Crocs have become a highly popular form of footwear globally and many choose to wear this type of shoe regularly for its comfort and simplicity. Originally developed as a boating shoe in 2001, crocs quickly became a sought-after solution for comfortable footwear and since then, over 300 million pairs of crocs have been sold worldwide.
Adults and children alike wear crocs as much as possible and for as many occasions as dress codes will allow with the shoe even being spotted in the halls of parliament chambers in some countries. This has made crocs one of the fastest growing trends in recent times.
Although some may feel that the shoe lacks a certain class due to its production and availability for the masses, crocs have continued and continue to replace many traditional shoe types.
Crocs have some uniquely singular characteristics and one of them is the signature bumps on both the underside of the sole where the shoe contacts the ground and on the insole where your heel goes. There is curiosity as to why these bumps have been designed into the shoe.
The bumps have utility in different ways and are one of the main reasons wearers continue to use them even without consciously realizing why.
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Why do Crocs have Bumps on the Bottom?
All shoes have some form of rough terrain on the bottom of the shoe to create friction with the ground. The foam-based material of crocs is particularly prone to softness and smoothness and without the grooves and bumps on the bottom part of the shoe, you would not need a wet floor to cause an accidental fall.
The smooth surface at the bottom of the shoe would be sufficient to send you careening across the floors causing grievous injury. The bumps provide grip and create friction against smooth floors to prevent sliding mishaps.
The grooves on the bottom of the shoe also create malleability so that the shoe is not a flat hard surface.
The bumps allow the force you exert with each step to bend the shoe dissipating that energy throughout the shoe and preventing the pressure that your weight exerts on the ground from impacting entirely back against your foot.
You can think of it as hitting a hard surface versus hitting a spongy surface.
Your feet take a lot of impact when walking, running, and carrying weight throughout your lifetime and one of the most common complications arising from this activity is pain from sustained pressure especially on the heel.
This kind of support is therefore crucial and undoubtedly, the reputation that has seen this shoe gain favor with many as a comfortable shoe, stems from this particular feature.
Why Crocs have bumps on the insole
To Stimulate Circulation
The bumps that you feel on your sole prod your muscles with every step encouraging blood flow and preventing the feet from experiencing numbness and fatigue. The principle borrows from acupuncture mats where many little protrusions under your feet continually create sensation and trigger sustained blood circulation by massaging the skin and muscles.
More than any other shoe, the croc has been touted as the shoe for anyone who has to spend an inordinate amount of time standing and walking. Health professionals in particular benefit from this feature immensely.
Except in situations where crocs are not acceptable for safety reasons such as on factory floors, many workers who have to be on their feet for long hours find that wearing crocs has resulted in significantly reduced foot pain and discomfort.
In the home, crocs are a top favorite and this is certainly a contributing factor. Comfort over style seems to be a fitting adage for these shoes.
To Create Friction
A smooth insole would be extremely uncomfortable since your foot would simply keep sliding against the smooth surface making the simple task of walking very troublesome. Many shoes are actually difficult to walk in due to the smooth insole making socks and inserts necessary to avoid slipping and sliding against the shoe.
The little bumps on crocs readily solve this problem and rarely will you find anyone needing to wear crocs with socks purposely to avoid slipping. On a hot day, the rough surface prevents slipping as a result of sweating, and with the open and perforated body of the shoe, sweat does not accumulate since your feet are fairly exposed and therefore breathing.
Blisters on the soles are a common problem with many shoes especially closed shoes worn for many hours. The bumps on the insole prevent blisters from forming on your soles since blisters usually form as a result of constant rubbing against the insole.
To Provide Grip
The croc is a fairly loose shoe and purposely so since it was originally designed for casual activity, boating. Even after being adopted as the shoe of choice in many other areas, the characteristic loose fit of the shoe remains a defining feature in its design.
The bumps on the insole provide additional grip against the skin of your foot to prevent you from using your toes instinctively to hold the shoe. Slip-ons and sandals have this problem and the smooth surface of these shoe designs forces the wearer to curl their toes in order to provide additional grip preventing the shoe from moving about recklessly or coming off altogether.
Using your toes in any way to grip your shoe creates tension on tendons that should not bear this kind of force and over time causes tendonitis. Tendonitis occurs when tendons incur injury and swell due to excessive repeated pulling or tugging like would be seen on the feet of those who tend to wear open-ended sandals.
This tends to come with joint pain and muscle aches from the unnatural pressures of trying to hold a shoe in place. With crocs, you will hardly ever need to try to grip the shoe since the bumps on the sole do not allow the shoe to move about and slide against the foot causing you to attempt to hold the shoe in place using your toes.