Are Crocs bad for the environment? & 6 eco-friendly alternatives to Crocs.


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Are Crocs bad for the environment? You’ll discover the answer in this article! You’ll also find 6 eco-friendly alternatives to Crocs your feet and the planet will love. 

While many people find Crocs shoes ugly and not fashionable at all, we cannot deny that they’ve been very popular for quite a while now. 

They’re very practical, comfortable, and versatile, and they’re sold in a wide range of colors and designs.

However, they’re far from being sustainable! 

If you’re trying to live more sustainably and adopt a zero-waste lifestyle, you might be on the lookout for more sustainable Croc-like shoes. 

In this blog post, I answer the burning question: are Crocs bad for the environment? 

I’ve also rounded up six eco-friendly alternatives to Crocs so you can still buy this style of shoe without harming the planet. 

This blog post contains affiliate links which means that if you buy something through such links, I will get a small commission without any extra cost for you. Please read my Disclosure for more details. 

Are Crocs bad for the environment?

To understand Crocs’ environmental impact, we first need to know what they are made of. 

What are Crocs made of? Are Crocs made from recycled material?

The brand states that its shoes are made of Croslite™ material.

It is primarily composed of polyethylene vinyl acetate, also called PEVA or sometimes EVA.

This material, whose chemical components come from fossil fuels, is basically plastic. 

Are Crocs recyclable?

While some types of plastic are recyclable, not all of them are.

Unfortunately, EVA is still very complex to recycle, so it isn’t accepted through curbside or municipal recycling programs. 

Of course, check if your local area is an exception and does accept EVA.

But if you cannot find the information, assume that it doesn’t. 

Are Crocs biodegradable? 

Unfortunately, EVA isn’t biodegradable either.

It does not break down easily or quickly in the environment.

If it’s thrown in a landfill, it will take hundreds of years to decompose, like most other plastics. 

Crocs are therefore neither biodegradable nor compostable.

In this article, I answer the question: are Crocs bad for the environment? You'll also find 6 eco-friendly alternatives to Crocs.

So, are Crocs sustainable? 

Since they’re made of a synthetic material, Crocs cannot be considered sustainable.

Producing them contributes to climate change and global warming.

They also aren’t biodegradable and cannot be recycled at the end of their lives. 

One benefit though is that they’re long-lasting.

It means that we can get years of wear out of them before they need replacing. 

The brand also announced that it has started using bio-based content and that it plans to achieve 50% bio-based content in its shoes by 2030.

However, I couldn’t find any model made with bio-based content (as of May 2024). 

The company ships its products in a polybag made of 100% recycled material.

It also allows you to send back your unused or worn-out Crocs, and they’ll be donated or recycled into new products.

Despite these few steps in the right direction, Crocs cannot be considered sustainable.

There’s still a lot of progress to be made. 

Thankfully, we can find more eco-friendly alternatives to Crocs! 

Read more: 10 brilliant ways to help the environment

What to look for when shopping for eco-friendly alternatives to Crocs?

Try to avoid Croc-like shoes made of virgin plastic or EVA.

Some brands sell models made from bio-based materials, which have a lower environmental footprint.

These are a great option! 

If you can find shoes made of sustainably harvested natural rubber, or even better, from recycled rubber or recycled plastic, opt for those. 

Also, make sure you choose high-quality shoes that are made to last.

Support brands that have implemented ethical and sustainable practices throughout their supply chains. 

For instance, some may have taken steps to limit their energy consumption, reduce waste, or have a recycling program. 

Others may also offer to repair your worn-down shoes. 

Finally, consider buying from a brand that received third-party certifications like B Corporations. 

Read more:

Want to switch to more sustainable Croc-like shoes? Here are 6 eco-friendly alternatives to Crocs!

6 eco-friendly alternatives to Crocs your feet and the planet will love

1. Billie Clogs – Merry People

For: Women & Men

Materials: Natural Rubber, EVA

The Billie Clogs sold by Merry People are some of the best eco-friendly alternatives to Crocs!

These versatile and multi-purpose clogs are a comfortable slip-on that is perfect for the home and garden. 

Made from 100% vegan materials with a natural rubber waterproof finish, they provide all-weather protection and grip for all-day wear. 

Their soles offer enhanced traction on slippery surfaces with flexible neoprene lining for extra comfort.

They also include built-in arch support and removable insoles to accommodate orthotics, bunions, and wider feet. 

Merry People makes sure they are built to last and designs them in a range of beautiful colors that can be worn by men and women.

You’ll find both neutral colors and bright, bold ones such as chili red, lavender, or sky blue.  

The brand ships them using FSC-certified and recycled packaging and donates its non-sellable (but wearable) products to people in need.

If you’re in Australia, you can drop your worn shoes at any Tread Lightly collection locations and they’ll get recycled into flooring! 


2. Kane Revive Shoes – Kane Footwear

For: Women, Men, Kids

Materials: Sugarcane-Based EVA

Kane Footwear is on a mission to create a well-designed, supportive shoe that stimulates recovery. 

Its Kane Revive model is a sustainable injection molded sneaker made in Brazil from sugarcane-based EVA foam.

The great thing about using sugarcane is that this resource is renewable and captures CO2 as it grows, so it helps reduce greenhouse gasses. 

These shoes provide grip and the ideal balance of arch support and cushioning, allowing your leg and foot muscles to recover.

