Over the last five years, Crocs have steadily grown in their popularity. 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”. Despite what you think about Crocs, that’s not what we’re here to answer. 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, then 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 when in “sport mode”.
On the market for new cross-training shoes? Check out my TF2 Cross-Training Shoe Calculator to be matched with the perfect models for your needs.
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.
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 why Crocs fall short for 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.
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.
In the context of working out, this is less than ideal because if your Crocs are sliding around, then you’ll lack the ability to ground the feet. Whether you’re lifting or doing more dynamic work, a shoe that’s sliding is going to be capped with its potential 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 fair 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.
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 a lot of instances, I’ve found that I actually forget I have on my Crocs especially if I’m out running and errands and focused on my surroundings. That being said, if you’re wearing them casually and wanting 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.
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 for wearing 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.
Crocs Classic Clog
- Daily Wear
- Casual Walking
- For Walking Workouts
- For Exercise
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.
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 material used in them are water-friendly.
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).
I buy and test the products featured on That Fit Friend using a regimen of training tests that I’ve developed over years of testing training shoes and gear. I may earn commissions on sales made through the links on my site.