Posted by: Mark Nielsen | July 22, 2010

What a Croc! (Stupid Shoes, and the People Who Love Them)

Soon appearing on a red carpet near you... but don't try dancing in them!

Is it me, or does the sight of a pair of Crocs on a full-grown man look just a little ridiculous?

I’ve seen it twice this week, and laughed both times… once on a guy who even looked like he was dressed for work  (though from the ankle down he was dressed for a day of gardening –only thing missing was the floppy straw hat).

I never liked Crocs in the first place. They’re plastic shoes. Or rubber. Whatever. I don’t care. Anything cranked out by the millions and formed exculsively by a machine –like a ping pong ball, a Yu-Gi-Oh action figure or a Slurpee cup — is not meant for my feet. I’m Italian. We take our footwear seriously.

Plus, some trends are just trends because they are trends, not because they feature quality products. So when Crocs were a craze among suburban moms, wanting something functional but fun for their kids’ feet, I opted out, even though my son was of the right age. Thankfully, he didn’t come asking for them. So far, he’s only shown a slight interest in following the crowd — which I personally am pleased about, as a life-long oddball. 

But not as odd as those silly chartreuse rip-offs of the classic Dutch clog.

I know… many people say Crocs are comfortable. I’m betting they’re made well, too, and even the off-brand versions are most likely durable, given that the raw materials were manufactured not to biodegrade before 735 years.

Yet they’re ugly. Like they were made to be ugly, on purpose. They make the wearer look like she has a club foot.

Until now, I’ve not said a word about  the equally moronic phenomenon of $40 rhinestone-studded flip-flops (they’re beach shoes, dammit… so unless you’re on the beach at the French Riviera, your flip flops shouldn’t cost more than $7). I’ve completely passed on the chance to ask how long it takes those fourteen-year-old girls to lace up and put on their extra-high Chuck Taylor basketball boots (seen those? they almost reach the knee!)

But some footwear trends just cannot be tolerated. And a pair of Crocs on Uncle Louie as he strolls down to the diner for coffee tops my list. So stop wearing clown shoes out in public, people. You’re embarrassing me.


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