In the summer of 2013 I criss-crossed America by motorcycle. I needed a versatile and comfy pair of kicks to slip into after long days in the saddle wearing boots, and my flip flops weren’t cutting it, so in Chicago I bit the bullet and bought a pair of Crocs. They survived everything from the bleachers at Wrigley to bar-hopping in Seattle to the heat and desolation of “the loneliest road in America.”
In fact, that same pair of Crocs was on my feet this morning as I biked my daughter to school, and almost a decade after that motorcycle trip, Crocs have become ubiquitous, adorning the feet of everyone from her toddler classmates to her teachers, not to mention all those who have recognized that Crocs are the best shoes for a lot of activities. They work as water shoes, garden shoes, boat shoes, work shoes, and trendy TikTok shoes (if you have the right jibbitz). We all have to admit: Crocs are functional, comfortable shoes, and they deserve the due they're now getting.
Yet in the intervening years, many other brands have put their spin on the slip-on adventure clog—and we're not talking knockoffs—creating shoes that eschew style in favor of function to the point that they’ve become ironically stylish themselves. So here we are, at peak Croc. For those who want to hop aboard but don't want Original Crocs, let this list of the best Croc alternatives be your guide.
Best All-Rounder: Chacos Chillos Clog
Chaco is another footwear brand with a loyal following to debut an alternative to Crocs with its Chillos Clog. Chacos are renowned for their support, exemplified here with an integrated Luvseat insole, and excel when the going gets slippery, even with this non-lugged, non-marking EVA outsole. With adjustable webbing that runs over the top of the feet and behind the heel, you can dial in the fit of these slip-on shoes. With ventilation holes that are only over the instep, however, the Chillos might not be your pick for long days around the water.
Price: $65 SHOP NOW
Best Croc Upgrade: Suicoke MOK
The Japanese brand Suicoke's MOK Injection Sandal, which are more like clog shoes than sandals, look like a Croc that finally grew up and got a degree. The profile is less playful and a little more streamlined, and the style upgrade is reflected in the price point ($139). The MOKs are ideal for everyday wear, but are not going to be the clogs you take on a wilderness excursion.
Price: $139 SHOP NOW
Most Sustainable: Ales Grey Rodeo Drive Slip-On
The Rodeo Drive from Ales Grey is another ultralight and breathable slip-on clog, but it's one that you can feel good about buying. That's because it's made of 100% XL Extralight foam, which is made from 51% recycled materials and is recyclable itself. They're also made in a solar-powered factory and ship in recycled and biodegradable packaging.
Price: $88 SHOP NOW
Best for Water: Merrell Hydro Moc
Merrell owners tend to be a dedicated bunch, so it is no surprise that the Hydro Moc has quickly built a cult following, thanks to its elevated performance in and around water. The Hydro Moc has generous ventilation holes for breathability that also allow for drainage after being submerged, and the articulated heel means these will stay secure regardless of terrain, especially with the heel strap. The Hydro Mocs even sort of look like they emerged from a swamp themselves, which, depending on your fashion preferences, may or may not be a good thing.
Price: $55 SHOP NOW
Most Stylish: Vans Slip-On TRK
Taking the classic Vans slip-on silhouette and creating a single piece injected rubber version with checkered ventilation has given the iconic brand a mighty stylish option in the water-resistant shoe category. Like super-functional loafers the brand new TRK is ideal for casual forays on water and land, though the sole didn’t provide as much support as I’d want in a true adventure shoe. I could feel the rocks underfoot when going off-road, but at a beachside bar these are a standout, especially given the slip-resistant outsole.
Price: $55 SHOP NOW
Most Comfortable: OOFOS OOCANDOO Sandal
OOFOS have undeniably decadent support that my parents swear by, which, like many things parents wear, makes me somewhat wary. Yet with the OOcandoo they’ve created a highly functional and compelling offering that includes the brand's trademark cushy footbed, and, unlike the Crocs classic clog, a strap for security. They might be the least stylish on this list, but if Crocs are any indication, they will be in about a decade. This could be your chance to be ahead of the pack!
Price: $100 SHOP NOW
Most Versatile: Hoka One One Hopara Sandal
Speaking of a wilderness excursion, Hoka has entered the fray with a purpose built sandal that could probably perform better than many hiking boots on an ascent and crush most river shoes around the water. The Hopara offers plenty of support, ventilation, and security, even featuring a toe cap to defend against debris. Unlike Crocs, it also has a lugged outsole that's decidedly non-slip on almost any surface. This is the sandal I’d reach for if the apocalypse was coming.
Price: $35 SHOP NOW
Best Ultralight Option: Birkenstock EVA Arizona
Okay, these aren’t actually clogs, but Birkenstock makes a heck of a sandal, and the EVA Arizonas deserve a shout out for accompanying me on a surprising amount of adventures. Recently, they've earned praise from thru-hikers and bikepackers as a camp shoe because they're nine ounces per pair. They have the main hallmarks of Crocs, too—they're super comfortable and quick-drying—plus they fit in perfectly at my local coffee shop.
Price: $50 SHOP NOW
Best for Athletes: Kane Revive
What do you get when you cross a Croc with a running shoe? Kane's Revive, a pair of shoes that's part slip-on, part recovery sneaker that has been my daily driver for the past few months. The Revive is made from a sugarcane-based EVA foam, making it environmentally friendly, and was designed by an orthopedist to promote recovery. The cushion underfoot is ideal for chasing around my toddler at the playground, and the anatomical design secures the heel just like the heel strap on a pair of Crocs. These take a little extra effort to slip on, but they’ve been keeping my feet happy through long, hot, active days.
Price: $75 SHOP NOW
Best Clog: Keen Yogui Arts
Another contender is the Keen Yogui Arts, a slip-on with plenty of room and decent arch-support. These are an excellent option for casual endeavors, though the lack of straps will make them liable to slide off when the going gets tough (or the river is flowing). Style-wise, the Yogui Arts is kind of like the art your toddler makes: so strange looking it’s actually…brilliant?
Price: $65 SHOP NOW