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Crocs shoes face bankruptcy
July 17, 2009 1:05 AM   Subscribe

Crocs face bankruptcy! They sold over 100 million pairs of their practical, stylish yet affordable shoes to George W Bush, Steven Tyler and my overweight aunt amongst others, so where did it all go wrong? One bright note: boxed, early models are already selling on Ebay for big money.
posted by johnny novak (226 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
I always thought they were from Australia.
posted by delmoi at 1:10 AM on July 17, 2009


I'm trying to remember the name of those terrible shoes from the early 80's - they were a kind of loafer I think. Pastel colours, cream soles, and they wore out really quickly.
posted by awfurby at 1:13 AM on July 17, 2009


This has been a strange decade.
posted by TwelveTwo at 1:15 AM on July 17, 2009 [13 favorites]


I'm so out of it. I only heard of these once, and only just a couple of years ago. (I mean, I visually recognized them, but I didn't realize they were all that distinct from other plastic shoes and had their own name.)
posted by XMLicious at 1:22 AM on July 17, 2009


Those things are the worst. Not even ironically funny. Good riddance.
posted by paddysat at 1:26 AM on July 17, 2009 [5 favorites]


I'm trying to remember the name of those terrible shoes from the early 80's

Vans? Cause I think Crocs are 9 times uglier, and am happy to see them go.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:28 AM on July 17, 2009


Crocs: no longer merely aesthetically bankrupt.
posted by Greg Nog at 1:28 AM on July 17, 2009 [43 favorites]


Yay. Now if only Uggs can follow them into non-existence.
posted by OolooKitty at 1:28 AM on July 17, 2009 [6 favorites]


Wow, they really did achieve a rapid growth. Even culturally, I've heard of them and assumed that they've been around for ages; But, they've only started in 2002;
posted by tiaka at 1:37 AM on July 17, 2009


Going back quite a few years... I was in a shop with my young lad who was wearing a new lime-green pair. His mum had grabbed them, I'd never seen them before, and dare I say most of Australia had never seen them before.

Two obvious flamers were in the queue in front of us and they were all goggle-eyed, and said to him in gushing honesty "larve your shoes!"

'Twas a funny exchange.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 1:37 AM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Two summers ago, Nancy Fisher of the District bought two pairs of Crocs, one green and one pink, for her daughters. The girls, now 8 and 12, wore them constantly and even got charms to decorate the tops. This year, the shoes are forgotten.

"They were their go-to," Fisher said, "and now they're just really interested in flip-flops."

The story of Crocs mirrors the country's tale of economic expansion and contraction.


So, so true. It's kind of like how everyone moved out of subprime-mortgaged townhouses into condos. Different, but also continuous. Soothing, almost. Thanks, WaPo, for a second there I thought something significant had happened.
posted by gompa at 1:38 AM on July 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Then the boom times went bust, and Crocs went to the back of the closet.

What? In a depression, you wear the same shoes day in and day out, patching them when they get holey. The writing, it is not so great.

The girls, now 8 and 12, wore them constantly and even got charms to decorate the tops. This year, the shoes are forgotten.

Yes, the shoes were a fad. Now the girls are moving on to new fads. Business as usual. Wait, I thought there was a recession on, or something.
posted by Maximian at 1:40 AM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm trying to remember the name of those terrible shoes from the early 80's

Ciaks [she-acks]? Must-have Australian bogan formal wear of the era.
.
.


Yay. Now if only Uggs can follow them into non-existence.

I hope you're not talking about Ugg Boots. Otherwise I'm going to have to ask you to step outside.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 1:43 AM on July 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


Ummmm.... why, no. No, I'm not. Not at all.
posted by OolooKitty at 1:44 AM on July 17, 2009


Personally, I think they're big problem is that they're built too well. As the comments above amply show, you're either like them or you don't.

Once you own a pair of crocs, you probably don't need to buy another pair. Added to the fact there are lots of generic versions and they've essentially exhausted their market.

Their problem is they haven't found a way to diversify their product line sufficiently quickly and hadn't realised they'd reached a saturation point before it was too late.
posted by MuffinMan at 1:55 AM on July 17, 2009


Trendy shit dies young.
posted by pracowity at 1:56 AM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


CROX had a market cap of almost $6B in 2007.
posted by @troy at 1:56 AM on July 17, 2009


The article, and the investors in Crocs as well as everyone tied to their company (and their fashion defense, utilitarian nature, etc.) seemed to totally miss the obvious fad nature of the shoes. This wasn't some sort of footwear revolution even if they were comfortable to many and made of a relatively new material that allowed them to stink less than you'd think. Now, if Crocs lasted for a gazillion years and cost a dollar, then they might have caused a positive, revolutionary change for the world's poor, but that's not the way to get rich.

Instead, those 100 million pairs sold across the world were targeted and sold to a completely different audience. From what I can tell, most of them went to people that decidedly didn't need just another pair of shoes, and contrary to positively changing the world, I'm pretty sure most are destined for landfills as "OMG, they're so 2007".
posted by Muddler at 1:59 AM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


My sister had about three or four pairs of Jelly shoes back in the 80's...
posted by GavinR at 2:34 AM on July 17, 2009


I remember that I was rather shocked to learn that CROX had become a publicly traded company. Much the same reaction I imagine I would have had if I had learned some POG conglomerate had also traded publicly. Or Slap Braclets. I guess I just couldn't imagine the type of person who would look at such a bizarre and polarizing product and say "Oh yeah, baby, this company is GOING places. Comfortable places."
posted by disillusioned at 2:43 AM on July 17, 2009 [14 favorites]


Doesn't sound like many of the above posts are from people who actually bought and wore a pair. I love my Crocs and will rush out now and buy a couple more pair before they disappear. They are comfortable, durable, and cheap. Living in a beach community, they are the perfect foortwear for slipping on and off. I won't go back to Tevas or Keens or flipflops. I won't. I can't.
posted by birdwatcher at 2:52 AM on July 17, 2009 [7 favorites]


Shame I can’t post anonymously.

Crocs were an ugly injection moulded plastic shoe, and for that alone they deserved to fail.

But my experience with them was that they were also extremely easily ripped off (look-alikes) or counterfeited (fakes). This was interesting to me as I run a company offering online anti-counterfeiting services (marketplace websites and thelike).

I called up Crocs, and had a conversation about their problem with fakes, and what we could do about it (which turned out to be quite a lot ... both on the size of the problem and how we could minimise it). They said they would call me back, and promptly signed a contract with the lowest priced fraudulent competitor to my company. We went in to their offices and re-pitched, demonstrating how their chosen service provider was both (technically) unable to perform the service, and (lo and behold) wasn’t.

They Agreed!, success ... but just couldn’t pull out their check book (and jerked me around for months). And fake crocs continued to sell online (for as long as I bothered checking). And, I gotta say, we weren’t asking for much money.

Why did Crocs fail ... probably lots of reasons ... but one was they didn’t give a shit about making someone within their company responsible for effectively protecting their Intellectual Property in either their product or their brand.

No one protecting the product or the brand results in fakes and lookalikes flooding the market, which results in dilution in the perceived value of your product ... something neat and nifty becomes a common fad.

Shame too, as the product has real applications. Last time I was in hospital every staff member had on a pair of Crocs ... easy to clean, no contamination issues, etc. The hospital raved about them v. leather shoes.

Gotta say, though, I have also since decided that any company making service provider decisions with the single focus being price is a company I now choose not to do business with ... I can thank Crocs (and a few other companies with similar attitudes I spoke with) for that revelation.
posted by jannw at 3:00 AM on July 17, 2009 [59 favorites]


Crocs belong on beaches and on nurses. That's about it. Flipflops belong only on beaches or around pools.

What the heck is wrong with people who think flipflops are for every single occasion. Graduation? Flip-flops! Date? Flip-flops! Being greeted by the President at the White House? Flip-flops!

Flip flops are the sweatpants of footwear. If you wouldn't wear sweatpants, don't wear flipflops or crocs. (Nurses etc excepted).
posted by Justinian at 3:04 AM on July 17, 2009 [16 favorites]


practical, stylish yet affordable shoes

umm, stylish is a word I would never associate with Crocs...
posted by mary8nne at 3:08 AM on July 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


Crocs belong on beaches and on nurses.

Preferably not on nurses.
posted by lifeless at 3:11 AM on July 17, 2009


Also Crocs are already a rip-off of Berkenstocks anyway?
posted by mary8nne at 3:11 AM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Birdwatcher: You should get a pair of Danskos instead. They are just as comfy if not more than Crocs, they're more durable (and unlike Crocs can be brought to your friendly neighborhood cobbler to be fixed, instead of thrown out), they have the convenience factor you mention...and they're much nicer-looking shoes. The fact that Crocs are made from gross-smelling plastic, can't be fixed, and look hideous means I wouldn't go near them.
posted by pxe2000 at 3:12 AM on July 17, 2009


Interesting story jannw. I am not a nurse but I do live by a beach and like them for dog walking. Last year I went looking in our nearest town for a replacement pair. I live in a working class part of the world where people do not have too much money to throw at clothing. Most of the shoe stores and sports stores had something like Crocs available - but I was not actually able to find any stocking Crocs themselves. So I bought one of the other similar brands. The competitor brand I chose had copied the materials and design exactly and even had a logo which looked almost indistinguishable to the original. The price was considerably less. At that point I suspected that Crocs were doomed.
posted by rongorongo at 3:35 AM on July 17, 2009


They had trouble in Japan - people getting their feet stuck in escalators while wearing them.
posted by woodblock100 at 3:38 AM on July 17, 2009


I was getting a flat tire fixed in rural Florida and both the 60 year-old gas pumper and the 450 pound cashier were wearing Crocs. This told me they were not just a fad. The large one told me he was 'hard on shoes', but that these lasted him a long time. Both of them said they were the most comfortable things they'd ever worn. This caused me to at least consider buying a pair, although I have not as of this writing. Possibly now that they are no longer fashionable I might get some.
It sounds to me like the problem was they last forever. That's like making televisions that don't break- where's your business plan??
posted by MtDewd at 3:41 AM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Why did Crocs fail ... probably lots of reasons ... but one was they didn’t give a shit about making someone within their company responsible for effectively protecting their Intellectual Property in either their product or their brand.

