2021 Clogs Footwear Fashion – The Latest Silhouette Trend Taking Over From the Socks and Sandals

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Last Updated on 2021-01-13 by Anna Wintour

Summer footwear has been through some surprising trends over the past few years, from white socks and sliders to chunky Japanese sandals – men have been exploring past fashion sins and giving them a new narrative. The latest shoe to go through this transformation are clogs.

The current footwear market is making a move away from overpriced sneakers and overly branded shoes and placing more importance on the quality and longevity of designs. Highsnobiety’s recent survey went so far as suggesting that since quarantine, “Logos have never seemed less cool, timelessness has replaced trendiness, and selling off your sneaker closet has become not only a hustle, but an expression of common sense.”

As boots and loafers are replacing hyped sneakers and fashion adapts to a post-streetwear world, the clog – a backless work shoe traditionally made from wood – is the latest silhouette to garner attention. Slowly it is taking over from the socks and sandals trend.

Fashion YouTuber Christian Scibetta says, “Clogs are having a moment that’s visible right now,” and that moment has been amplified by Kanye West donning a pair from German label Birkenstock while posing in front of his tank in Calabasas, for the latest GQ cover story. Matching his footwear with a pair of Levis X Denim Tears jeans, a beige Dunhill kimono wrap jacket and a Rochas trench coat, the eclectic outfit has garnered a lot of traction online.

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For the May issue of GQ, @WillWelch spoke with Kanye West in a series of interviews that took place over three months and across three different countries. Head to the link in bio for the full story. Photographs by @Tylersphotos.

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The 200-year-old brand Birkenstock has a lot to answer for the rise of the clog, as many are turning to its Boston model for an affordable and classic way of getting in on the trend. The German brand has been having its own fashion moment, collaborating with the likes of Rick Owens and Valentino over the past few seasons.

The Boston has always been a popular silhouette for the footwear label, favoured by chefs and trendy gardeners but has found itself a new market. An indication of how popular the shoe is becoming, a rare pair of Boston’s made in collaboration with Chrome Hearts are listed on resale website Grailed for $5,057 (£4,000+).

For a more high-end spin on the shoe which was originally worn by peasants, Alyx has released pairs of clogs with the label’s signature details like detachable soles or rollercoaster buckles. JW Anderson also has a pair in a range of colours from plain black leather to loud multi-coloured prints. These have been a huge hit for the brand – a variation of the shoe with large chain links were on the feet of all but two models in its fall 2021 menswear show (pictured top).

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The Western Mule from Our Legacy is the perfect clunky clog. Image courtesy of @ourlegacy via Instagram

The label that has kept things most traditional and therefore simultaneously created the most outlandish clog is Our Legacy. With a chunky heel and all-leather upper, the shoe is a take on the Swedish Hasbeen, which is the closest in shape to traditional pairs. Celine has also created a variation of the Hasbeen which embraces the clogs clunky legacy but it is only available for women.

Despite all these options, the most well-recognised clog is the antithesis of fashion to most people. Crocs have been known for selecting practicality over style, it is the perfect comfy shoe to do the gardening, but one that you would not want to be seen in outside.

Scibetta believes this is due to change, however, “I think Crocs have a lot of potential to have a moment. I’m not sure if it’s inevitable, but there are some cool collaborations like the recent Crocs x Beams, and there was the Balenciaga Croc from a few years back. So in terms of fashion with a capital F, yeah I think fashionable people will recognise them as a cool sporty clog.”

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Could these be the perfect self-isolation shoe? Crocs image courtesy of @pharrell via Instagram

With celebrity endorsement from Pharrell Williams and a myriad of influencers who are already choosing to wear crocs, this is not an unrealistic prediction. Scibetta says that soon everyone will be in on the action, “In terms of trickling down, I think they’re affordable, easy to wear and that is perfect for the spring/summer and really an ideal house shoe while everyone’s under quarantine.”

That you can wear clogs as a practical slipper has made them perfectly suited for life in quarantine, you can throw on a pair to do everything from making your breakfast, going to the shops or to drive your tank (if you are Kanye West). For as long as we are stuck inside, there seems to be no better footwear option.

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