The main reason you want Crocs is likely that they’re super comfy and supportive shoes (though, now that celebs are sporting Crocs and these shoes have hit the runway, they’ve also become a fashion statement). So, you want to be sure you’ll be treating your feet to authentic Crocs quality, not uncomfortable knock-offs that make your feet sweaty.
The number of fake Crocs or “Croc-offs” on the market is rising. Don’t worry though, as a long term Crocs customer and fan of the brand I’ve got all the tips you’ll need to help you spot fake Crocs so you won’t get ripped off (including photo comparisons of real vs. fake Crocs).
How To Spot Fake Crocs
You can spot fake Crocs if they are missing any of authentic Crocs’ distinctive features, such as a tag with a barcode unique to the shoe model, genuine logos in specific places on the shoes, particular information on the outsoles, and the characteristic light, flexible, foam-like material.
Here are 10 tips for spotting fake Crocs Classic Clogs.
Tip # 1: Check The Shoes’ Design Features
A standout design feature of authentic Crocs is the circulation nubs on their insoles. These nubs make Crocs a popular choice for people who spend lots of time on their feet, as they make the shoes ergonomic. The nubs are also designed to boost circulation in the feet.
Croc-offs might have imitation nubs on their insoles, but these won’t give you the same ergonomic benefits that real Crocs’ circulation nubs do.
All authentic Crocs have a pivoting heel strap, which you can move to the front of the shoes to wear them as slip-ons or push to the back for a snug fit.
Real Crocs also float in water, so if your pair sinks, it’s fake.
Tip # 2: Check The Shoes’ Logo
Do you know what the Crocs crocodile logo is supposed to look like?
This iconic crocodile is called Duke, and there are three ways to make sure he’s the real deal:
- He has two eyes.
- He has six even bumps on his back. Count the fourth bump from the top. This bump should be a bit bigger than the others.
- He has two hands, with three fingers on each.
See a crocodile with an extra bump or missing finger? He’s a Duke wannabe.
You’ll find the true Duke on authentic Crocs’ fixing mechanism (the bit that attaches the ankle strap to the main part of the shoe). He’ll be on the left and right sides of both shoes.
You may also like: Best Crocs For Men, Two Guys Review (Color, Fit & Style)
Tip # 3: Check The Shoes’ Material
The main thing that makes authentic Crocs superior to the fakes is their material. Crocs are made of a type of foam called Croslite. Crocs marketing boasts that this material is revolutionary and credits it for making their shoes ever so light, cushy, long-lasting, flexible, and slip-resistant.
Fake Crocs tend to be made of rubber, which can be heavy and slippery on wet surfaces. If your shoes smell of rubber, they’re not true Crocs.
Tip # 4: Check The Shoes’ Tag
All real Crocs come with a tag that has a barcode on it. Each Crocs model has a unique barcode.
A dead giveaway that you’re dealing with Croc-offs is a model’s barcode that’s similar to a different model’s barcode – so scrutinize the fine details!
It’s always best to get your Crocs from the official Crocs website, to ensure they are the real deal and will come with all of the correct tags and packaging.
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Tip # 5: Check The Shoes’ Feel
Authentic Crocs’ Croslite material creates a distinctive feeling for your feet. Your feet should feel comfortably cushioned, and your toes should have plenty of room to move freely. You should also feel the circulation nubs working their blood-flow-boosting magic. Over time, the Croslite foam should shape itself to your feet.
Plus, real Crocs are super light (they weigh only ounces), breathable, and they flex well when you bend them.
Rip-offs tend to feel clunky and rubbery, and they lack genuine Croc’s plush feeling.
Tip # 6: Check The Shoes’ Outsole
Real Crocs have the following information stamped on their outsoles (the bottom of the shoes):
- Brand name with the trademark symbol.
- Made-in information (the country where the shoes were made).
- Size information for men and women (“M” will be above the men’s size; “W” will be above the women’s size).
- The official Crocs’ webpage address (www.crocs.com).
- The origin of production (boulder, colorado).
Missing details? The Crocs aren’t legit.
Tip # 7: Check The Shoes’ Packaging
Authentic Crocs that you buy in a store come in a high-quality branded box with a barcode and sizing, color, and model information printed on the side. Crocs that you buy from authorized online retailers come in a branded transparent bag.
No matter the packaging, all real Crocs come with a tag with a barcode and product information.
Tip # 8: Check The Shoes’ Tread
Real Crocs have superb traction. Crocs were originally designed to prevent slipping and sliding on wet boat decks, so they’ve got effective slip-resistant tread on their outsoles. The tread pattern looks similar to the arrangement of veins in a leaf.
If your Crocs have poor traction and make your feet feel like they might skid off the ground any moment, they’re fake for sure.
You may also like: Do Crocs Run Big or Small? – A Review (w/ photos)
Tip # 9: Check The Shoes For Defects
Real Crocs shouldn’t have defects. You can return authentic Crocs if you pick up any manufacturing defects within 90 days of buying them. So, shoes with obvious imperfections are likely fake.
People who’ve fallen victim to online scams and unknowingly bought fake Crocs have complained that they’ve received shoes with all sorts of defects. Here are some of the flaws they’ve found:
- A bigger left shoe than right.
- Smaller shoes than the size stamped on the outsole.
- Flimsy heel straps.
- Shoes that look like they’ve been squashed.
- Shoes with missing chunks in the toe area.
Tip # 10: Check The Shoes’ Color
Classic Croc Clogs come in more than 20 solid colors, each with a catchy name, like Citrus, Taffy Pink, Celery, Flame, Pure Water, and Orange Zing. Check the Crocs website for all official colors.
People who’ve bought fakes by mistake have gotten a nasty surprise when opening their package and seeing the color of their shoes. For example, they’ve received electric blue instead of the Ice Blue they wanted or salmon instead of Ballerina Pink.
How To Spot Fake LiteRide Crocs
You can tell that LiteRide Crocs are fake if they have counterfeit logos, incorrectly placed logos, and shoe defects. Other signs that LiteRide Crocs are fake are a tough upper, hard insole, rigid structure, slippery outsole, flimsy ankle strap, and rubbery smell.
Remember these pointers when you’re trying to figure out whether LiteRide Crocs are genuine:
- Logo. The logo on legit LiteRide Crocs is either the word “crocs” written in lower case or the wording “LiteRide by crocs”. Duke doesn’t appear anywhere on this Crocs model. If you spot a different logo spelling or see Duke on the shoes, they’re an imitation.
- Logo placement. The logo appears in five places on each LiteRide Crocs shoe: stamped on the outsole, on the insole, on each fixing mechanism attaching the heel strap to the rest of the shoe, and on the back of the shoe’s sole.
- Defects. Authentic Crocs are high quality and have a smooth finish. Glaring defects scream Croc-offs.
- Feel. Crocs marketing describes the LiteRide insoles as incredibly soft and light. The shoe uppers should also be soft, flexible, and have a broken-in feeling from the first time you slip them on. Expect legit LiteRide Crocs to give your feet a cloud-like, not brick-like, sensation.
- Color. LiteRide Crocs come in only a few solid colors and color combinations. If you find a rainbow-colored selection, they’re not the real thing.
Thank you for reading this post on ‘how to spot fake Crocs’! I hope you now feel confident spotting fake Crocs and are able to avoid these nasty dupes.
For more Crocs content check out:
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Lorna is a footwear geek and the founder of Wearably Weird. She created a YouTube channel in 2021 for fellow footwear fanatics, dedicated to detail-rich footwear reviews and info. She has a fashion media qualification (awarded in 2011).