No one protecting the product or the brand results in fakes and lookalikes flooding the market, which results in dilution in the perceived value of your product ... something neat and nifty becomes a common fad.


If only they had ENLARGENED their IP protection with youR SPECIAL SERVICES they would still have a massive BOTTOM LINE that would IMPRESS HER MIGHTILY.
posted by srboisvert at 3:57 AM on July 17, 2009 [18 favorites]


Plastic shoes will live on, I'm sure.

Yuck.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:01 AM on July 17, 2009


The rate of adoption and abandonment correlate. Next.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 4:02 AM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry that the company finally got to the point of designing well-ventilated and nice looking beach shoes (I have a soft spot for the durable and comfy Malindi) just as they are about to go bankrupt. I liked the new heels, too... Guess I'll be a buzzard and wait for the clearance sales.
posted by maryh at 4:12 AM on July 17, 2009


I'm the farthest thing from an outdoorsman. In fact, I'd even call myself an indoorsman. But earlier this summer, I found myself spending a weekend at a campsite, and I knew I'd need some sort of footwear that could easily be slipped on and off for trips to the bathroom and the like. So I went to Target and bought a pair of Crocs knock-offs for ten bucks, and darned if they didn't do just what I needed them to.

They're bedroom slippers for people in the woods. Why anybody would pay a premium price for something like that, or indeed would wear them in public, I'll never know.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:14 AM on July 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


Some exec at Berkenstock is happily dancing a jig in their office. But clumsily so.
posted by hal9k at 4:16 AM on July 17, 2009 [18 favorites]


*prays for Ugg to be next*
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 4:25 AM on July 17, 2009


Man, this sucks. This really, really sucks. I am an only mildly overweight guy who loves the shit out of his really stupid looking puke purple Crocs. Most comfortable shoes ever, ever, ever.
posted by the dief at 4:27 AM on July 17, 2009


No "crocodile tears" jokes yet? For shame people. For shame.
posted by dortmunder at 4:28 AM on July 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


Truly the best of the web.
posted by fixedgear at 4:31 AM on July 17, 2009


About a year ago a "Coming: Crocs Store!" sign went up on a building that was being gutted, in the most expensive part of SoHo (right near the Apple store). I remember think that they would have to sell a lot of shoes to cover a building that size - Plus, they must have closed the deal just before the economy collapsed. No wonder work on the building seems to be progressing very, very slowly.
posted by R. Mutt at 4:33 AM on July 17, 2009


My croc sandals (different from the mainstream style in appearance), are the most comfortable pair of sandals I have ever owned. I shall wear them into the ground and be thankful for the opportunity to do so. Hopefully the product will hang around in some form or another.
posted by Atreides at 4:42 AM on July 17, 2009


Hang on, how could a company selling faddy plastic shoes ever even need 2,000 employees, let alone make that many redundant? That kind of expansion is just crazy.
posted by malevolent at 4:44 AM on July 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oh how I wish I could post this anonymously. My name is t0astie and I was a Crocs wearer. Only through dire necessity, I swear. When I was living in the tropics and out in the rain and mud daily for work, Crocs were the only thing that would stay on my feet, offer a bit of protection and hose off without getting mouldy.

I'm not sure about buying one pair and never needing another as reason for them to go out of business. I had a red pair of Mary Jane style ones that faded quite a lot from their original fire-engine red after a year, even though they were still very comfortable. So I bought pair of black ballet flat ones... but the heel cup was really low and my feet kept slipping out. I was all set to go for pair number three in the Alice style when I (thank god) found an alternative plastic shoe source.

And, God help us, there is a Croc/Ugg hybrid. Even though they were great for what I needed, I look at that and just can't be sorry they might go bust.
posted by t0astie at 4:46 AM on July 17, 2009


I love Crocs, my whole family wears them. It's like being barefoot but without the pain and filthy feet and inability to go into stores...

My boys wear them so much they have little tan polka dots on the tops of their otherwise untanned feet. Light, stinkless, very comfortable, and easy even for a two year old to get off and on while going in and out of the house 300 times a day. Kids can run with them on and ride bikes safely (unlike with flip-flops and many sandals). I could live without Crocs, but I can't imagine not having them for my kids. We went through some knock-off brands at 1/3 the cost, but they always caused blisters.

Crocs aren't going bankrupt because the shoes last forever. I get 6-8 years out of a pair or Birks, but I'm on my third pair of Crocs in 4 years. The soles wear out very quickly if you wear them outside a lot. If Crocs do go under, I'll be sinking a few hundred bucks into every kids size up until college...
posted by Patapsco Mike at 4:48 AM on July 17, 2009


I'll be sinking a few hundred bucks into every kids size up until college...

I'd stop at about 13 or 14, at most, if I were you.

If I never have to see another person over the age of 10 wearing these in public ever again, it will be too soon.

*shudder*
posted by availablelight at 4:53 AM on July 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


Won't somebody please think of the Jibbitz?
posted by jonp72 at 4:56 AM on July 17, 2009


Terrible pastel 80s shoe -- pastel topsiders?
posted by kmennie at 5:00 AM on July 17, 2009


I love my Crocs. I wore them while walking around DC and at the end of the day, my feet felt perfectly fine.
posted by Lucinda at 5:05 AM on July 17, 2009


Hated Crocs the moment I laid eyes on them.

Ridiculously ugly footwear. Don't care how comfy they might be, would never wear them on grounds of having good taste.
posted by bwg at 5:12 AM on July 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


The company used money from its public stock offering to diversify and acquire new businesses, such as Jibbitz, which makes charms designed to fit Crocs' ventilating holes...

I'm not sure I would call that diversifying.
posted by R. Mutt at 5:15 AM on July 17, 2009 [7 favorites]


Good that they're going. They're fine for kids -- but, seriously, not at all appropriate for adults to be wearing round town.
posted by Lleyam at 5:15 AM on July 17, 2009


If wearing crocs makes fashionista douche bags get their designer g-strings all wadded up in their anally bleached nethers then I'm glad I was too lazy to find the mate to the shoe I was going to wear to work today. I bought my crocs about 2 years ago, the only reason is I was working on my mom's pond while I was down for a visit and needed something I could muck about with in the muck. They were comfortable, which surprised me, so a couple times a week I throw them on.
posted by substrate at 5:35 AM on July 17, 2009 [13 favorites]


They look ridiculous. Unless you've got a pale in one hand and a plastic shovel in the other, you shouldn't be wearing them
posted by smorange at 5:37 AM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


When I first saw Crocs, I thought they were merely a slightly faddish kid's shoe. Only worn by 5-10 year olds. Then I noticed moms wearing them. And then saw them everywhere, on everyone. And that's when I started to hate them. Come on people - you're adults! Wear adult footwear. Or at least sandals.

Until after working in the yard this year. I normally use a pair of old running shoes, because I really abuse them - in the dirt, getting drenched from the hose, etc. And now that those sneakers are almost falling apart, I've started to consider something new. And then I saw Crocs advertised in a gardening supply catalog. At first I thought, "No way. I HATE those things." But... they seem well-received by gardeners, can take abuse, and are easily cleaned. So I thought about ordering a pair.

But now... I'm not sure how to feel. Happy the stupid fad is passing, but sad that the right solution for gardening footwear will be gone. Maybe one pair. In a non-neon color. There's got to be a "gardening green" color, right?
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 5:37 AM on July 17, 2009


Oh man I am a lover of the most hated shoes-- my crocs are so comfortable but with all the hating I only wear them at night, my shame cloaked in darkness. I agree their growth was idiotic- they have (or had) a huge store on the upper west side in Manhattan. I never understood how that place was going to survive once the shoe jumped the shark.
posted by tothemoon at 5:38 AM on July 17, 2009


I love that they used their IPO money to move into Crocs-related businesses. Uh. Eggs, meet basket.
posted by GilloD at 5:39 AM on July 17, 2009


WON'T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE HIPPIES?
posted by item at 5:42 AM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Crocs tried very hard to protect their intellectual property. The problem is that they didn't have very much intellectual property. Read this about the lawsuits Crocs filed against competitor Holeys (formerly Holey Soles): "Holeys first sourced its products from Quebec manufacturer Finproject. So did Western Brands LLC (later to become Crocs Inc) and several other competitors. They all sold the same clog between 2002 and 2004, under a variety of brand names."

Crocs expanded too fast, spent too much money and didn't reduce the prices on their product enough when no-name copies flooded Wal-Mart etc.

Some people warned against this back in 2006:
"Half the shares are offered by current stockholders, who will pocket the money. This raises a threshold question: If they want out, do you want in?"
"It's like taking Napoleon Dynamite public because there selling a lot of 'Where's Pedro' shirts."
posted by iviken at 5:43 AM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


What a Croc.
posted by Hovercraft Eel at 5:46 AM on July 17, 2009


"Those shoes are ugly as hell."

"But they're the most comfortable footwear available. Ever."

"...But they're ugly."

I don't know who's missing the point here.
posted by clockzero at 5:47 AM on July 17, 2009 [11 favorites]


Unless you've got a pale in one hand and a plastic shovel in the other, you shouldn't be wearing them.

That comment is beyond the pail.
posted by Hovercraft Eel at 5:51 AM on July 17, 2009 [10 favorites]


There must be some kind of theory of fashion ugliness as it correlates to the economy. When times were good, people could wear what are ugly beach/gardening shoes to work. Now that the economy has tanked, everyone needs to make a good impression* and has to wear nice shoes in public.

*My first instinct was to write "everyone needs to put their best foot forward." I couldn't go there.
posted by deanc at 5:52 AM on July 17, 2009


It's not hard to find comfortable footwear that happens to look good. Ecco, for example, makes great shoes. Granted, they don't come with a tag that says "DO NOT EAT," but they're comfortable and stylish.
posted by smorange at 5:53 AM on July 17, 2009


That kind of expansion is just crazy.

