Sneakers are becoming ergonomic equals to the Croc, and the versatility of EVA foam technology is changing the way that our favourite shoes are designed. Over recent years, Jordans, New Balance and Adidas have been updating the way we wear and think about shoes – and streetwear has never looked so avant-garde.

Credit: Farfetch

Crocs are a world leader in casual footwear. But how did Crocs become cool? People love comfort, but how did lifestyle shoes sneak their way into the pages of high fashion magazines?

Let’s take a trip back to January 2017.

Balenciaga drops the “Triple S” sneaker – a visual onslaught with its three-sole construction and over-the-top silhouette. Designed by David Tourniaire-Beauciel for Demna Gvasalia, the “Triple S” not only began the daggy-shoe trend. But also gave confirmation that high fashion and streetwear had become inseparable.

Balenciaga’s Triple S | Credit: The New York Times

One month later, YEEZY Season 5 gave us the YEEZY Boost 700 “Wave Runner”. The shoe is as forward-thinking and provocative as the “Triple S” (and Kanye himself). Developed with Steven Smith aka ‘The Godfather of Dad Shoes’, they showcase Kanye’s ability to capture the zeitgeist, signalling a significant change in the industry. Renowned, iconic footwear designers were transitioning from sportswear to high-end endeavours.

Major Aesthetic Changes

One major contributing factor to the changing shape of footwear? EVA foam technology.

Credit: Concept Kicks

A century of EVA foam injections into sportswear is a testament to its durability. In 1974, Bill Bowerman gave us the original Nike “Waffle” shoe. Since then, the material has been used in a variety of other products – boxing gloves, ski boots and a range of other sporting goods. In the past, EVA foam has been used as support material – but this is slowly changing. Crocs utilised the fabric on the uppers of their Classic Clogs in 2001, and the model has become incredibly popular since.

EVA has grown a lot more prevalent in the fashion business in the last decade. This is largely credited to Balenciaga and YEEZY; with innovative goods that are updating the way people think about fashion. It is the very fabric which connects major fashion labels to lifestyle brand, Crocs.

Crocs in Collaboration

Credit: British Vogue

In 2020, Kanye West, Steven Smith, and Adidas gave us a luxury partnership with Crocs. The result? The highly sought-after “YEEZY FOAM RNNR”. Crocs have partnered with a number of high-profile celebrities, streetwear companies, and designers in support of exclusive Crocs-branded products. And as a result, demand has skyrocketed. The imprint’s collaborations with Justin Bieber, Post Malone, Bad Bunny and many more high-profile artists are amongst the most coveted designs.

There is no stigma surrounding EVA foam right now. Most likely, this is due to the way that companies can play around with the material. This allows brands to produce minimalist and monolithic shoes. Regarding general acceptance, EVA footwear has clearly hit a new high – and it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.

Subscribe to FIB’s Weekly Breaking News Report for your weekly dose of music, fashion and pop culture news!