In 2021, ultrarunner Jeff Garmire wanted to make things interesting for himself. Just a few days before his 5K race, he decided he’ll use Crocs as running shoes. He completed the race successfully and performed as well as he usually did.
That raised an interesting question in the running community – is running in Crocs actually a good idea?
We have always perceived Crocs to be the kind of footwear that one wears for casual occasions like gardening, running errands, or short walks. But seeing these athletes run in Crocs has really sparked a controversial debate.
So, what’s the conclusion – can Crocs be used as running shoes, or are they simply not built for that? Let’s find out.
Can I Use Crocs for Running?
Generally, it’s not recommended to use Crocs as running shoes because they don’t support high-impact and intense physical activities. They are often made of Croslite, a foam-like material that is comfortable and cushy but only appropriate for casual wear.
For running, podiatrists recommend investing in actual running shoes that are specifically designed to provide the necessary support and stability to minimise the risk of injury or pain.
One of the main reasons why Crocs cannot be used as running shoes is that they lack adequate support for runners. Wearing them for long periods, especially while running, can lead to discomfort and foot pain.
So, while Crocs might feel comfortable and stylish for everyday use, they are not ideal for running and other high-impact exercises.
Why Can’t I Use Crocs for Running?
You might like how Crocs feel around your feet when you are performing casual tasks like walking or doing chores.
But wearing them while running, even with the sports mode activated, might not be ideal.
Here’s why you should never consider running in Crocs:
Crocs Lack Adequate Support
Crocs don’t come with sufficient arch support or heel support.
Moreover, the backless nature of Crocs causes your toes to clench together subconsciously. Doing this for prolonged periods can lead to long-term complications in your arch. As such, closed shoes are necessary for activities like running.
If worn excessively while running, Crocs might also lead to calluses or toe deformities like hammertoes.
Crocs Don’t Provide Proper Cushioning
When you start wearing them initially, Crocs might feel highly comfortable and cushy around your toes and feet. However, they are made from Croslite foam, which can only support your feet during casual occasions.
The foam does have some amount of cushioning. But it’s not enough to sustain activities like running, where the impact forces need to be absorbed to prevent serious injuries.
Running shoes, on the other hand, come with a myriad of advanced cushioning technologies to provide superior shock absorption. These technologies might include air or gel pockets to keep your feet safe and protected.
Crocs Do Not Offer Stability
If you are running, your body needs to be stable to prevent excessive foot movement, which is one of the leading causes of injuries picked up during high-impact cardio.
That’s why running shoes come with in-built features like heel counters and midfoot shanks to maximise stability while you are running.
Crocs, on the other hand, are only designed for casual wear. They are often loose and made from flexible materials. Wearing them, you won’t have the proper stability that you require for running comfortably without risking any injuries.
Crocs Don’t Provide Adequate Breathability
Looking at all the pores dotting the upper portion of your Crocs, you would think that they would at least keep your feet cool and dry.
However, that is far from the case.
The ventilation holes in your Crocs do not work when you are running. That’s because your feet will sweat more. And as Crocs are not made of breathable materials, it may lead to discomfort and increase the risk of blisters and foot odour.
Crocs are not Durable
As we mentioned, Crocs are not meant to sustain high-impact activities. As such, they are not designed to endure the wear and tear that comes with running.
Crocs are lightweight, which makes them highly comfortable and convenient to wear. However, this also makes them prone to premature wear and breakdown, especially when subjected to the intense demands associated with exercises like running.
Crocs Don’t Support Foot Biomechanics
Foot mechanics like natural gait cycles and foot strike patterns are highly important in determining the quality of your runs and decreasing the risk of picking up injuries and foot-related conditions.
That is why running shoes are engineered to support these biomechanics and make running feel more natural.
Crocs, on the other hand, do not have these features. As such, running in Crocs might lead to improper running form and increase the risk of injury.
Reduced Energy Return
Energy return is one of the most key components that can dictate the influence of your footwear on your running performance. Shoes that are designed specifically for running are made from specific materials and use various technologies to maximise energy return.
Energy return technologies allow running shoes to store some of the energy from the impact of your feet on the ground and then release it during the toe-off phase to propel you forward with an extra burst of power.
Crocs, on the other hand, are more focused on providing maximum comfort for casual wearers who might be looking for cushy and lightweight footwear options. They don’t include features to enhance energy return, making them a less than adequate-choice for activities like running.
There are two types of people – those who love Crocs and those who don’t. Whichever category you fall into, you must admit that you cannot use Crocs as running shoes simply because they are not designed for that.
Crocs don’t provide adequate stability and support for high-impact exercises. Wearing them while running, therefore, can lead to severe complications and foot-related injuries in the long run.