Yeah, that. Ok, the demand was overwhelming them for a while, but so what? A small company doing amazingly well and growing organically wasn't enough to try to sustain? They needed to raise $200 million and build infrastructure immediately to take over the world? I'll never understand that.
posted by mediareport at 5:53 AM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


My 7 year old loves them. I wouldn't be caught dead in them.
posted by punkfloyd at 6:02 AM on July 17, 2009


I've got some Crocs, and yes, they're great for working in the garden. Get 'em wet and caked in mud, no big deal, hose 'em off and they're ready to go again. My significant other likes them because she has prosthetic inserts which don't fit in just every shoe, but they do fit great in Crocs. I'll be sorry to see my source of decent gardening shoes disappear. But I have like six pairs, so I should be okay for the rest of my life anyway.
posted by jamstigator at 6:03 AM on July 17, 2009


What the heck is wrong with people who think flipflops are for every single occasion.

I've lived on a beach all my life (Virginia Beach, Hawaii, some others), and I wear flip flops all the time, as does everyone else I know. Shoes are for special occasions and winter time only.

But there's never a time for Crocs. Ever.
posted by sephira at 6:05 AM on July 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Crocs, and plastic clogs in general, are indeed pretty great for nurses, chefs, gardeners, beach- and after-sport wear (that picture of Bush? I bet he'd just taken off his cycling shoes (also that he stole an election and should be prosecuted for war crimes)). Luckily, I suspect that companies like Keen (Yogui) and Birkenstock (Birki Clog, etc.) will continue to make them (maybe not Mion, though).
posted by box at 6:10 AM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ecco? Dansko? C'mon, people. Look, I love comfortable, expensive shoes. I've got a few pairs of Mephistos that I wear most days. But when my children and I are playing in fountains, or when we go for a walk in the rain to puddle-splash, or when I go out to pull weeds, I wear my pair of Alice-style Crocs. They're no different-looking from other Mary Janes, and they don't mind being soaking wet, meaning you can literally wash them off. That's a feature leather shoes don't have.
posted by palliser at 6:12 AM on July 17, 2009


The Crocs patent (via iviken's link). The claims seem a little thin to me.
posted by rongorongo at 6:18 AM on July 17, 2009


Sad. My primary use for Crocs or Croc-like shoes is backpacking. They're light and easy to tuck away in a corner of my pack.
Once I get to camp and shed my heavy boots, I put them on and let my feet cool off as I move around setting up the tent, building a fire, etc. They provide enough protection that going over the usual leaves, rocks, twigs, small bushes and other debris is no problem. I used to carry sandals for this but plastic is way lighter and just as effective.
Though as noted elsewhere they are ugly. Fortunately there are not too many fashionistas in the woods.
posted by BlueMetal at 6:20 AM on July 17, 2009


Bah to the haters. You don't have to wear them, so go crawl back up your own tight little fashionista arses. I'm sure there are enough people who find your favourite shoe or fashion accessory horrible and tasteless. I love my crocs. They are fantastic for puttering around in the house, yard, and garden and for camping and cottaging. Comfortable, indestructable, and practical.
posted by fimbulvetr at 6:22 AM on July 17, 2009 [5 favorites]


What will Chef Mario Batali wear now?
posted by Simon Barclay at 6:24 AM on July 17, 2009


Schadenfreude all the way. Crocs are one of those things I dislike for no good reason. It was pretty funny, though, that the prison uniform in Idiocracy included orange Crocs.
posted by Who_Am_I at 6:28 AM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'd cheer, but there are going to be knock-off Crocs available forever, so this is no real cause for celebration.

I wonder what the next shoe fad will be. Flats are very in right now, but they're cute and there's such variety of them that I've no objection. Quite often I've taken such a dislike to a style of shoe, not because it was inherently awful as Crocs are but because I got so tired of seeing them on every other pair of feet (i.e., Doc Martens and athletic sandals).
posted by orange swan at 6:29 AM on July 17, 2009


As much as I hate Crocs, at least they don't look as stupid as Vibram Fivefingers.
posted by MegoSteve at 6:30 AM on July 17, 2009


This thread just sold me on getting a pair of Crocs or NighCrocs. I need random chore-doing shoes.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:30 AM on July 17, 2009


I had no idea that people cared so much about other people's shoes.
posted by smoke at 6:32 AM on July 17, 2009 [15 favorites]


I can't help but be reminded of another fad that colapsed, taking the company unaware.

1999 through 2001, right as the Internet bubble was full to bursting, The brilliant Telecom company I was working for decided that the incredible growth that they had seen in data services from 1997 to 1999 was sustainable and in achievable, if only we'd go out there and bang on doors.

There were 35 Data Account Executives in South Florida. It doesn't sound like much, but there are 365 days in a year and there are a finite number of places one can go to bang on said doors. Nearly everywhere we went, the receptionist would roll her eyes and haul out a pile of business cards, all with the Death Star logo on them.

EVERYTHING has a saturation point. ESPECIALLY shoes that appeal primarily to children and people with a child-like attitude towards footwear.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:43 AM on July 17, 2009


If someone points me towards a closed toe, ventilated comfortable shoe which can be hosed down and dried with a rag within 10 minutes that AREN'T CROCS, I'd be eternally grateful. Really. I'm open to a more attractive looking option.

Until then? Yeah, my kid is wearing these all summer.
posted by jeanmari at 6:49 AM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Crocs don't last forever: I have worn out three pairs in the last three years doing just one thing: walking the dog. Sure, they're ugly--The Shoe That Dares Not Speak Its Name--but they are quiet and remarkably comfortable for hiking a few miles in the neighborhood late at night. I'm on my fourth pair of (black) Professionals (the ones with no holes in the tops).

I reluctantly bought my first pair in 2005 after reading an article in the WaPo that suggested that people with foot problems found them beneficial. Suffering at the time from the curse of chronic plantar fasciitis, I figured I'd try a pair, notwithstanding the sneers of sophisticated urbanites. I was astounded to find how comfortable they were--and my fasciitis was alleviated! The soles conform remarkably to the foot and give great, individually tailored arch support--no need for orthotics here.

I have gotten a year's wear out of each pair before the heels run down and the soles go through. But this is only after some serious walking mileage. And after three years of Crocs: no plantar fasciitis. For around 30 bucks a year, I'll take it. I have a couple of pair in reserve.
posted by rdone at 6:51 AM on July 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


I wonder what the next shoe fad will be.

I'm single-handedly bringing back the Wallabee. The time is right.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 6:53 AM on July 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


I had no idea that people cared so much about other people's shoes.

Hi! Welcome to Earth!

There's a thing called "fashion" here; you may end up thinking it's Evil Incarnate (as I do) but even so it's a pretty large industry that's very important in the lives of a great many people and thus well worth learning more about.

There are innumerable websites that will help explain and illustrate "fashion"; simply type the word into a search engine of your choice. I suggest taking notes, as it's a phenomenon which changes rapidly, and exists in different forms around the world.

And, again, welcome to our planet! I'm sorry the Ambassador was unable to be here to greet you personally, but with the recent civil unrest things are a bit busy.
posted by aramaic at 6:53 AM on July 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


Banging on doors in South Florida ..... sounds like my worst nightmare.
posted by blucevalo at 6:55 AM on July 17, 2009


Ecco, for example, makes great shoes.

Seconding this: they're light, comfortable, good-looking, and long lasting. I've had my Eccos going on 3 years with almost daily use, and I'm a big walker.

I don't hold it against George W. Bush for wearing Crocs. What I hold against him (in addition to the whole lying and the war crimes thing) was wearing black socks with Crocs.
posted by deanc at 7:00 AM on July 17, 2009


I'm not surprised by the sort of weird invective against crocs but I do think it's silly. I think crocs are really ugly. I don't wear them or flip flops because they violate my aesthetic standards. But I don't have any problem with people wearing them. It doesn't hurt my life to have to see crocs. It's just a bunch of people who are willing to deal with ugly shoes. So what. I think some of what's going is the whole Ferris Bueller's sister thing. Where people are resentful of someone else not playing by the rules and getting rewarded for it. Crocs violate the rules. You aren't supposed to where clown shoes outside your house and then you do and it's really comfortable and life goes on.
posted by I Foody at 7:00 AM on July 17, 2009 [12 favorites]


Banging on doors in South Florida ..... sounds like my worst nightmare.

You have NO idea!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:00 AM on July 17, 2009


I love my Crocs. But. I never wear them out of the house. They're more like slippers for me and I wear them mostly to keep my feet from getting cold (which happens even in summer).
posted by tommasz at 7:02 AM on July 17, 2009


You aren't supposed to where clown shoes outside your house

Well, I dunno... it depends on wear you're going.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:02 AM on July 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


I can't believe no one has mentioned Mucks for gardening! I wear mine constantly, and they last forever.

I've hated Crocs ever since Rosie O'Donnell (aka Satan) ambled into my studio in a pair. Bitch wore them everywhere, every day.
posted by nevercalm at 7:08 AM on July 17, 2009


I can't believe no one has mentioned Mucks for gardening!

Do they sell ventilated Mucks?
posted by jeanmari at 7:11 AM on July 17, 2009


I'm not surprised by the sort of weird invective against crocs but I do think it's silly.

It's not really invective, it's just metafilter being metafilter. But your Ferris Bueller's sister analogy hits the nail on the head.
posted by blucevalo at 7:14 AM on July 17, 2009


Do they sell ventilated Mucks?

Not to my knowledge, altho this does mean that your feet stay dry and mud/dirt/horseshit free. If they start to smell (mine don't, but have in the past) hose em down and leave em out in the sun for a day, they're good as new.
posted by nevercalm at 7:15 AM on July 17, 2009


But, here is the problem. Although they are ugly, Crocs SOLVE A PROBLEM that Mucks and the like do not solve.

What COMFORTABLE CLOSED-TOE (so no stubbing of toes), VENTILATED (cuts down on feet sweating, ventilation isn't webbed so mud/muck is easy to hose off), SUPPORTIVE shoe can be HOSED OFF and DRIED with a rag or paper towel within 10 MINUTES?

