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What is the difference between Crocs and clogs?

Both Crocs and clogs are popular casual shoe styles, but there are some key differences between the two. In this article, we will compare and contrast Crocs and clogs to help you understand what sets each shoe style apart.

The History of Crocs

Crocs were first created in 2002 by Scott Seamans, Lyndon Hanson, and George Boedecker. The original Crocs design was developed as a spa shoe, meant to be worn by boaters and other water sport enthusiasts. The first model produced by Crocs, the Beach model, was unveiled in 2002 at a boat show in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The name “Crocs” is derived from the shoe’s proprietary closed-cell resin material, Croslite, which allows the shoes to be non-marking, odor-resistant, and buoyant. Croslite was uniquely developed by Crocs and gives the shoes their signature soft, lightweight, and cushiony feel.

By 2006, Crocs had expanded its product line to include a variety of clog and sandal styles. The Classic Clog became (and remains) the brand’s most popular style with its iconic one-piece mold design. By 2007, Crocs had sold over 50 million pairs of shoes worldwide.

Today, Crocs continues to expand its casual footwear offerings while remaining dedicated to the original clog that made the brand famous. The company sells a wide selection of men’s, women’s, and children’s shoes in bright colors and patterns, neutrals, and special collaboration designs.

The History of Clogs

Unlike the relatively recent invention of Crocs, clogs have been around for centuries. The exact origins of clogs are unclear, but they are believed to have first emerged in Europe sometime between the 12th and 14th centuries.

Early clogs were carved out of a single piece of wood to protect the feet while working outdoors. The underside was hollowed out, while the top footbed was flat. This simple design allowed clogs to be worn in muddy or wet conditions without slipping off. Thick wooden soles also provided protection when stepping on debris or sharp objects.

Wooden clogs became commonly associated with peasants and farmers in places like Holland, England, and Scandinavia. However, the shoes were also worn by all classes since they were affordable, durable, and waterproof.

Modern clogs retain some key features of traditional styles, like closed heels, flat bottoms, and hard soles. However, today’s clogs are usually made with more comfortable, lightweight materials like plastic, resin, rubber, or foam.


At first glance, Crocs and clogs may look quite similar. They share some visual cues like:

  • A one-piece molded construction
  • Holes across the top for ventilation
  • Back strap for security
  • Flat platform sole

However, when placed side by side, there are some clear stylistic differences between the two:

Crocs Clogs
Come in bolder, brighter colors and busy patterns Typically neutral toned and minimalist
Signature chunky sole Thinner, flatter sole
Rounded toe shape Pointed or squared toe silhouette

Crocs have more exaggerated lines and details for a clunkier, funkier look. Clogs tend to have a sleeker, more refined appearance by sticking to solid colors and clean lines.


Since both styles were originally designed as functional footwear, comfort is a high priority.

The Croslite foam used in Crocs is soft, flexible, and conforms nicely to your feet. The toe box is wide with plenty of room for toes to spread out. The back strap also loosens or tightens to accommodate swelling throughout the day.

That said, some find Crocs uncomfortably heavy. The thicker sole can also feel rigid and inflexible compared to other shoes.

Clogs made from natural wood provide exceptional arch support and shock absorption. Modern synthetic clogs have incorporated comfort features like memory foam, soft linings, and flexible outsoles.

The slimmer profile of clogs enhances your natural gait. And clogs tend to be more lightweight than the dense Croslite foam of Crocs.

For all-day wear, clogs may have a slight edge in comfort. But ultimately comfort depends on finding the right fit and style for your feet.


Both Crocs and clogs are easy to slip on and off, making them convenient casual styles. A few differences affect their usability:

  • Clogs come in professional/dressy styles suitable for workplaces and formal occasions. Crocs are better suited for casual, everyday use.
  • Crocs offer better traction on slippery surfaces, while clogs can be prone to scuffing.
  • Clogs conform to the foot for a more secure fit. Some Crocs styles may feel loose, causing your foot to slide.
  • Crocs are waterproof. Wooden clogs will absorb moisture and need to fully dry out to prevent warping.

Crocs are ideal for activities like gardening, boating, or walking on wet ground. Clogs transition better from casual to dressy environments.


Here are the general price ranges you can expect for Crocs vs. clogs:

Brand Price Range
Crocs $30 – $70
Clogs (Dansko, Sanita, etc.) $100 – $150

Crocs are widely available at lower price points, while clogs from reputable brands cost more. With either type of shoe, you’ll pay more for custom patterns, prints, or collaborations.

The price difference stems from the manufacturing process. Each pair of clogs is hand assembled, pushing process higher. Crocs are mass produced using efficient molding systems.

Clogs may require a higher upfront investment. But their durability can offer better cost per wear over time.


To extend the life of your shoes:

  • Clean Crocs using mild soap and water, avoiding harsh detergents that can degrade Croslite material.
  • Use wood oil or cream to nourish and weatherproof wooden clogs.
  • Allow both styles to fully air dry if exposed to moisture before storing.
  • Use shoe trees or orthotic inserts to help clogs and Crocs retain their shape when not being worn.
  • Avoid leaving either style in direct sunlight, which can cause fading.

Crocs tend to be hassle-free and low maintenance. Clogs may require more careful cleaning and storage to prevent drying out or cracking.


With both Crocs and clogs, sizing can be tricky.

Crocs should fit snugly at first and conform to your feet over time. Most people size down 1-2 full sizes from their normal shoe size for the best Crocs fit.

Clogs don’t come in traditional size ranges. Brands use European sizing that runs from 33-46. Always measure your feet and consult the brand’s size charts when first purchasing clogs.

Trying on different sizes is recommended for both types of shoes to find your ideal fit. The styles may run large or small compared to other footwear.

Style Variety

Crocs offer an incredibly diverse selection of clog styles and colors. Some of their most popular models include:

  • Classic Clog – The original icon available in over 20 colors
  • Literide Clog – A lightweight performance style with improved arch support
  • Bayaband Clog – Features adjustable heel straps for a secure fit
  • Platform Clog – Chunky sole with extra height

Clogs come in fewer variations, usually differentiated by features like material, tread patterns, or strap style. Brands like Dansko, Sanita, and Swedish Hasbeens offer the most style choices.

For diversity, Crocs are hard to beat. Their collaborations with brands like Salehe Bembury and Post Malone also offer unique limited-edition styles.


At the end of the day, Crocs and clogs have more similarities than differences. Both offer casual, comfortable footwear with reliable durability. Mainly, Crocs emphasize fun colors and innovative design while clogs focus on traditional craftsmanship.

Consider where and how often you plan to wear your new shoes. Crocs add playful flair to everyday outfits. Clogs transition more readily to the workplace or dressy occasions.

If cost is a concern, affordable Crocs may be the way to go. Those seeking an investment in long-lasting quality could opt for clogs instead.

You really can’t go wrong with either choice. Crocs and clogs both deliver laidback, supportive comfort that can handle busy lifestyles. Let your personal style and intended use help determine which is right for your wardrobe.