The reptile spent 30 minutes trying to eat the tough footwear before admitting defeat and spitting it out.
The humorous scene was captured on camera by Phil Lanoue in the salt marshes of Huntington Beach State Park, South Carolina, after he saw a group of people standing staring down into the lake.
He initially thought the gator had grabbed one of the area’s crabs.
The 58-year-old said: 'I stopped my car and asked a few people what the gator had. When they said it was a shoe I quickly grabbed my camera to get some shots. When we found out it was a Crocs shoe, everyone thought it was hilarious.
'After a while the gator grew confused and frustrated by the resilient rubber and gave up. It spit out the Croc and eventually left it alone.'