Crocs: Sales of fashion"s most loathed shoe reach $1bn

As sales of fashion's most loathed shoe reach the $1billion mark, why on earth are celebrities STILL endorsing Crocs

The fashion world despises them, and blogs and Facebook pages are dedicated to their demise. But the trend for Crocs shows no signs of fizzling.

Despite a troubling year in 2009, when many rejoiced at news that the Colorado-based shoe company was facing closure, fans of the pliable clog will be thrilled to hear that Crocs' revenue has just passed the $1billion mark for the first time.

Young, hip stars like Rihanna and
Leighton Meester, as well as celebrity chef Mario Batali, whose orange pair have become something of a signature, are likely to be breathing a sigh of relief knowing the shoes will be around for a while

Despotic Sacha Baron Cohen pokes fun at the questionable style of world dictators while filming The Dictator and wearing a pair of Crocs

Chefs shoes: Crocs have been endorsed many times by the celebrity cook who wears them both in and outside the kitchen

Is this a joke Sacha Baron Cohen pokes fun at the fashion foibles of world famous despots (left) in The Dictator while celebrated chef, Mario Batali (right) endorses his favourite bright orange, rubber shoes

And they are not alone. While some stars, like Sarah Jessica Parker and Heidi Klum limit Croc purchasing to their childrens' sizes, others, like Alicia Silverstone and Teri Hatcher, proudly wear them in public.

Even respected role models such as Steven Tyler and Jack
Nicholson have been seen in the bulky slip-ons.

Images of stars like Tom Brady – a role
model for millions and married to fashion royalty Gisele Bndchen – wearing a pair
whilst playing with son Benjamin
are likely to provoke wonder at how the supermodel allowed him to leave their beachside villa looking so sartorially challenged.

Such is the controversy surrounding the
shoes, Sacha Baron Cohen has recently been seen wearing them (complete with
socks) while shooting scenes for his new movie, The Dictator, in which
the world's most famous despots are made fun of for their notoriously bad fashion choices.

Clueless: Alicia Silverstone dons her Crocs after a pilates session

Colourful housewife: Terri Hatcher strolls with her daughter wearing a hard-to-ignore pair of green Crocs

Snapped: After Clueless, Alicia Silverstone's fashion career seems to have taken a downward turn (left) while Teri Hatcher (right) proves that stars and Desperate Housewives eschew style for comfort

The dude Paul Rudd works the scruffy, comfy look

Snapped: Tom Brady on holiday wears his Crocs to the beach

Crazy: Steven Tyler shocks fans by stepping out in the shoe

Function over form: Paul Rudd (left), Tom Brady (centre) and Steven Tyler (right) have all stepped out in the famously comfortable rubber slip-ons shunning the haters who believe no one should wear such ugly shoes

For a shoe that began life in 2002 at
a boat show in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and that is typically favoured by
chefs and hospital workers for its durability and practicality, its evolution into fashion statement is
nothing short of strange.

Fans of the the functional and yet
unquestionably ugly footwear will no doubt swear by the comfort of the
foam sole that moulds itself to the wearer's foot and has been hailed as
medically beneficial.

Yet many, including the 1.6million who have 'liked' the Facebook page 'I Don't Care How Comfortable Crocs Are, You Look Like a Dumbass' would respond by saying even comfort cannot justify such a grotesque fashion choice.

In May 2010 even highbrow publication, Time Magazine, weighed in with its position in the debate, listing Crocs as one of the world's 50 worst inventions.

Son of style: Sarah-Jessica Parker's little boy James Wilkie

Project runway: Heidi Klum and daughter Leni in her pink pair

Pink lady: Halle Berry's daughter Nahla matches her accessories

Whipper-snappers: Sarah-Jessica Parker's little boy James Wilkie in his navy Crocs (left), Heidi Klum and daughter Leni in her pink pair (centre) and Halle Berry's daughter Nahla matches her accessories (right)

One theory that might explain sky-high
sales figures is their popularity with parents of young children.
Certainly the stars seem to favour the miniature versions of the shoes
for their own broods.

Even Sex And The City fashion maven Sarah Jessica Parker allows her son James Wilkie to sport Crocs and joins the ranks of other glamorous mothers like Heidi Klum, Kate Hudson, Angelina Jolie and Naomi Watts in doing so.

But some actors should really know better. Alicia Silverstone's character, Cher, from the 1995 hit, Clueless, would have surely been appalled at the sight of the blonde beauty and her co-star Paul Rudd's rubber sandals.

As she pointed out in the movie: 'You know how picky I am about my shoes, and they only
go on my feet.'