What’s one way to never ever get hit on? Easy! Wear Balenciaga’s Croc Madame, their heeled green Croc. The piece made its bulbous rubber debut for spring 2022 and promptly went viral. A heel on a Croc? People hate/love to see it. Fast forward a year later, I’ve put this unsightly but haute rubber clog, which retails for $625, on my dainty princess-like feet. With a denim skirt, black tights, and a leopard print shirt, no less.
This isn’t the first time I’ve test-driven a Balenciaga ugly shoe. My phalanges are used to the Maison’s eccentric soles. Last year, I walked around in their heeled toe shoes, a collaboration with the techy Vibram’s FiveFinger. I felt weirdly sexy in them, almost animalistic. Something about having each toe visibly defined adds a bit of naughtiness that a standard boot just can’t do.
Unlike Balenciaga’s Vibram’s FiveFinger boots, I can’t say I felt peak hot-girl in the Croc Madame. A Croc is a statement in and of itself, and a heeled version is even more extreme. It’s essentially a Croc on a pedestal—and that, of course, turns heads. I surely got attention from people when I wore it. “Is that the….?” one of my colleagues asked as I strolled through the office. (Yes, it is.) Another colleague stopped me in the cafeteria. “Are you wearing these because you own them or because this is for a story?” they asked. I replied, “Do you think I own these? That’s a sure way to never get laid again.” Then again, its staunch ugliness is also its beauty. You may not get hit on, but you won’t lack a conversation starter.
It was only a matter of time before Balenciaga created a Croc heel. In fall 2018 they released a teetering stacked platform Croc. That year, the artist Gab Bois released a dangerous heel tacked onto a fuchsia Croc. In addition to their Croc Madame for summer 2022, they also released a steel-toe Croc, worn by Elliot Page.
I have to say…Balenciaga is on to something. The shoes are extremely comfortable. It’s like slipping your foot into a cloud that looks like a VW bug. Plus, the heel adds a ladylike quality so you’re not clomp-clomping around as you would in a regular Croc, but rather carrying yourself with poise and elegance. (A heel after all physically heightens the body and causes one to walk differently and more carefully.) I have to say by the end of the day, I didn’t care what people thought of me. It was a comfortable shoe that takes a confident person to wear, which I became immediately after I slipped them on. Call me Croc Madame.