The Croc Stops Here

Posted by: Lyra Pappin

Friends, Romans, countrymen (and women), lend me your feet. Whether you are willing to face it or not, a revolution is afoot. Literally.  A storming fury of foul footwear has swept the nation and these plastic pedial pockmarks must be stopped!  I speak of the bewilderingly ubiquitous Croc.


Crocs have equally fervent supporters and haters, including a website dedicated to bringing Crocs down –  However, they don’t seem to be doing such a great job.  Besides being blights on both sidewalks and display windows, Crocs are also causing some stress in the retail industry.  Independent shoe stores are complaining that Crocs are wreaking havoc with their profits and cutting into their typical summer shoe sales.  Crocs sell for less than typical athletic shoes and sandals that are more traditional.  Although this unlikely phenomenon is widespread, and stores sell upwards of 1000 pairs per month, it doesn’t make up for the losses in other areas.  Even worse, no matter how vehemently the stores hate the trend, from a fashion or sales standpoint, they are forced to jump on the bandwagon or suffer the consequences of revenue walking straight into the competing stores.

So what is it about these cartoonishly rainbow hued shoes that has sparked such support?  Those who love Crocs claim that the comfort is unparalleled.  Can that really be the sole reason? (Pardon the pun).  To quote founder, Vincenzo Ravina, "The comfort level required to overlook their extreme ugliness would have to be amazing. They would have to be like walking on a cloud."

Although I cannot believe that other less visually disruptive and comparably comfortable options exist, I fear the Croc is here to stay.  A quick glance at any online retailer reveals a world of Croc Heaven (of Hell) that I could never have imagined.  This one awful shoe has evolved (or mutated) into a series of unbelievably vast options.  The “Professional” Croc offers a closed toe look for what I assume would be the more conservative Croc wearer.  Where this would be appropriate, I have no idea.  Another type is the Collegiate Croc, which allows one to customize the unattractive heel strap to support your local sports team.   Another addition to the Croc’s unattractive goofiness is the addition of jewels and buttons that fit into the holes designed for ventilation.  Crocs Inc. purchased Jibitz, the company who makes these jewels, for US$20 million, after meeting the inventor of said accessories.

This devastatingly diverse Croc couture comes on the heels of announcements that deals have been struck with NHL, MLB, NCAA, NASCAR, and PGA, which can only mean bad news for those of us opposed to what we consider unnecessary hideousness.

In an attempt to come to terms with the Croc-opshere, perhaps a small truce is required.  Although I am convinced this trend will be looked back on as fondly as the Scrunchie, it seems all we can do is wait it out.  Probably for something equally affronting to take its place, but what can you do?

In the meantime, I think we need some guidelines on both ends of the battle.  For anyone choosing to wear Crocs, please wear them in appropriate settings exclusively. The fact that any setting is deemed appropriate already speaks to a more tolerant viewpoint.  These shoes were created for the beach and other water-related activities. While they are still an unattractive addition to a summer day, at least they are being worn reasonably functionally. 

If you chose to purchase Crocs, they are yours, you can do with them what you wish, I realize this. Wear them in your home, wear them to garden, enjoy their cushiony wondrous comfort, but please, when you enter the public sphere, please consider the rest of us who, due to pure science and human nature, cannot help but be jolted by the less than subtle Croc palette. 

Crocs should not be worn while shopping, walking through the city, wearing in the gym, or out for dinner in a restaurant. Not even fast food joints.  There are other appropriate shoes for these occasions. 

It seems silly to care so much about what other people are wearing and doing, but let’s face it - this is our society.  The more critical, non-Croc wearing person should be keeping this in perspective however.  There is no need to scorn, deride or unnecessarily shame a person in Crocs.  How could you anyway? Obviously, they don’t care what we think. 

No matter which side of the Croc fence you are on, you can be pretty sure they’re here to stay, if only for the reason than that plastic looks like it would take a thousand years to disintegrate.  Remember that saying "put your best foot forward"?  Can you imagine a Croc on it? Unless it’s about to step onto a boat, let’s hope not.

If you don’t know what Crocs are, I both marvel at and envy you.  Crocs Inc. was founded in July 2002, headed by Lyndon “Duke” Hanson, Scott Seamans and George Boedecker.  This small company originally produced only 200 pairs of the now famous shoe for a boating tradeshow in 2002.  The lightweight material and supposed comfort afforded by their now patented foam resin “croclite” created a buzz across the United States that eventually spread around the world. Some would say like a virus.


  • Category:
  • Fashion & Style
  • Tags:
  • crocs
  • fashion
  • style
  • bad style
  • fashion nightmares
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Apr 16, 2008 | Jenny

Just read good article "Crocs sued for $7M over escalator accident"

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Lyra Pappin
Toronto, ON, Canada

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