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Can You Work Out In Crocs? (No, Even If They’re In Sport Mode)

We all know someone who lives and swears by Crocs as being their favorite casual shoe for daily wear and comfort. Unlike other casual shoes, Crocs tend to have a lot of strong opinions about them, and there never seems to be an in-between.

Some love Crocs, and some think they’re “ugly.” Regardless of what you think about Crocs, we’re not here to answer that question. We’re here to discuss the topic of “Can you work out in Crocs?”

In lifting and sports communities, there’s an ongoing joke about putting your Crocs in “sport mode” if you plan to be active in them.

If you’ve been wondering about working out in your Crocs, this article is for you. I purposefully (and satirically) trained in mine, fairly hard at that, for a few lifting sessions to assess how great Crocs are for working out in “sport mode.”

Strength Coach’s Thoughts On Crocs In the Gym

  • Let’s be real. If you plan to push your intensity and effort in the gym, ditch the Crocs. They’re sub-optimal shoes in any gym context, especially if you’re doing any form of lower-body training.
  • Sure, they can be fine if you’re doing casual upper-body stuff, but even then, I would say just wear a proper pair of gym shoes. It’s safer to do so. The last thing you want is to trip on a Croc while grabbing heavy dumbbells for a dumbbell bench press.
  • IMO, the majority of lifters who wear Crocs to the gym are the younger intermediate lifters when they’re in that stage of, “It’s cool to act like you don’t care or like you don’t need proper shoes.” That used to be me, too, so I get it. But in reality, it’s just silly to wear Crocs in any serious gym setting.

What Does Sport Mode Mean for Crocs?

If you know someone with Crocs, then you’ve likely heard them say something about putting them in “sport mode”. In various lifting and sports circles, there’s an ongoing joke about putting your Crocs in “sport mode” when you flip their heel strap down.

This heel strap helps to lock the Crocs on your feet so they don’t slide off easily and turns this classic clog in a 4×4 offroad machine. If you’re working out or being more active, then this heel strap is pretty great so your Crocs stay locked on the feet. 

crocs in sport mode

The idea of “sport mode” for Crocs is rooted in sarcasm, but there is some truth to the fact that the tab will make your Crocs more activity-friendly. So, if you have a pair of Crocs and flip down the tab, congratulations, you just went into “sport mode”.

Can You Work Out In Crocs?

Even if your Crocs are in sport mode, it’s probably not the best idea to use them for exercise, especially if you plan to work out at any level that’s above very casual. Here are three reasons why Crocs will be sub-optimal shoes for working out.

1. They’ll Lack Stability

The first reason Crocs falls short of working out is their overall stability. Crocs are built with a proprietary closed-cell resin called Croslite™. This material does not contain plastic, and it’s not fully rubber, so it’s lightweight, comfortable, and provides a nice level of cushion.

For daily wear, Croslite is great and comfortable, but for lifting it falls short due to its compressive nature. For example, if you were to pick up a loaded barbell with Crocs on, then you’ll start to notice compression fairly fast and around 185 lbs in my experience.

Even if you’re using machines, you’ll notice that the sole of Crocs will compress fairly easily and lack stability.

crocs workout

Plus, if we look at the sole of Crocs, they’re fairly thick and will have a higher stack height than most training shoes and shoes for working out. For the record, I’ve deadlifted 405 lb in Crocs for satire and they were definitely less than ideal for lifting.

2. They Can Fall Off Your Feet

Even if you have your heel strap down, you may still run into issues with your Crocs moving around on the feet. A lot of times when we use Crocs, they don’t fit perfectly flush with the foot so if you have a little room in your toe box, then you may find your Crocs moving up and down the foot when moving.

can you workout in crocs

In the context of working out, this is less than ideal because if your Crocs are sliding around, you’ll lack the ability to ground your feet. Whether you’re lifting or doing more dynamic work, a shoe that’s sliding will limit your ability to assist with your balance and performance.

3. They’re Not Protective

A lot of gym owners and larger commercial gyms require you to wear close-toed shoes, and for good reason. When it comes to protecting the foot as a whole, close-toed shoes will fare a lot better than a Croc and for fairly obvious reasons. Crocs have a lightweight build and expose half of the foot with their construction.

can you exercise in crocs

When it comes to the context of shoes and liability in gyms, a pair of Crocs will lack protection for the foot from both accidents of dropping objects and friction from training. Basically, the anatomy of Crocs will do little to provide you with a shoe that will help protect the feet from various workout demands and potential gym accidents.

