I Wore Post Malone’s New Crocs For What Became A Very Existential Day

My feet were comfortable, and I was disgusted, which reminded me of a certain rapper's inoffensive music.

Post Malone's new crocs range

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While Lady Gaga’s reveal, Billy Porter’s entrance and Katy Perry’s chandelier were instant-camp classics, yesterday’s biggest fashion faux-pas wasn’t at the Met Gala. It arrived on my desk, courtesy of Post Malone. Well, Post Malone’s PR team.

Austin Richard Post’s a little busy playing Australian stadiums right now to send out care packages himself, but not too busy to launch an exclusive, Australia-only collaboration with Crocs. It’s his third custom version of the shoe, after last year’s first one-off sold out in seconds, prompting the follow-up; a daffodil-yellow clog with a cross of barbed wire printed over the top, as if holding the shoe together.

It tied the collaboration together, a nod to Malone’s infamous barbed wire face tattoo, just below his hairline. Then again, ‘Crocs x Post Malone’ doesn’t really require much explaining. It just makes sense.

We doubt this new third range — a dark green print that vaguely resembles a crocodile at first sight, but is actually a bayou of sorts, deep and impenetrable — will be the last. They arrive with little ‘Jibbitz’, plastic badges you can shove into the shoes trademark air-holes. I count six on mine, ranging from a horse head to a chainsaw blade and barbed wire, adding an extra flourish to an already eye-catching statement piece.

Ahead of their launch this Wednesday, I said I’d wear them for 24 hours, in some sort of dumb attempt to walk in someone else’s shoes. As of typing, we are at 27 hours: my sensibilities long for freedom, but my feet are cosy, comfortable. It’s pretty much a perfect metaphor for Post Malone, though do we buy shoes as a stand-in for music criticism?

I Don’t Feel ‘Better Now’

Post Malone may sell-out Australian arenas and break our ARIA charts, but he remains a divisive figure — remember The Washington Posts’ viral and visceral take-down last year, titled “Post Malone is the perfect pop star for this American moment. That’s not a compliment.”?

If you don’t, the crux of it was that Jeff Weiss went to Malone’s Posty Fest, and wasn’t just unimpressed, but found the trap rapper to be the embodiment of almost everything wrong with America. That includes, but isn’t restricted to, its dogged disenfranchising of African Americans above mediocre yet sellable whiteness (“If Post Malone were black, he wouldn’t have sold half; he simply wouldn’t exist,” writes Weiss); its celebration of vacuous materialism; and a reluctance towards thought or consideration of truth. Which, uh, is a lot to spring on a 23-year-old rapper.

Crocs evoke the same intense, widespread hatred: the foam boat/clog shoes are a case in comfort above all else. They, unlike many of the things worn at the Met Gala, could never be considered camp — they are garish but always practical. It’s that brutalist practicality that makes people hate them, above their ‘basicness’, as a quick look at the popularity of 1.2m likes-and-counting Facebook page “I Don’t Care How Comfortable Crocs Are, You Look Like A Dumbass” shows that the dislike isn’t an act of establishing yourself above locals.

Crocs represent more than what they are; like Post Malone, they’re Everything Wrong With The World, an easy shorthand for slovenly society. And that’s not something Post Malone fans deny. The ABC’s glowing review of his Sydney concert begins with the line, “The thing about Post Malone is that it’s super easy to make him out as a dumbass”. No refute. It’s part of the appeal.

To get in the mindset, I’ve listened to a lot of Post Malone in the past 24 hours. Generally, I find his music dull. It’s not necessarily bad, just uninspiring, if not easy-to-listen to, and largely inconsequential — until you hear Malone say he doesn’t read, respect rap beyond his own, or vote.

For people like Weiss (and myself), Malone feels like the wrong Voice Of A Generation — especially when his fellow arena superstars of his age such as Billie Eilish, Travis Scott and Ariana Grande tackle Big Topics like anxiety, addiction and climate change with a deftness, all while pushing pop forward, rather than jumping on a tired trend.

But there are moments where I got it more and more: while power walking to the bus this morning, ‘Over Now’ provided a perfect build-up, vaguely aggressive in the way you need to be while dodging slow walkers on a commute. While looking down, I caught the site of my shoes, which I’d forgotten about, and in my fast-pace, I remember that so much of pulling off garish clothing is the confidence and air you wear them with. While I am walking with purpose, the shoes feel purposeful.

Comfortable, too: that is Crocs’ whole thing, after all. But then something happens: Malone strains (through auto-tune, no less) a line about ‘putting pussy in a body bag’ and I’m out, or I see someone give me the up-down look — and then stare down again. Like a metaphor shattered beyond repair, the Crocs stand out too much. Still, I keep wearing them. I want to figure them — and Malone — out.

Post Malone’s Crocs go on sale 10am AEST online and at select Culture Kings stores.

Jared Richards is a staff writer at Junkee, and is wearing socks with his crocs, because it’s cold. Follow him on Twitter.