Last night, on my abbreviated-due-to-weather "heel-hike," I saw no fewer than six pairs of these inexplicably popular plastic/rubber/latex-looking nightmares known as "Crocs."
I don't get it. I just don't get it.
Birkenstocks, though ugly and more often than not on the feet of that cruel kind of Mom who doesn't believe in allowing her kids to eat sugar even on their birthdays and Easter morning, are at least ergonomically designed to give its wearer proper arch support.
Reebok crosstrainers, though a glaring red flag for that insufferable type of woman who has the gym staff oust you off treadmill #5 for running 2 minutes over the allotted 30 only so she can climb on with the latest issue of Cat Fancy and walk at a 1.0 incline at 3.5 miles per hour, are at least a sign of...I don't know, someone trying to improve upon her two-lane-road waistline.
There are a dozen other kinds of "commuter shoes" I could discuss and about which I'm sure I could think of at least one redeeming - i.e. from the wearer's perspective, not mine - characteristic, but in the consideration of time (I'm running late), I need to bring to the forefront the downright scary phenomenon of the ubiquitous aerated plastic gardener's clog in NW DC.
These are objectively the ugliest shoes on the market. I've asked enough people on all points of the fashion spectrum -- this is an inarguable fact. Just because these things are available in punchy colors like orange, cotton candy pink and tie-dye doesn't make them look like they belong any less to a giant Cabbage Patch doll or a patient in a mental hospital who can only be given "safe" materials.
So if they aren't fashionable, what is their draw? Is it that they're anti-microbial and odor resistant? Is it that they look ironic in contrast to the rest of your put-together outfit? I see them on young people, older people, overtly wealthy looking people, scrappy looking no-goods, the curious devotion for Crocs knows no gender or socioeconomic boundaries.
To be honest, I'm completely vexed by their popularity. In the past two years, I've watched as the typical comfort-first suspects - Moms, kids and fat women - began wearing them, but now, if yesterday's random sampling was any indication, the virus has spread to sectors of society typically impervious to the function-over-fashion attitude such as men, college students and women with "normal" BMIs.
My only advice - aside from changing the theme of your next neighborhood party from "Not Oktoberfest - Bethesdafest!" to "Croc bonfire" - is to stop the cycle in its tracks. As awww-aren't-they-cute? as those "Kid Crocs" may initially look, put them down, walk away, and either let your little ones channel their inner-hick and spend the summer barefoot or spend the same amount of cash on some Chuck Taylor All-Stars.