Given the prohibition of wearing certain footwear on Yom Kippur, is one allowed to wear Crocs on Yom Kippur? Or are they too comfortable or something?
Basically there are two opinions about yom kippur shoes. One is that anything non-leather is fine. The other is that they should also be not-too-cushiony. While the former seems to be common practice, the latter is cited as a good practice by many poskim.
So there are three possibilities about crocs:
- They are permissible (former view)
- They are prohibited (latter view)
- They are less-than-ideal (somewhere in between)
Rabbi Brody concluded that in his opinion, to say 3 was not an absurd chumra.
Rabbi Elyashiv ZY"A said that the wearing of Crocs on Yom Kippur is "permissible legalistically, but it is inadvisable," because they are too comfortable. (Source)
At the Shabbos Shuvah Drasha 5775, my rav mentioned that while they might be "legally correct", they are not in the spirit of the day because they are "too casual". Canvas sneakers are better. He did not go into detail beyond this. He also said that if that is all you have, then that is what you would have to wear.
The Gemara YOMA 78b lists great rabbis who would go out on YK with cork or reed sandals. The question is how to understand the following statement regarding a prosthetic leg יומא דף עח עמוד ב אלא אמר רבא: לעולם דכולי עלמא מנעל הוא
RAVA would seem to indicate that a wooden prosthetic leg is an issue even though it is not leather.
Tur (and Bais Yosef) state; אורח חיים הלכות יום הכפורים סימן תריד ומיהו כל דבר של עור אפילו קב הקיטע וכיוצא בו אסור אבל של גמי ושל קש וכל מינין חוץ מבשל עור מותר Thus Halachakly it 100% fine to go with Crocs. Yet Some Rishonim understand the statement of RAVA that even wooden shoes are an issue.
Baal Ha-Maor -Rabbi Zerachiah ha-Levi Gerondi המאור הקטן מסכת יומא דף ב עמוד א וסנדל של שעם נראה מהלכות הרי"ף שמותר לצאת בו בתענית צבור וביום הכפורים ולא כן נראה מעיקר הגמרא דמסקנא דשמעתין אמר רבא דכ"ע מנעל הוא
Rabbeinu Yerucham as well states לעולם לא ראיתי מי שנהג היתר לצאת בסנדל של עץ .
As a result some of the great Achronim (Panim Meirot, Chatam Sofer Eliya Raba) recommend that YK shoes should be ones that give a feeling of being barefoot.(מרגיש שהוא יחף a quote from the RAMBAM) Yet once Shulchan Aruch and RAMA make no such statement one should be sensitive with his CHUMRA.