This is what parents deal with when it comes to finding summer shoes for kids. And what some people deal with for themselves as well. If anyone comes up with a better looking shoe that meets these criteria? I'm all ears. If I had to do a lot of gardening in warm weather, I'd buy Crocs.

(I owned a pair of Mucks knock-offs and hate them because they are heavy to wear, my feet sweat in them, they don't dry quickly, etc. No arch support either, but maybe that was because they were knock-offs.)
posted by jeanmari at 7:21 AM on July 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Just this summer the faculty at my university got a notice encouraging us to consider "more appropriate" clothing when we participated in the graduation ceremonies. Footwear was discussed extensively and among the frowned upon shoes were flip-flops and crocs.

Being the nosy nelly I am, I called the secretary of the graduation committee to see exactly what prompted this discussion and new mandate. Apparently last year, a faculty member who sat on the platform with the speaker and the deans wore bright red crocs with her professor robes. After finding that out, I understood that many of my fellow faculty members are just as clueless as our students when it comes to understanding appropriate footwear. I mean really, our school colors are blue and white. At least make them blue crocs.

Regardless, I'm delighted that the horribly ugly shoes are going the way of the dodo. Now if there can just be some sort of style or fashion mandate for standing up straight, my world will be complete. Also, get off my lawn.
posted by teleri025 at 7:24 AM on July 17, 2009


Another gardner here. My husband Haaaaaaaaaaaates crocs but when I saw a pair of black faux crocs for sale for $5.99 I bought them. For a couple of years I only used them in the garden then I developed Plantar fascitis. Let me tell you, at the end of the day the faux crocs are the only way I can walk around the kitchen for an hour or so preparing dinner.

I am mightily tempted by the Alice Crocs because the one thing I don't like about mine are the myriad holes which let the mosquitoes and dirt in.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:25 AM on July 17, 2009


I'm not in a position to throw stones at Crocs, because in the mid-70's I religiously wore my Earth Shoes to all my cult meetings.
posted by kozad at 7:33 AM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Crocs were the Twitter of the shoe world.
posted by ericb at 7:33 AM on July 17, 2009


What I hold against him (in addition to the whole lying and the war crimes thing) was wearing black socks with Crocs.

I don't think black socks with Crocs (or other sandals) is a George-Bush-specific thing. From what I gather, it's a Southern thing. It's also evidently a British holidayer thing.
posted by blucevalo at 7:35 AM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


But my experience with them was that they were also extremely easily ripped off (look-alikes) or counterfeited (fakes).

That's because they're just plastic clogs with the word "Crocs" stamped on them. There's really not a whole lot of IP there to protect.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:36 AM on July 17, 2009


What COMFORTABLE CLOSED-TOE (so no stubbing of toes), VENTILATED (cuts down on feet sweating, ventilation isn't webbed so mud/muck is easy to hose off), SUPPORTIVE shoe can be HOSED OFF and DRIED with a rag or paper towel within 10 MINUTES?

My mother used to buy me five dollar pairs of boys' sandals at K-mart every summer. They were pretty much rip-offs of sandals like keens. I never stubbed my toes in them (because if sandals fit properly, you shouldn't), and I also never got my foot stuck in an elevator. Wonderfully supportive, great for walking around muddy creeks in and then hosing off.

Crocs are way ugly, and are pretty much just rip-offs of other gardening shoes, anyway. Mr. WanKenobi's mother loves them and keeps sending him the most hideous pairs. I'm sure she'll be heartbroken when she hears the news, but frankly? I'm elated. There's nothing worse than a man in ugly, ugly shoes.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:39 AM on July 17, 2009


Yeah, they are ugly, but they are cheap, comfortable and and great for walking the dog, especially in the rain. Water just drains out when His Furriness decides to walk through the big puddles.

That people have an aversion to them makes me more likely to wear them. If I can annoy people just by tooling around the park in my Ravens crocs, you can bet I'll take that opportunity.
posted by QIbHom at 7:41 AM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


IF you live in a subtropical environment (NOLA) and have issues with athlete's foot--which is hard to get rid of here once it gets going--then Crocs come in really handy. They're not only washable but bleach-able. I don't have the standard pair, but off-roaders with larger heels, less clowny looking. If I'm out and they get wet, which is common for this time of the year in the late afternoon, they're not out for the day or all sloshy. Wearing socks with sandals (which, sans socks, are more likely to leave you with athlete's foot than wearing sneakers, which are uncomfortable in the summer and good only for exercise and sports) is a recipe for fungi, if your feet get wet. And the sock-with-sandals combo is just as fugly.

Just FYI. Walk a mile in my shoes before you get all snooty about them, if'n you do, thanks.
posted by raysmj at 7:41 AM on July 17, 2009


Is this something I would need feet to understand?
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 7:43 AM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


The typical styles most often associated with Crocs are, indeed, fugly.

But, I do really like my pair of Cleos. I don't like flip-flops because I'm not a fan of wearing things between my toes, so the Cleos are great during hot Houston summers or after a long run.
posted by yeoja at 7:52 AM on July 17, 2009


Tangentially: From what I get, Crocs actually got their beginnings in Quebec City (Yeah, yeah, blame the Canadians...). The material that the little beasts are made of was formulated by a Bill-Nye-esque character named Andy Reddyhoff, who evidently started The Great Clog Wars of 2002.

He just bought the rights to his material back and is now making this stuff. I got to tour the factory last year, and although I'm a decided non-Crocs wearer, I had to admit I was a little geeked out by the manufacturing process.

*I'm bowing out now with the realization I know a bit too much about hippyshoes.*
posted by functionequalsform at 7:56 AM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


You know what I hate about articles like this? Quotes like "the company's toast," from gaddam investment fund managers who think they're cool for using out-of-date catchphrases that some hack at the Washington Post thinks will make snazzy copy. And opinions from "trend and marketing experts" who've written books called "Career and Corporate Cool." Blecchh.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:56 AM on July 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


My flip-flops broke down on Roatan. I had a choice between one model of Crocs priced at $40 or multitudes of knock-off models priced at $4. Go on, take a guess at which footwear I chose.
posted by jsavimbi at 7:56 AM on July 17, 2009


All the kitchen folk I know love these things. And since I keep meaning to get a shoe I can wear to the beach and pool, sounds like Croc's misfortune may be my gain.
posted by klangklangston at 8:00 AM on July 17, 2009


I can't help but be reminded of another fad that colapsed, taking the company unaware.

Cabbage Patch Kids helped push Coleco into bankruptcy. In 1983 when Coleco made a deal with Xaviar Roberts to take over the manufacturing and distributing, they seriously under-estimated the demand. At Christmas they were hiring chartered planes to fly in a hundred thousand dolls a week but could not keep up causing shortages in certain areas. I flew from L.A. to Japan that Christmas and my dad asked me to bring back a Cabbage Patch Doll so he could give it to his boss. Coleco sold a billion dollars worth of Cabbage Patch Kids and accessories the first year* and probablycould have sold a billion dollars worth more if they had the merchandise to sell. By 1988 the fad was over and Coleco filed for bankruptcy-- their cash cow didn't have the longevity of Barbie.

*data taken from Jane and Michael Stern's Encyclopedia of Culture
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:07 AM on July 17, 2009


I've never owned a pair of Crocs.

I've owned several pairs of "fake" Crocs - the sort that jannw above seemed so desperate to offer his services to destroy. And they're pretty fantastic too. Everyone worrying that the official manufactor is facing backruptcy should calm down a little bit and consider that these suckers are still going to be available in great numbers at a low low price - they just won't have a cool brand name stamped on them.
posted by Jimbob at 8:13 AM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I wear Crocs to my Cabbage Patch doll tea parties. I serve Krispy Kreme donuts and we listen to the Jonas Brothers. Afterwards, we dance the Macarena.
posted by Nelson at 8:19 AM on July 17, 2009 [8 favorites]


Maybe I'm missing an obvious point here, but for everyone who is sad that they won't be able to get this style of shoe once Crocs goes out of business, won't all of the knockoffs still be available?

I tried Crocs in a store once, but I just didn't like the way they sat on my feet so I passed, and unfortunately, that means I can't make an informed statement here, but aren't the counterfeit ones made of the same material and everything? Is there something superior to the originals that isn't adequately replicated in the knock-offs?

I'm just saying, Crocs going under doesn't mean that this style of shoe will vanish from the face of the earth.
posted by quin at 8:30 AM on July 17, 2009


Man, Metafilter is a seething hotbed of Crocs hate. I'll bet my last dollar that at least some of you haters have never worn a pair. Lord knows, it's better to look good than to feel good.

My wife runs the internet side of a shoe company. As a result, we get the occasional killer deal on shoes. In my closet I have many pairs of Keens, Eccos, and Mephistos. None of them are anywhere close to as comfortable as my beat-up pair of maroon Crocs.

Laugh away, haters. My dogs are happier than yours.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:36 AM on July 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


I think that Amanda Marcotte over at Pandagon had a decent take on Crocs and croc-like products: they appeal to a certain segment of American culture that likes things to be aggressively ugly, as if to say that "aesthetics are product of the liberal elitist oppressors."

That and people don't want to look and act like grownups, which explains all the people out and about wearing Velour tracksuits paired with crocs or running shoes when not otherwise engaging in athletic or outdoors activities.

People don't dislike crocs because they feel other people are "breaking the rules." They dislike crocs because they're annoyed at croc-wearers who demand to be taken seriously while wearing them. They fall into the same category as things like fanny packs. I'm sure they're practical in their own way, but they're nothing to be proud of.

What COMFORTABLE CLOSED-TOE (so no stubbing of toes), VENTILATED (cuts down on feet sweating, ventilation isn't webbed so mud/muck is easy to hose off), SUPPORTIVE shoe can be HOSED OFF and DRIED with a rag or paper towel within 10 MINUTES?

You see, the smart thing to do would be to create something that did fulfill those requirements while also looking like normal footwear. Or, if you had no need for ventilated, hosable sandals, instead opting for another kind of footwear.

