springy marshmallows". Haters of course find them hideous.
Since its launch in 2002, the company claims to have sold more than 300 million pairs of shoes in over 90 countries.
Many Indian makers too now make clogs, which are quite popular, especially with kids.
However, time and again, podiatrics have expressed their concerns about the possible adverse effects that clogs can have on human health.
Are Crocs dangerous?
Dr. Megan Leahy, a Chicago-based podiatrist with the Illinois Bone and Joint Institute, told Huffington Post, "Unfortunately Crocs are not suitable for all-day use".
She added that though Crocs â€śoffer nice arch support,â€ť it should not be worn over longer periods because â€śthese shoes do not adequately secure the heel. When the heel is unstable, toes tend to grip which can lead to tendinitis, worsening of toe deformities, nail problems, corns and calluses. The same thing can happen with flip flops or any backless shoes as the heel is not secured.â€ť
Not just Leahy, others doctors to have spoken up and said people should not wear Crocs or any clogs for too many hours a day.
In a 2007 article for Slate titled, "How Crocs conquered the world" Meghan O'Rourke wrote, "A Croc is not a shoe; it is a Tinkertoy on steroids."
O'Rourke spoke to Arnold Ravick, a doctor of podiatric medicine in Washington, D.C., and a spokesman for the American Podiatric Medical Association, who told her, "I'll get people with strained arches because they've been running around in Crocs for five days. When it comes to shoes, people mistake comfort for support. Comfort is fool's goldâ€”a soft gushy shoe that makes your arches collapse. Crocs are popular because they're inexpensive and interchangeable. For people with certain problems, they can be a good shoe. Are they good for your foot, in general? No."
A Crocs store in Mumbai; Image source: Crocs/Facebook
Are Crocs bad for all?
Dr. Alex Kor, the president of the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, told Huffington Post, â€śThe only two types of patients that may benefit from wearing Crocs are patients that have a very high arch or those who suffer from excessive edema of their legs and ankle. But, under no circumstances can I suggest wearing Crocs 8 to 10 hours per day.â€ť
Other controversies surrounding Crocs
In 2008, Japan asked Crocs to alter its design after receiving several complaints about how kids wearing the clogs were getting stuck and injured in escalators.
Similar complaints had also been made in the United States, reported ABCNews.
According to a Quartz report, there have been several lawsuits claiming that the footwear "can be potentially dangerous".
"In 2012 a couple from Westminster, California, sued the company for $2 million when their four-year-old daughterâ€™s pink Croc was caught in the side of the escalator; she lost her little toe. A Pennsylvania woman sued in 2008 for $7.5 million. Crocs has settled many of them, including one for a boy injured in the Atlanta airport in 2008; he will receive payments (the amount was not disclosed) once he turns 18. Andrew Laskin, an attorney with Robinson and Yablon, P.C., a Manhattan law firm, says his firm has handled 20 such cases; all but one have been settled."
Denying the allegations, in an email to Quartz, Crocs said, "There is no evidence Crocsâ€™ shoes are more likely to become entrapped in escalators than other soft-soled shoes. Even so, Crocs launched an escalator safety awareness initiative, which included the implementation of educational hang tags on Crocsâ€™ products worldwide. We did this because Crocs cares about the safety, comfort, and satisfaction of consumers and the popularity of our shoes give us an opportunity to educate millions of our customers on the importance of escalator safety. The most important safety factors for escalators and moving walkways are rider behavior and proper maintenance of escalators.â€ť