This Yom Kippur, as you search through your closet for non-leather shoes to observe the dictates of the holy day, please can we all just say no to crocs?
Yes I have written before of my strange obsession with Christopher Kane’s furry iteration of crocs, and yes, crocs are seeing a surge in popularity this year, becoming profitable for the first time in years, and may take the path of Birkenstocks, becoming rebranded as a fashion staple like the formerly crunchy-granola brand.
But the synagogue is a holy place and Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year. Why on earth would you take that holiness and stomp on it with a pair of shoes that make your feet look like Bigfoot?
The exception is, of course, children. For some inexplicable reason, kids always look cute in crocs. Maybe it’s the adorableness of seeing pint size children with overgrown feet; maybe it’s because the outsized curves work with a child’s innate precociousness. Whatever the reason, crocs work for children, and you may put these abominations (both real or fake) on your child’s feet in observance of the laws of this holy day. But you, the parent, should not; especially when there are so many better (often cheaper!) options available to you.
You see, fast fashion serves many purposes, but for Jews, its ability to make cheap products with cheap materials represents a boon to a day where wearing leather is a no-no. Leather is expensive; pleather is not. And so any fast fashion or cheap store will stock thousands of non-leather options to protect your feet. Being that fast fashion takes the trends of the day and recreates them at cheaper price points, there is no need to sacrifice your sense of style on Yom Kippur.
Here are six better footwear options to wear to synagogue on Yom Kippur:
Zara’s pointed ballerina flats are pretty and practical: the lack of heel is good for a day of standing for all-day services, but the pointy toe is flattering by elongating the foot.
More of a sneaker girl, but want something dressier in honor of the holiday? Look no further than these glitter sneakers from H&M.
Menswear fanatics will love these subversively girly metallic brogues from Asos.
While it’s not recommended to wear heels when there’s no food or water in your body, if you insist on wearing heels, there are many brands making no-leather versions. These velvet Zara heels are on-trend for the fall season.
Are you a loungewear queen? These mules from Forever21 strike the perfect balance of “I-like-to-sleep-in” with a hefty dose of “fancy-pants.”
Fur was seen all over the fall runways. But you, as an animal lover, would never want to wear the real deal anyway. These faux-fur (and faux suede) pom-pom slip-ons from Payless allow you to partake in the trend, guilt-free.
This story "6 Non-Leather Yom Kippur Shoes Superior To Crocs" was written by Michelle Honig.