Their raised footbed nodes activate blood flow in key pressure points. 

And like Crocs, these shoes are very breathable thanks to their perforations that allow enhanced airflow.

You’ll get to choose from a large selection of sizes and 16 gorgeous colors (including multicolored models).

Did I mention they’re washable, quick-drying, and very durable? 

I also love that the brand is a member of 1% For The Planet and its packaging is FSC-certified.

Plus, it carries the B Corp certification, meaning it’s one of the best in terms of ethics and sustainability! 


3. Jefferson Sugarlite, Jefferson Clogs, Jefferson Bloom, Miles Sugarlite, & Jericho Sugarlite – Native Shoes

For: Women, Men, Kids

Materials: Sugarcane-Based EVA, Algae, EVA

The majority of Native Shoes’ footwear feature a perforated upper and a similar material to that used in Crocs, making them great Croc-like shoes.

The Jefferson Sugarlite, Jefferson clogs, Jefferson Bloom, Miles Sugarlite, and Jericho Sugarlite are actually some of the most eco-friendly alternatives to Crocs! 

You can choose from different styles for women, men, boys, and girls, including classic slip-on sandals and sneakers sold in a wide range of colors.

You can get the same shoes for the entire family if you want to. 

The brand makes many of them from injection-molded sugarcane-based EVA, which produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions than traditional EVA.

The material is water-friendly, easy to clean, odor-resistant, and shock-absorbent. 

Some models are also crafted from injection-molded EVA and repurposed algae from freshwater sources.

These models thus help restore clean water and air to the environment. 

Native Shoes’ footwear is lightweight and bouncy, so it’s comfortable to wear all day long. 

What’s more, the company has a recycling program you can use to recycle your old Native Shoes.

You can print a free shipping label to send back your shoes and they’ll get upcycled into playground flooring, seating, insulation, and more. 


4. Muckster Lite Clog – Muck Boot

For: Women, Men, Kids

Materials: Biodegradable EVA 

Muck Boot sells 100% waterproof footwear designed to withstand all weather and mucky situations, from rain and snow to mud and wind. 

Its Muckster Lite collection, available for each member of the family, features lightweight Croc-like shoes, which you can get in a variety of colors and patterns.

Designed for life outside, these clogs are water-friendly and have textured outsoles that provide grip, support, and comfort all day long.

They offer SRC-rated slip-resistant traction and are very easy to slip on and off. 

Not to mention their uppers have side ventilation holes for breathability and drainage, just like Crocs!

The Muckter Lite clog is made from “Bio Lite”, which is an eco-friendlier version of most injection-molded foams on the market.

The material has been granted a Green Leaf certificate by Intertek, an accredited independent 3rd-party testing facility verifying that products properly biodegrade in bioreactor landfills. 

It’s also very durable, easy to clean, and quick-drying. 


5. Chillos Clogs – Chaco  

For: Women, Men, Kids

Materials: EVA, Recycled Polyester

Chaco is not the most sustainable footwear brand out there, but it offers great eco-friendly alternatives to Crocs. 

Its Chillos clogs are sold for both adults and kids.

These Croc-like shoes balance coverage and ventilation, meaning you can wear them from sunrise to sunset, even in hot weather.

They’ll let your feet breathe and provide ergonomic arch support to keep them comfy and supported. 

The brand’s shoes are all recommended by the American Podiatric Medical Association! 

Chaco makes its clogs from injection-molded EVA and recycled polyester webbing produced from recycled plastic bottles.

The construction is vegan and built to last for years. 

I also appreciate that the brand has a repair program.

You can send your worn-down Chacos, and they’ll resole them and replace the straps and buckles if needed. 


6. Frontline Pro & Rodeo Drive Slip-On Shoes – Ales Grey

For: Women & Men

Materials: Bio-Circular EVA

Some of the best eco-friendly alternatives to Crocs are these slip-on shoes by Ales Grey, which you can buy on REI’s website. 

Very similar, the Frontline Pro and the Rodeo Drive shoes are designed in three different colors each and made to be worn by both men and women. 

They are three times lighter than traditional shoes, and their antibacterial closed-cell structure is crafted from bio-based and circular EVA.

The material is water-resistant and UV-proof, so they’re great to wear both indoors and outdoors. 

The Frontline Pro slip-on features non-slip soles, removable bio-based insoles providing arch support, and pebble-like cushioning that stimulates recovery.

The Rodeo Drive model offers ventilation on the medial sides for breathability.  

Both shoes have a strap at the back for a secure fit and ergonomic footbeds to be comfortable all day.

They’re easy to clean, quick to dry, and 100% vegan.

Plus, they’re produced with zero water waste in a sustainable factory, and Ales Grey plants a tree for every purchase. 


Final thoughts on eco-friendly alternatives to Crocs

I hope you’ve found this article about eco-friendly alternatives to Crocs helpful and that you could find the exact model you were looking for.  

No matter which you’ve chosen, make sure to take proper care of it and try to keep it in good condition.

That way, you’ll be able to use it for many years to come! 

If you liked this article, you might want to read the following ones as well:

Have you found any other eco-friendly alternatives to Crocs? 

Please leave them in a comment so I can update this list! 

Don’t forget to share this blog post with your friends to help them find more sustainable Croc-like shoes too. 

Pin this article about eco-friendly alternatives to Crocs to read it later!

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