Crocs For Tisha B’Av? – Rav Elyashiv and Rav Shternbuch

crocsOn Tisha B’Av it is assur to wear leather shoes.  Crocs are synthetic and do not contain any leather. However there is a Machlokes between Rashi and the Rambam if wooden shoes that are not wrapped in leather, are assur on Yom Kippur because since you cannot feel the ground they are like shoes even though they don’t have leather. The Shulchan Aruch (614:2) paskens like the Rambam who says that it is permissible while the Mishna Brura (5) says we should be Machmir like Rashi.
On one hand, Tisha B’Av is not as stringent as Yom Kippur, which is Min HaTorah, so maybe we need not be machmir. On the other hand, Crocs are worn by millions of people as shoes every day of the year. The Gilyon Halacha U’Maaseh asked the leading poskim their opinion.
Rav Elyashiv said that since Crocs are worn all year round, you are not permitted to wear them on Tisha B’Av. Rav Moshe Shternbuch said that while technically you may wear them on Tisha B’Av, it is better not to. Similarly Rav Nissim Karelitz and Rav Meir Brandsdorfer held that it is not assur but Yirei Shamayim should not wear them.
Author’s Note: We try to convey the Tshuva to the best of our ability. We admit that our understanding may not be accurate. Please also understand that this Tshuva may not be the final word on this topic. One should consult a Rav before drawing any conclusions. Revach

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  1. They are not that comfortable. Certainly not as supportive as leather. The world has gone down in levels of proper dress code. In today’s day and age, most people like to hang out, feel carefree, and the clothes they wear relate this attitude and fit their body language, ( shirts out, baggy pants, etc.) When I wear crocs, I feel like a shlump, so I hold they are perfect for Tisha B’Av.

  2. CROCS ARE NOT PERMITTED ON TISHA B’AV OR YOM KIPER! the point of the leather is TA’ANUG ang because crocs are as comfortable as leather (ir better…) it is oser to wear them on tanis, as the isur is ‘ne’ilas hasandel’!

    (THANK YOU LKWD. SCOOP FOR POSTING IT as year after year i keep telling ppl. Its not permited, now everyone knows!)

  3. in erets yisroel it is common to wear sandals, here it is not. Perhaps the same is true for crocs. Among yidden I have rarely seen people wearing crocs on a normal day.

  4. The same svoro should apply for non leather sneakers. I don’t understand this does anyone have any of these “teshuvos” in writing?

  5. People wore sneakers for decades, even before leather sneakers came in and noone asked any questions. In the 50’s and 60’s and maybe even beyond, canvas sneakers were certainly worn as shoes by many people, maybe even more than crocs are today. In addition throughout these decades very choshuv people wore these sneakers on Tisha B’Av and Yom Kippur. I don’t see an difference with crocs and, as usual, you can’t believe the things people say B’shem R’ Elyashiv or R’ Kanievsky.

  6. I personally hate wearing crocs! I find them very uncomfortable. I only wear them as shower shoes and for Tisha bav and Yom Kippur. The fact that there are some who wear them daily doesn’t mean that everybody has the same enjoyment in wearing them.

  7. #1 – thank you for sharing your psak. I feel much better now knowing that Rav Ekyashiv says one way and you say the other. Shkoiyach!

    #7 – if you read the entire post you will see that not only does the Posek hador say this but other Gedolay Poskim (rav Shtenbuch, Reb Nissim and Rav Bransdorfer – quoted above) seem to say the same thing. Were all 4 of these Gedolay Yisroel duped into a wrong psak?

    sneakers and crocs are different. It seems to the world at large crocs are a comfort shoe so even if to you they feel shlumpy or you would never wear them doesn’t mean it changes what they are meant for. On Tisha B’av we stay away from comfort.

    What is wrong with being uncomfortable for a day? Can’t we at least do that for the Boray Oilam?

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