19 April 2007

Why? No seriously, *why* are you wearing those?


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.

19 comments:

Brooke said...

Hey, the pair pictured are just one shade lighter than mine!



http://beijingtobaltimore.blogspot.com/2006/09/crocs.html

elle said...

I once asked my aunt and her three kids WHY they love crocs. I said, "I don't get it!" And my aunt said, "If you had some, you'd get it."

God willing, I never will.

Brooke said...

Exactly. That answers the why question. Once you put them on you are hooked. I tried on my sister's and that was it, I had to have some.

i write i said...

Personally, I think some sort of clandestine deal involving Satan, infants' blood, and Play Skool is involved.

Anonymous said...

"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..."

Haha I couldn't agree more! Those women are grouches.

west coast devotee said...

Well played, my darling, well played.

You have a gift for this, you know?

tom h said...

yes she does west coast.....this is a great site........

bff in chicago said...

OMG, OMG, OMG laughing so hard right now, because I work next to a woman who not only wears hers for commuting but for her 5-minute walk from the office to Whole Foods to pick up a salad. Her heels aren't even that tall! She must exert more energy taking those god damn ugly things on and off than she would just walking her ass in her 1.5 inch heels down the block!

There is no excuse for these. There are lots of flats out there that aren't 100% plastic (or whatever they are) that are just as -or a little less- comfortable and a whole lot less hideous.

This is by far your most critical public service announcement to date. Thank you.

I beg to differ said...

HILARIOUS... my sister in law (who wears birkenstocks, and gives my neice "cookies" -which are really granola bars-) just gave my neice a pair of crocs for her birthday. They live in Kensington, think you could hop on the metro and perform an intervention?

Israeli Flava said...

My OBGYN wears a pair of these. They look really swell with her Cherokee Tooniform Scrubs *wink wink*

Big Sky Girl said...

My friend is a med student and works at a local hospital, she wears them because unsavory fluids can be easily washed off.

Other than that, I hate them. But I did see the new ballet flat shape yesterday and thought they were a decent alternative. Kind of cute in a schlumpy run to the post office kind of way, but not every day wear.

Merujo said...

If you are diabetic or have other serious foot problems, they are, apparently, a blessing from a comfort standpoint. I don't have a pair, but I have horrific foot pain, and I've been considering getting a pair, just to see if I can get through a day without foot agony. It's wonderful to be young, healthy, and without foot problems. When you're not, you end up with limited choices. I used to have a closet of shoes like Imelda Marcos; now, I have a small pile of sneakers and "comfort shoes." Not attractive or sexy, but it's saving my feet. :(

LJ said...

I don't get it either... AND have you seen the new plastic things you can use to put in those lovely (and now apparently they're trying to swing "functional"?) random Croc-holes? Uggggly...

Sorry. Brutal honesty this Friday AM.

Melissa said...

From a future mom's standpoint, I can see the allure of not having to tie, double knot, and untie your toddler's shoes 27 times a day. My Peanut could have well developed fine motor skills by 18 months and still take 15 minutes to get her shoes on.

Emma and Nolan rocked the crocs in a "I'm a kid, I like to eat frosting and play kickball" kind of way.

I'm replacing the Chucks with Crocs just to spite you. :)

Rothko said...

I love mine for walking around on hardwoods inside. But I always feel weird venturing out onto concrete with them. They're definitely 'inside shoes.'

dad said...

Perhaps b/c they are cheap, are unaffected by rain, and can be cleaned as one takes a shower. Even my $15 PX "Jesus" sandals look better - - but, I'm not into pink.

City girl in Alaska said...

I wouldn't wear them, and I live in a place where Crocs are considered fine evening wear. There is no excuse, barring a doctor's note, that would warrant shiteous shoes.

Ph said...

I originally bought my Crocs many years ago after a marathon because they were comfortable, especially after a long run.

Sadly, they've become way to trendy, so I have to limit my wear of them. One of the advantages is that I don't like people looking at my feet, so I don't wear flip flops, but these are similar enough that they're comfortable, but no one can see my feet.

And again, they're really comfortable after a long run.

Sarah in DC said...

You feel about Crocs what I feel about flip flops. They are for the beach and shower at the gym, people.