To answer the above question, Crocs are not good workout shoes. They lack overall stability, can fall off the feet fairly easily when working out, and lack adequate foot protection.

Are Crocs Good for Walking?

If you want to use your Crocs primarily for walking, then you’ve likely wondered if they’re a good option for walking longer distances.

Crocs can be a solid option for someone who wants a casual loafer-style shoe for walking, running errands, and wearing out and about. Their Croslite construction provides a nice cushion, and they never feel overly uncomfortable on the feet.

The Classic Clog is also lightweight, so in many instances, I’ve found that I actually forget I have on my Crocs, especially if I’m out running errands and focused on my surroundings. That being said, if you’re wearing them casually and want them for all-day casual wear, then Crocs can work really well.

However, Crocs will not be your best option for dedicated walking-focused workouts, but again, for casual walking and all-day wear, they work.

can you walk in crocs

Another aspect to consider about Crocs and walking long distances for workouts is that they lack adequate midfoot support. If this is something you need in a dedicated walking shoe, then you’ll likely find Crocs to fall short for your foot’s anatomy and your footwear preferences.

If you want a shoe to walk specific distances in with the intent of using walking at different paces as a means of training and working out, then you’ll want a model that will be more catered to your performance asks, wants, and needs.

In this case, you may want to find a good running shoe that provides a nice cushion and closed-toe construction.

Are Crocs Good for All-Day Wear?

If you plan to wear your Crocs for all-day occasions, then you’ve likely wondered if they’re comfortable and supportive enough for your needs. Personally, I think if you want a pair of Crocs to wear around the house, running errands, and lounging, then they’ll work well for your needs and wants.

Crocs’ Croslite construction is so lightweight and comfortable that Crocs are super easy to wear. Plus, most Crocs models have a wide toe box so you’ll have ample room to let the toes splay and fully flex. Basically, your feet are never going to feel cramped or limited when wearing Crocs.

For this reason, I do think they can be a great option for all-day wear. The only caveat is that once again, they may lack midfoot support for your arches so if this is something that you need in your all-day wear shoes, then Crocs may work for you for an extended amount of time, but they’ll fall short for all-day comfort due to their lack of support.

Are Crocs Comfortable?

While comfort is obviously a subjective topic, my personal opinion is that Crocs are a comfortable footwear option. I admit, for years, I was in the camp and way of thinking that labeled Crocs as “ugly” and likely not comfortable. However, after wearing them for months on end, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed how comfortable my Crocs have been.

They break in after a week of wear and I enjoy their CrosLite construction. Plus, their wider toe box and width make them easy to slip on and off, so whether you’re slipping them on to run out and about or taking them off at your desk then I think you’ll enjoy their ease of use.

crocs for housework

Note, this is not me trying to push you towards a pair of Crocs, nor am I trying to tell you to invest in a pair. More so, I want to highlight that I wasn’t initially a fan of Crocs, but after using them for casual wear a while, I’ve enjoyed wearing them. I primarily wear mine for walking the dogs, running errands, and doing casual housework.

Outside of comfort, I also like that Crocs are so easy to clean. To clean your Crocs (the Classic Clog), all you need is lukewarm water, a mild soap, and a towel to wipe them down.

You never need to stress the materials getting soaked and ruined since the materials used in them are water-friendly.

Takeaway Thoughts

Even if you flick your Crocs in “sport mode” it’s likely not the best idea to use them for training. If you’re doing casual lifting and lightly loaded work, then you can technically wear them, but they’ll have limitations and they’re not going to be the best option for foot protection in a variety of gym settings.

For all-day wear, comfort, and casual walking, Crocs will work well and they’re easy to clean and overall fairly durable.

If you have any questions on Crocs or if you should invest in a pair, feel free to drop a comment below or reach out to me personally via Instagram (@jake_boly).

Jake Boly, CSCS, MS Sports Science

Jake Boly, CSCS, MS Sports Science

Jake Boly is the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of That Fit Friend. He's often regarded to as a go-to resource in various performance shoe communities. He’s been formally reviewing shoes and training gear for over 7 years and has hand-tested over 400 pairs of shoes. Jake is known on the internet and YouTube for blending his review process with his educational, strength sports, and personal training background.

Jake has a Masters in Sports Science, a Bachelors in Exercise Science, a CSCS, and he's been personal training for over 10 years helping hundreds of clients get stronger, lose weight, and accomplish their goals. He uses his exercise science brain and personal training background to make curated and thoughtful review content on the fitness gear he's testing.

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