If crocs are so great for the beach and for gardening and have the convenience of being easily hosed off, how come I almost only see crocs being worn by non-gardening non-beachgoers walking nowhere near dirt? It's because they became trendy.
posted by deanc at 8:36 AM on July 17, 2009 [12 favorites]


Take heed, Havaianas.
posted by janet lynn at 8:52 AM on July 17, 2009


birdwatcher: "Doesn't sound like many of the above posts are from people who actually bought and wore a pair. I love my Crocs and will rush out now and buy a couple more pair before they disappear. They are comfortable, durable, and cheap. Living in a beach community, they are the perfect foortwear for slipping on and off. I won't go back to Tevas or Keens or flipflops. I won't. I can't."

You can and you will. And one day your run down Crocs will be sitting in the bottom of a closet next to your old fanny pack and beanie babies. and when your kids ask you about them, you'll shrug and say "eh, it was the style back then. like bell bottoms."
posted by shmegegge at 8:52 AM on July 17, 2009


i L-O-V-E-D orignal earth shoes, owned two pairs of moon boots,. i can't remember the name of the first brand of plastic shoe i owned, but when i saw them i looked at those fire-engine red shoes & looked at them & looked at them. and then i went home. and then i went back the next day to actually buy them, dragging a friend of mine with me. 'it says you can throw them in the dishwasher!' i very excitedly told his very blank face. that was almost 10 years ago, the shoes came from a tj maxx-type place where once they were gone, they were gone. i was pretty much mesmerized when i saw my first pair of crocs, and couldn't wait to find a store that sold them. i now own about five pairs in different colors & styles.

in the meantime, i own birkenstocks, mbts, and z-coils. i've been down the dansko and ecco roads, and they don't come close to crocs. i wear them everywhere, including work, where i am right now with my super-bad purple classic crocs, and i'll have on a pair at the meetup tomorrow night.

suck it, haters. crocs may tank, but there will be something to take their place that will be equally offensive to you and pure comfort designed as footwear to me. those of us who finally shook off the fashion police and go for comfort over fashion every time ... WE WILL PREVAIL!
posted by msconduct at 8:52 AM on July 17, 2009 [5 favorites]


Laugh away, haters. My dogs are happier than yours.
Why wouldn't they be? Your house is full of chew toys.
posted by genghis at 8:53 AM on July 17, 2009 [14 favorites]


I bought a pair of Vibram Fivefingers and I fucking love them. They are the most comfortable shoe imaginable. You can feel the different textures of the ground you walk on, but I have yet to find a surface that hurts my feet. Jagged gravel isn't comfortable, but it's not painful, either. And I've walked several miles over hot summer pavement in them, and my feet didn't get uncomfortably hot. Next week, I'm going to go hiking in the mountains with them.

And yes, my wife threatened divorce if I wore them in public. The funny thing about them is, I know they're ugly, but I don't know why. Mine are a totally neutral putty color, not one of the multicolored monstrosities they offer. Why are they so much uglier than just plain bare feet?
posted by vibrotronica at 8:57 AM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


genghis FTW.

now i gotta clean the coffee off of my monitor
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:57 AM on July 17, 2009


I'm single-handedly bringing back the Wallabee. The time is right.

Your local hipster doofus chapter is way ahead of you.
posted by Go Banana at 8:59 AM on July 17, 2009


Yay. Now if only Uggs can follow them into non-existence.

Uggs have their charm. They look good when worn by attractive young women. Hell- even burlap bags look good when worn by attractive young women.

I'm sorry. I was born hetero and it's really not my fault.
posted by squalor at 9:02 AM on July 17, 2009


Your local hipster doofus chapter is way ahead of you.

Dang. Ah well, I still love 'em.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 9:02 AM on July 17, 2009


Take heed, Havaianas

Dude, Havaianas have been around for almost 50 years. I don't think there's a comparison here.
posted by peep at 9:08 AM on July 17, 2009


I once saw a man wearing them.
posted by Zambrano at 9:09 AM on July 17, 2009


Man, Metafilter is a seething hotbed of Crocs hate.

No matter where you go electronically or in meatspace, there's a core of people willing to just up and tell you their sometimes astonishing prejudices about people on the basis of their choice of footwear.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:10 AM on July 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


I love how everyone who dislikes the ugliest shoe ever made is a "fashionista."

I mean, seriously, does wearing a shirt without stains or rips make you a fashionista, too?
posted by paisley henosis at 9:13 AM on July 17, 2009 [8 favorites]


Man, people are uptight about what other people wear on their feet. Beans, plate. Wow.
posted by Pantengliopoli at 9:13 AM on July 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yeah! People are always making fun of my Crocs, but they are comfortable and convenient, so suck it! Now I wish people would stop making fun of my super convenient adult diapers that free me from the tyranny of not peeing whenever I want to. Also, please stop making fun of my giant one size fits all t-shirts that I use as mu mus, they're airy and allow me to save money on pants. Finally please don't laugh at me when I attach the Taco Bell feed bag to my head, it saves me the trouble of physically pushing food into my face.

Seriously though, I owned Crocs. I bought them for working in a restaurant. I left them in a locker and never wore them in public. They're the sartorial equivalent of not bothering to shower because it wastes water.

Those things have no business being worn in any kind of situation where you interact with people in a social or professional context. They convey a lack of respect for aesthetic sensibilities, for other people, and most importantly a lack of respect for oneself.
posted by Telf at 9:15 AM on July 17, 2009


those of us who finally shook off the fashion police and go for comfort over fashion every time ... WE WILL PREVAIL!

I would guess that it is those with nice shoes who have a reproductive advantage over those habitual croc- and mbt-wearers.
posted by deanc at 9:17 AM on July 17, 2009


What's that you say, WaPo? A fad product, over-leveraged and over-diversified, loses steam, market share, and millions of dollars?

SURELY THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE.

I myself own a pair of Crocs (Mammoth) which I wear as bedroom slippers in the winter, because it is hard to find cheap, fuzzy, washable bedroom slippers with arch support. But if Crocs goes away, I will find some other product.

And the people who need neoprene clogs with good arch support for their work will go back to buying those from the other vendors who have been selling them all along, long before Crocs made this particular bit of functional workwear into a fad.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:18 AM on July 17, 2009


They're the sartorial equivalent of not bothering to shower because it wastes water.

You are overthinking these shoes.
posted by Pantengliopoli at 9:23 AM on July 17, 2009


People don't dislike crocs because they feel other people are "breaking the rules." They dislike crocs because they're annoyed at croc-wearers who demand to be taken seriously while wearing them.

You decide whether or not to "take people seriously" based on their footwear? I'm sorry, but I'm really not going to be able to take anything you say seriously from now on.
posted by yoink at 9:26 AM on July 17, 2009 [11 favorites]


Am I the only one who doesn't find these shoes comfortable? I feel a foot camp coming on just thinking about them. My wife and daughter love their's but I'll take a good pair of boots any day even in 30+ weather.
posted by Mitheral at 9:27 AM on July 17, 2009


Uggs have their charm. They look good when worn by attractive young women.

If by "good" you mean "fucking stupid," then yes, I agree.
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 9:28 AM on July 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


These are Crocs, too.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 9:30 AM on July 17, 2009


Take heed, Havaianas

Not quite. Havaianas do wear out and require replacing. Two out of three Brazilians buy at least a pair of Havaianas a year, and while they may seem ubiquitous right now in the U.S., only 10% of their sales are international. Their trendiness in the U.S. may fade but the company is solid.
posted by wallaby at 9:30 AM on July 17, 2009


They should never have shut down the Canadian factory. Basically, Crocs did nothing but buy an existing technology, and ship production overseas.

My Made-in-Canada grey pair are superfugly, but at least they hide my webbed toes.
posted by scruss at 9:31 AM on July 17, 2009


I've never liked them but after reading this it's tempting to get some just to annoy people.
posted by 2sheets at 9:32 AM on July 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


in the meantime, i own birkenstocks, mbts, and z-coils. i've been down the dansko and ecco roads, and they don't come close to crocs. i wear them everywhere, including work, where i am right now with my super-bad purple classic crocs, and i'll have on a pair at the meetup tomorrow night.

I have to say, MBTs are probably the only shoes I think are way uglier than crocs. Mr. WanKenobi's mother bought him a pair of those, too, claiming they were "special, orthopedic shoes." Then someone asked him if those were the shoes that are supposed to give you a firm butt, and he promptly stopped wearing them.

This thread has made me realize how snobby I am about shoes, and how I utterly and completely don't care that I'm snobby about them.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:37 AM on July 17, 2009


I'm totally with you Lentrohamsanin. Only thing I wore between ages 12 and whenever it was I discovered chucks. I've been trying to find a nostalgia pair ever since but couldn't because I had no idea what they are called. We always referred to them as "Freak Boots" because it's what all the smokers, stoners, and outcasts in junior high wore.

So thanks, Crocs, because if it weren't for your ugly-assed shoe generating enough fashionista outrage that your going out of business warranted a thread on Mefi, I'd still be without my freak boots (which are on order and should arrive next week!).
posted by Fezboy! at 9:42 AM on July 17, 2009


I first saw them in a little town on the Trent-Severn canal. They seemed like a really tacky way to shout, "We own a boat!"
posted by bonobothegreat at 9:42 AM on July 17, 2009


It's not just about being snobby, it's about people putting in a little bit of effort to join the outside world. I mean Jesus, brush your teeth, get someone to pick the nits out of your hair, change your underpants once a week, wear something that covers your genitals, and put on a pair of real shoes.

Wearing Crocs is the same thing as going to Walmart dressed in your pajamas and bedroom slippers. You're not angering fashionistas, you're just displaying complete disregard for basic societal expectations.
posted by Telf at 9:50 AM on July 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


I get that they serve a purpose for a very small percentage of the people who wear them. That's cool. I also get that they're comfortable, but you know what else is comfortable? Letting off a nasty fart in a crowded elevator. Crocs are the visual equivalent of that.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:53 AM on July 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


"If I can annoy people just by tooling around"
"it's tempting to get some just to annoy people."


