Across its nearly 20-year history, comfy clogs maker Crocs reported Q4 2020 as its best quarter yet. Their primary style is arguably a little hard on the eyes, not to mention covered in holes, but there is something about the shoe that has people buying multiple pairs: comfort.

Nineteen percent of U.S. adults who know of the Crocs brand own a pair. Another 8% claim they used to own a pair but weren’t in love with them. 

In general, 3% report intentions to own a pair of Crocs at some point, though when asked specifically about likelihood to purchase in the next three months, that percentage increases to 11%. 

Crocs seems to be one the many off-beat trends Gen Z picked up and went wild with. They are the most likely age group to currently own Crocs, and the most likely to buy a pair in the next three months. 

When asked about current ownership, 11% of the 18- to 24-year-olds surveyed said they had owned a pair but didn’t like them. So, despite having the highest percentage of ownership and intent to purchase in the near future, there is something about the shoes that Gen Z also dislikes more than other age groups.

As Crocs product developers and business strategists already know, healthcare workers are big buyers of their shoes. When made with patented, foot-molding technology, who’s to argue? For CivicScience, the interesting consumer demographic data point is that teachers have worn but disliked Crocs more than any other occupation studied.

Teachers, like most healthcare professionals, spend several hours – if not all their working hours – standing or walking. It could be something as simple as Crocs match with scrubs because scrubs are already unflattering and boring. What if you’re doing your job in slacks and a button-up? Would holey clogs throw off the overall look? There is something to dig into here.

CivicScience surveying confirmed that U.S. adults do have a hard time with how Crocs look. Forty-six percent of respondents said ‘All Crocs brand shoes are ugly.’ Twenty-three percent were more diplomatic, but still indicated an issue with style. 

But for Crocs, it’s inaccurate to assume consumers need to like the shoe’s style in order to buy a pair. A company doesn’t have a record-breaking sales quarter with only 8% of the Gen Pop, who didn’t think the shoes were ugly, making purchases. In other words, style isn’t stopping people from buying Crocs. It’s almost as if the out-there, fashion-backward look is part of what drives the appeal.