I'll never understand being contrarian for the sake of being contrarian. It comes from the same humor-origin as "well that's a shame, because I'll be taking lots of flash photography" yes?
posted by mdaugherty82 at 9:58 AM on July 17, 2009


brush your teeth, get someone to pick the nits out of your hair, change your underpants once a week, wear something that covers your genitals, and put on a pair of real shoes.

One of these things is not like the others. Hmmmm.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 10:01 AM on July 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


you're just displaying complete disregard for basic societal expectations

My "basic societal expectation" is that people can wear whatever shoes they want to wear, whenever they want to wear them, and it's absolutely none of my business what they choose.

Man, I knew Mefites were an uptight crowd, but I never suspected it went as deep as this.
posted by yoink at 10:03 AM on July 17, 2009 [13 favorites]


You guys convinced me:

the lovers by saying how comfortable they are.
the haters by caring so much what other people wear.

I just ordered a pair from Amazon for under $20. Now if I can just work up the courage to actually go outside with them on.
posted by claytonius maximus at 10:05 AM on July 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


When I was younger I surely would have been here mocking Crocs with great gusto. Reading this thread it slowly dawned on me that something is gone. I don't know if it is 9/11, the financial crisis, seeing friends start raising families, or maybe just getting older, but part of me is gone. Or dead. I'm not sure if it's part of my mind, or my soul, or something else entirely. A little part art of my being, I guess. The part that was capable of hating other people's shoes. Yet even with this void, this nothingness where once there was something inside me, I realize I must carry on.
posted by snofoam at 10:05 AM on July 17, 2009 [8 favorites]


I'll admit that unlike the other things I mentioned, nit picking requires one to have friends. On the other hand, I thought it was good advice, so I included it. If you really want to be a stickler then ignore my delousing advice and just follow the other 4 rules.
posted by Telf at 10:06 AM on July 17, 2009


I wonder what the next shoe fad will be.

Anyone remember Desert Boots (originally mfg by Clarke's of [I believe] Great Britain). I wore them all the time in HS in the 1960s. In certain circles, they were also call "Fruit Boots". I purchased a knock-off pair from Lands End a few years back, and I wear them when I have to meet clients (I'm an engineer and formal dress is not required).
posted by JimDe at 10:08 AM on July 17, 2009



Those things have no business being worn in any kind of situation where you interact with people in a social or professional context. They convey a lack of respect for aesthetic sensibilities, for other people, and most importantly a lack of respect for oneself.


I can recall my mom making this point when I wanted to wear dungarees to school.

I have some Croc knock offs that were dumped at the local 99 Cent Store a few years back. Some pairs had the strap removed, which I think may have represented some kind of "cut out" status. Perhaps these were dumped under threat of litigation? In any event, I've grown to mile them a lot.

Jannw: How would Croc effectively protect their IP in this instance? To me, they look like very easily copied injection molded plastic shoes. Outside of aggressively monitoring knockoff vendors, I don't see a whole lot of IP that's easy to enforce.
posted by 2N2222 at 10:10 AM on July 17, 2009


Ah screw it. You're right, I don't really give a fuck what people wear. I'm not going to be in a position where I have to deal with some douche who wears crocs to a wedding or into the boardroom.

If you really think that you're furthering human freedom by wearing ugly ass clown shoes, then fine. It's a silly thing for me to waste 4 comments on. It's not like they're going to lead to the end of human civilization. They're just incredibly ugly, plastic clogs that you can hose down.

Wear what you want to wear. Certain people may think that you look silly or juvenile, but if you honestly don't care about that kind of thing then more power to you. I'm sorry for comparing them to adult diapers.
posted by Telf at 10:14 AM on July 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


I wonder how a thread about Homeowner Association Rules telling people what color they can and can't paint their houses would go on Metafilter? Would the people working themselves into fits about the fact that people dare to go out in public in shoes that are very slightly wider than most other shoes and not made of leather opt for the "whose fucking business is it what color I paint my house?" line or for the "painting your house purple is exactly the same as holding someone down and rubbing faeces all over their face!!!!!" line?
posted by yoink at 10:17 AM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


going to Walmart dressed in your pajamas and bedroom slippers

Oh my, people do that? How do they not get laughed out of that classy milieu?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:18 AM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I never bought crocs because they're ugly and also because they look like they would make your feet sweat A LOT! If they don't make your feet sweat, I might reconsider and buy one of the ballet flat styles.
posted by vespabelle at 10:19 AM on July 17, 2009


Lifeless, that article was odd. I get the static electricity thing, but the concern that "needles could pierce them"? Do regular leather nursing shoes have steel plates? Because needles pierce leather just fine; does the hospital regulate how thick the shoe leather is for their nurses? And then the comment "so long as they're not fuschia"..who gives a rat's?

I worked in a hospital publications dept. a few years ago and noticed the nurses wearing these (with socks, often brightly colored). And now I'm sad for them. Because those ladies need all the help they can get.

Never bought a "real" pair because I didn't need them, but got some fake Mary Jane ones for a recent swimming trip to Barton Springs in Austin. They were awesome...kept my feet from being torn up and didn't rot. And covered my toes without giving me toe-wedgie like flipflops, which I hate. If this thread is any indication, there's still lots of money to be made in comfy plastic waterproof shoes.
posted by emjaybee at 10:20 AM on July 17, 2009


I ordered some for my mother. She has MS and swollen feet and needed comfy shoes for an event back in the spring. I picked out the Malindi, which is actually pretty cute. It looks almost like a regular ballet flat.

Coincidentally, after reading all these comments, there was a Crocs 15% off announcement in my inbox.
posted by cmgonzalez at 10:22 AM on July 17, 2009


FWIW, I'm not a croc owner and don't particularly care for them, aesthetically.
But I think it's really lame and superficial to judge someone for what they wear, rather than, say, how attractive they are. Wear what you want outside, but for the love of god, please have the decency to stay home if you're an ugmo, 'kay?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:23 AM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ecco, for example, makes great shoes.

Sure, but a pair of Ecco shoes will cost you £80 a pop. You can get a pair of fake Crocs for a £5.

Also, while real Crocs might go under, fake made-in-China Crocs will inevitably live on.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:23 AM on July 17, 2009


Wear what you want to wear.

Thank you, I will. Doesn't happen to include Crocs, in my case, but I will make my footwear choices without a single thought for "what other people may think."

Certain people may think that you look silly or juvenile

And, ironically, those people will have proven themselves to be both silly and juvenile by indulging that thought ("OMG did you see what Sally wore to school today! Doesn't she know that those are, like, SO over?!").
posted by yoink at 10:24 AM on July 17, 2009


"One of these things is not like the others. Hmmmm."

Ya, who wears underwear anymore?
posted by Mitheral at 10:26 AM on July 17, 2009


Anyone remember Desert Boots (originally mfg by Clarke's of [I believe] Great Britain)

I was in a Clarks shoe store earlier this year, and they had identical copies of the original Chukka Boots, as well as Wallabees and a host of other early 60's classic styles.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:27 AM on July 17, 2009


See: http://www.clarksoriginals.com/
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:29 AM on July 17, 2009


I readily admit to having several sartorial pet peeves. I believe that Uggs have overstayed their welcome by about four years; the idea of $100+ jeans never fails to enrage me; I would pay increased taxes in support of teaching The Difference Between Leggings and Pants in public schools.

Crocs, though, I just can't get worked up about. Maybe it's because they really are so comfortable; maybe it's because no one's wearing them to be trendy anymore. I'm not sure why; I just can't hate 'em.
posted by Metroid Baby at 10:31 AM on July 17, 2009


I am wearing Crocs at this very moment. I keep two pairs of emergency shoes in the trunk of my car: my big ugly black heavy broke-in leather hiking boots and my big ugly red lightweight comfy Crocs.
posted by maggieb at 10:36 AM on July 17, 2009


"If I can annoy people just by tooling around"
"it's tempting to get some just to annoy people."

I'll never understand being contrarian for the sake of being contrarian. It comes from the same humor-origin as "well that's a shame, because I'll be taking lots of flash photography" yes?


Oh, come on. If you are seriously annoyed by other people's choice of shoes you kind of deserve to be poked just for your own good. No one is really being hurt by that, are they? It's just shoes (and I say this as someone who hates the way Crocs look).

(I do not think the photographer was trying to be "funny" either. I think they were just looking forward to taking some flashed-based pictures. If you are a photographer this is the kind of thing you sometimes look forward to. So they are going to another meetup. Problem solved. )

On another tangent, any gardener who buys camouflage footwear is just asking for a pick through the the toe. I guess those shoes appeal to the same people who buy green handled shears or camo Swiss Army Knives and then spend hours looking for them in the underbrush.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:39 AM on July 17, 2009


I remember Earth shoes. When I was in high school, I worked for a shoe store that sold a knock-off called the Turf shoe. I thought this was clever and appalling at the same time.

I have a pair of moderately dark green Crocs that I use as house shoes (or bedroom slippers, if you prefer). They're comfortable and I like them. I don't wear them outside because I don't want to get them dirty, but otherwise I probably wouldn't hesitate to putter around in them outside. They do look like clown shoes, though. Sorry.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 10:43 AM on July 17, 2009


So I guess I'm convinced now, too. I hadn't realized I could annoy people and be comfortable at the same time. I was thinking of maybe black or Peacock Blue, but I guess there's no point in trying to be subtle.
Question...those of you with more 'stylish' Crocs- are they as comfortable as the originals?
posted by MtDewd at 10:51 AM on July 17, 2009


The only time I don't get Uggs is when I see girls (and it's almost always girls, as in younger than 20) wearing them in blazing 90 degree heat. Like, I understand that they're supposed to be comfortable, and it's one thing to be wearing them when you're wintering in Aspen, but trotting around with your legs wrapped to the knees in suede and shearling when the heat index is over 100 just doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

As for Crocs: I don't mind them, really. No, they're not pretty, but they are comfortable and I just don't have it in me to get worked up over people who wear them all the time. I bought a $10 knock-off pair on the Ocean City boardwalk two years ago when my far more stylish sandals kept getting sand under the straps and causing painful chafe marks. Since then, they've become my go-to shoes for gardening and yardwork.

Also, they are one of, like, two pairs of shoes that my pregnancy-swollen feet can wear these days, so I vote that the pregnant ladies get the same pass that the chefs, nurses, and little kids are getting.
posted by shiu mai baby at 10:53 AM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm surprised to see that dooce has not made a post declaring her victory over the Croc. That's my favorite thing about Crocs: reading about how much one blogger in Utah hates them. Comedy gold!
posted by grapefruitmoon at 11:05 AM on July 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm surprised to see that dooce has not made a post declaring her victory over the Croc.

The lady just had a baby! I give her a pass, in exchange for chubby snuzzly baby pictures. E.g., Hair Club for Infants. (Via.)
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 11:14 AM on July 17, 2009


Also, 90% of the people wearing Crocs in public would otherwise be wearing flip-flops, Birkenstocks or Tevas. With Crocs, at least you don't have to see their dirty toes. Also, thinking back on my previous comment, when Tevas started getting popular I'm pretty sure I still had the part of me that could hate other peoples' shoes.
posted by snofoam at 11:16 AM on July 17, 2009


Yeah, they're uglier than just about anything, but Crocs are ideal toddler/kid shoes. Cheap, indestructible, slip-on, waterproof. My six-year-old loves hers, and I have to admit that I love the convenience. From a strictly utilitarian standpoint, I'll be sad to see them go.

I'd never wear the damed things myself, though.
posted by lekvar at 11:23 AM on July 17, 2009


I bought a pair of Uggs in about 1994 (before they got bought by some big USian company) to use with my (rather non-period, sorry) Viking costume for work. I have worn them as slippers, outside, all over, and, besides replacing the insole a couple years ago and two dabs of shoe goo, they are as good as new.

I guess I just like comfortable and ugly.
posted by QIbHom at 11:26 AM on July 17, 2009


to use with my (rather non-period, sorry) Viking costume for work

Was this a literal Viking or are you using "Viking" in a metaphorical sense?
posted by Justinian at 11:30 AM on July 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


People saying Crocs last too long and don't wear out fast enough as the reason they are going under -- seriously? Planned obsolescence is a blight on consumer mentality.

From my understanding, the fact that something is a well-built, lasting product usually helps insure the products longevity. Can anybody here actually find a product that went out of business because it was built too well?

If Crocs are dying, it's because they suck at marketing beyond the fad phase.
posted by jabberjaw at 11:45 AM on July 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Reading this thread was worthwhile, if only to learn of the existence of Vibram Five fingers. Those things look like they'd be really awesome to wear.
posted by drezdn at 11:54 AM on July 17, 2009


Last fall I had to replace my house slippers since the last pair of $10 walgreens specials had pretty much given up the ghost. Unfortunately all they had were fuzzy-lined Croc knockoffs. I swallowed my pride and picked them up. And now I wear them all the time as my go-to puttering about the house and getting coffee at the gas station in the morning shoes. My wife would never permit herself to be seen with me wearing them (with white socks!), but I love them because they're wide and kinda clunky and easy to slip on and off.

There's a part of me that wonders if people don't realize they have wide feet, and their comfort problems boil down to squeezing their foot into too narrow a shoe, which crocs definitely aren't. Lord knows I was in my 30s when I first tried the wide sizes and managed to get a shoe that fits for the first time in over a decade.
posted by Kyol at 11:58 AM on July 17, 2009


I actually bought a pair of Crocs after reading this thread. Everyone who owns a pair has them told me that they are the most comfortable shoes they own - an opinion shared by Croc wearers here, too. So, my feet made me hit the "Order" button at Crocs.com (but my brain made me look for a discount coupon first). I'm happy to report that a pair of non-ventilated clogs are on their way to my house (free shipping today, too). I still think that they're inappropriate for work, so I'll probably be heading down to the surplus store to find some good boots. (My feet typed that last part.)
posted by parilous at 12:01 PM on July 17, 2009


I wonder how a thread about Homeowner Association Rules telling people what color they can and can't paint their houses would go on Metafilter?

Well, here's a previous FPP that might be of interest to you: Fascism with a White Picket Fence .
posted by ericb at 12:02 PM on July 17, 2009


I once saw a family (mum and dad, 2 kids), uniformly dressed in pastel sweats and crocs, rushing to a departure gate at an airport. They looked like they were on the run from an insane asylum.
posted by carter at 12:03 PM on July 17, 2009 [5 favorites]


^ I can assure you that sweats and crocs are about the best thing you can wear to an airport. No belts, and crocs slip on and off quite easily. I applaud them for not uniformly wearing matching belt-buckles and steel-toed lace-up boots.

There's something to be said about comfort/practicality vs. aesthetics.
posted by jabberjaw at 12:13 PM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


[derail]

I find flip-flops loathesome. One of the reasons (and lo, they are many and legion) is that those who wear them think that wearing a pair of sandals that attaches to your foot with a rubber band gives them a license to kick off their sandals just about anywhere.

People, if you must wear shower shoes in public, please keep them on your feet at all times. Wearing something convenient does not give you the license to kick them off and put your feet up on the nearest flat surface, rubbing your foot sweat everywhere. It's not just aesthetic -- it's also common courtesy.

[/derail]
posted by pxe2000 at 12:23 PM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Question...those of you with more 'stylish' Crocs- are they as comfortable as the originals?

The ones my mom has are very comfy. The event she needed them for was a wedding, and after the night was over, she sat while I got us a new room assignment at the hotel and brought our luggage up. I took off my heels and borrowed her Crocs to do so. and even though they were too big on me, they were light and comfy. I have tried them on a time or two since and it wasn't just the after all day and night in heels effect talking.
posted by cmgonzalez at 12:24 PM on July 17, 2009


I once saw a family (mum and dad, 2 kids), uniformly dressed in pastel sweats and crocs, rushing to a departure gate at an airport. They looked like they were on the run from an insane asylum.

As a frequent air traveler, I feel comfortable saying that all bets are off when it comes to "appropriate" dress. If someone told me that a clown suit what the most comfortable thing he ever wore on a long plane trip, I'd try out the clown suit for my next trip. All that I can forgive. But, Debbie... pastels?

I suppose that means I have to be non-judgmental about the middle aged woman who came off a flight wearing a velour track suit and a cowboy hat.
posted by deanc at 12:44 PM on July 17, 2009


I just think it's unfortunate that Crocs got so fashionable that it effectively caused the company to drive itself out of business, chasing the wave.

I don't own any, but I have several friends who work in restaurant kitchens who swear by them, and they seem very popular among hospital staff, especially nurses. (Interesting note: the people I know who work in kitchens wear them without socks, almost universally as far as I can tell; people in hospitals seem to wear them with socks.) Apparently they're very comfortable if you have to be on your feet all day. The first public figure I ever saw wearing them was Mario Batali, and that made sense because, hey, he's a chef.

I don't know if I would call them 'occupational clothing' per se — they're not linked to one line of work like hospital scrubs or kitchen whites are — but they strike me as being in the same category as steel-toed or -shanked boots. Useful if you work in an environment where it's necessary or advantageous.

They seemed like a perfectly fine, utilitarian set of footwear for people who spent all day standing around and also needed to be able to easily clean them if they got dirty. It's too bad that Crocs didn't try to stick to this market, since I think it'll be the one that remains long after the rest of the world moves on.

Just like I'll be glad when the hipster kids find something to drink besides PBR so I can drink without anyone wondering if I'm being ironic, I suspect there are lots of people who can't wait for the world to move on from Crocs, so they can go back to wearing them at work without people thinking they're some sort of fashion/anti-fashion statement.
posted by Kadin2048 at 1:08 PM on July 17, 2009


I smell a bailout. Or my sweaty feet wrapped in plastic. It's hard to tell the difference.
posted by chairface at 1:09 PM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Am I the only one who doesn't find these shoes comfortable?

I don't. I tried them because I was told how wonderful they are for people with foot issues. Luckily I only tried them for a few minutes in store as they hurt.

I mean seriously hurt my feet. I don't give a damn how they look, in fact I'm wear Birkenstock sandals right now, so if they had been comfortable I would have one in every color.

Life is entirely too short to wear shoes that hurt.
posted by SuzySmith at 1:35 PM on July 17, 2009


With Crocs, at least you don't have to see their dirty toes.

OMG YES.

Dear world: toes are ugly. Even painted ones. And a lot of you have hairy/stinky/clawlike ones as well. It's true, I'm sorry. I know you're probably a good person and you enjoy airing your toes. And your shoes are comfy. Blahblah. But toes are gross, and to top it off, flip-flop wearing feet get a gray dirt layer on them, and then you cross your legs and wave them around next to me, and frankly, ick. Put those away, for the love of god.

sincerely, me.
posted by emjaybee at 1:40 PM on July 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


emjaybee, my ugly, ugly toes and I wear our flip-flops proudly, just to spite you.

*wiggles ugly, ugly toes suggestively*
posted by lekvar at 1:50 PM on July 17, 2009


Dear world: toes are ugly.

Dear emjaybee:

This is your thing. Toes aren't objectively ugly; you just don't like toes. Which is fine, but it's your thing.

Love,

The World

P.S. Here's what's objectively ugly: those giant squids with elbows. The guys and gals down in the Design department still laugh when they think about that one.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:52 PM on July 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


I said I'd never buy any, and then I caved. For certain purposes, washing the car, walking in the yard after dark and hoping not to step on dog crap, they're fantastic. But I can't imagine wearing them in any public situation, though I often tease my gf at the thought. I think she'd leave me.

I don't think black socks with Crocs (or other sandals) is a George-Bush-specific thing. From what I gather, it's a Southern thing. It's also evidently a British holidayer thing.

Really? Black socks with crocs? A southern thing? So specific. I could go out right now and can't promise you I'll find that combination in a week. It's possible I'm missing a few examples, but calling it a southern 'thing' is kinda comical.
posted by justgary at 2:43 PM on July 17, 2009


In my experience, black socks, in general, are not a Southern thing.
posted by box at 4:58 PM on July 17, 2009


Escalators are intelligent.
posted by hooptycritter at 6:28 PM on July 17, 2009


lekvar, I am largely inured to it anymore, but go on wiggling if that's your thing.
posted by emjaybee at 6:50 PM on July 17, 2009


I'm single-handedly bringing back the Wallabee. The time is right.

Ghostface is on your side.
posted by billyfleetwood at 7:41 PM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Shoes you can wear anywhere? Comfortable, durable, can hose em off? I got a pair, I walk in them, go running in them, hiked up a mountain in them, go dancing in them, play paintball in them, I don't garden, but if I did, I bet i'd wear them there too, had them for years and they still wear like iron. My secret?

Ta-daaa!

(Rivet til I die.)
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 8:17 PM on July 17, 2009


As it happens the Crocs company is getting a dose of karma. They ripped off the foam resin shoe idea and the design from the company that originated the concept, Waldies, who have been making these kinds of shoes since 2001. The story I heard was that a business person happened into the factory making Waldies shoes in China, changed the design just enough to get away with it, made a deal with the factory owner, marketed the brand under the name, Crocs. Then, when the idea took off, bought the factory that made the Waldies shoes.

Waldies had done all the research and development to create a non-bacterial foam that would be practical for people whose feet got wet while kayaking and hiking, wanted a rubber shoe that didn't cause athlete's foot or stinkfoot. And then, having ripped Waldies off, when the Crocs company got big, they tried to sue Waldies for copyright infringement.

Confession: I'm a Crocaholic. Or, more accurately, a Crocs-knock-off-a-holic. I love the Chinatown $5 a pair knockoffs. So they're not cool, they're plug ugly, it's true. But there are other priorities in my life. Like comfort, ease, being inexpensive. And besides, I love lots of ugly things, pug dogs, the Hell's Kitchen tenement where I live, Old Delhi, New York Pizza, litchis and jackfruit, Pilot retractable fine tip ballpoints, my desktop pc...tons of things neither cool nor attractive but wonderful nonetheless and utterly life enhancing.

After chemotherapy caused intense neuropathy in my feet (like walking on crushed glass), I started wearing Crocs. Ahh, bliss! Such relief. I can only imagine that every person who ever had neuropathy in their feet, had to stand for long hours or tried on these ugly shoes for even an hour would be be incredibly happy the foam paradise for the feet things were invented.

As for the Crocs company, they are getting a comeuppance they deserve.

Now, if only somebody would use the amazing foam for the sole but make a range of decent looking shoes.
posted by nickyskye at 8:42 PM on July 17, 2009 [8 favorites]


I'm glad to hear that Crocs are comfy and not too stinky. I might try them someday even if they are ugly (personally I think Vibram five fingers are less ugly). Maybe they should try and move the Overton window by paying celebrities to run around in shoes that look like the bastard offspring of Crocs/Clown shoes/Balloon tires.
posted by BrotherCaine at 8:58 PM on July 17, 2009


I love that they used their IPO money to move into Crocs-related businesses. Uh. Eggs, meet basket.

Yeah, and a company that made plastic freaken buttons??? They couldn't get that cheaply outsourced instead? They had to spend gawd knows how much $$$ to acquire a company?

Sounds like some corrupt backhanders were involved, hopeless incompetence from the Board at best.

ps: I never knew they had bacteria resistant qualities.

pps: I never knew they were so darned comfortable and used by people who are on their feet a lot.

ppps: I never knew they were so tough.

Ya learn something every day.

posted by uncanny hengeman at 10:40 PM on July 17, 2009


ps: I never knew they had bacteria resistant qualities.

The actual terms Waldies use:

# anti-microbial cell foam that is odor resistant.

# Waldies® float!

# Ergonomically designed for superior comport and support.

# Absorbs heel impact with patented shock absorbing cell foam technology.

# Open design for ventilation and easy cleaning.

# Non-slip high-traction 3mm tread ideal for any surface.

# Incredibly long-lasting, wear and tear resistant foam.


Looking that up I discovered another type -Nothinz- apparently exceptionally comfortable for people with plantar fascitis or heel spurs.
posted by nickyskye at 4:13 AM on July 18, 2009


So they're not cool, they're plug ugly, it's true. But there are other priorities in my life. Like comfort, ease, being inexpensive.

You TELL 'em, nickyskye!

And you know what no one else has mentioned in this thread (unless I've missed something) is that Crocs (or knockoffs, whatever) are great for kids. Here in Japan, where folks (including kids, of course) are constantly taking their shoes on and off, many, many times a day, to go in and out of the house, into certain restaurants, whatever, they are very practical. And they look cute on little feet.

There is that getting-caught-in-the-escalator thing that woodblock100 linked to way upthread, but you see signs warning of that on virtually EVERY escalator in Japan, and as far as I can tell the extra caution that folks apparently take has prevented any epidemic of horrible escalator catastrophes involving Crocs. Cause I tell you, these Crocs are still VERY popular in Japan.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:50 AM on July 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't think black socks with Crocs (or other sandals) is a George-Bush-specific thing. From what I gather, it's a Southern thing. It's also evidently a British holidayer thing.

It's a middle-aged man thing.
posted by orange swan at 8:00 AM on July 18, 2009


Oddly passionate thread.
They may look goofy, but I have no problem taking a Croc-wearer seriously, while Choos and Guccis I find utterly ridiculous.
posted by Jode at 8:23 AM on July 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Good lord, who knew metafilter would hit a new low for discourse in a thread about fucking shoes
posted by tehloki at 11:38 AM on July 18, 2009


I always thought most of the "ugly" in Crocs was the toxic-waste colors. Might have tried a pair if there had been sober colors available (or noted) first.
posted by dilettante at 11:59 AM on July 18, 2009


Good lord, who knew metafilter would hit a new low for discourse in a thread about fucking shoes

People wear them while doing that?
posted by yoink at 12:09 PM on July 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


People do that to Crocs?
posted by box at 12:42 PM on July 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Man, I knew Mefites were an uptight crowd, but I never suspected it went as deep as this.

Tell me about it - the last time something similar occured was in the "socks 'n sandals" thread, where the fashionistas were again moralizing.

So - fashionistas, please tell me, I'm clueless - which is worse: crocs? or "socks 'n sandals"?
posted by jkaczor at 2:57 PM on July 18, 2009


Crocs 'n sandals.
posted by dirigibleman at 4:13 PM on July 18, 2009


I love my two pairs of knock-off Crocs. They're like having clouds on my feet - almost weightless, comfortable, ventilated and have covered toes. I'm diabetic - covered toes are important as are shoes that don't aggravate the neuropathy in my feet.

I've been known to wear them with socks. The socks are the same colour as the Crocs and are worn with jeans. Socks and Crocs seem to be the right combo for keeping my feet comfortable, temperature-wise, in cooler weather.

You're not angering fashionistas, you're just displaying complete disregard for basic societal expectations.

Society can, with all due respect, fuck off. Ugly or cute, the shoes I wear are to suit my needs.
posted by deborah at 4:16 PM on July 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


awfurby: hush puppies?
posted by QuakerMel at 4:31 PM on July 18, 2009


Metafilter: oddly passionate
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:32 PM on July 18, 2009


Metafilter: passionately odd.
posted by ericb at 4:37 PM on July 18, 2009


I think that Amanda Marcotte over at Pandagon had a decent take on Crocs and croc-like products: they appeal to a certain segment of American culture that likes things to be aggressively ugly, as if to say that "aesthetics are product of the liberal elitist oppressors."

That and people don't want to look and act like grownups, which explains all the people out and about wearing Velour tracksuits paired with crocs or running shoes when not otherwise engaging in athletic or outdoors activities.


Nonsense.

I wear them because they're comfortable. But I stopped caring what other people think about my clothes long ago. That sort of vanity seems to be more immature. When you really grow up, you stop caring what other people think about such trivial things.
posted by krinklyfig at 6:14 PM on July 18, 2009


Dear world: toes are ugly.

Dear strange person,

Toes are part of the human design. We all have them.

Suggested idea: get used to it? We're not getting rid of ours.

Sincerely,

The World
posted by krinklyfig at 6:19 PM on July 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I just think it's unfortunate that Crocs got so fashionable that it effectively caused the company to drive itself out of business, chasing the wave.

Bankruptcy doesn't always mean the company or the product is going to disappear, at least with a large company. Usually it just means a financial restructuring. I hope they do stick around, because the knock-offs are not usually made with the same material. The ones I got at Wal-Mart were much more like styrofoam and were not comfortable at all. Since the brand is already established, all they have to do is restructure like a normal company selling a mold-injected product with a special type of material. They could definitely contract out a lot of the operations and maintain sales through momentum and demand from certain types of workers, or sell it to some company which gets it and can make it work.
posted by krinklyfig at 6:25 PM on July 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'll admit that unlike the other things I mentioned, nit picking requires one to have friends. On the other hand, I thought it was good advice, so I included it. If you really want to be a stickler then ignore my delousing advice and just follow the other 4 rules.

I dunno. Sounds like your issue isn't really the Crocs.

Anyone who takes this sort of thing this seriously is probably going to be spending time with other people with very fashionable clothing who are all working very hard to impress each other. I don't have the time or the energy for your hangups, sorry.
posted by krinklyfig at 6:34 PM on July 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


You're not angering fashionistas, you're just displaying complete disregard for basic societal expectations.

If I'd realized Crocs were so punk, I would have bought some years ago.
posted by sculpin at 10:27 PM on July 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


awfurby: hush puppies?
posted by QuakerMel 2 days ago [+]


nope

uncanny hengeman had it:
Ciaks [she-acks]? Must-have Australian bogan formal wear of the era.

They were really horrible.
posted by awfurby at 10:17 PM on July 20, 2009


I teach summers in a sports camp. We run, we jump, we do physical activity because it is a sports camp. Every child shows up in crocs, despite fliers mailed home specifying safe footwear for physical activity, and then I get to argue with the mothers about how crocs are just as good as running shoes and they know better than me, a credentialed professional. (Of course, despite them being dirt cheap, they all buy them 3 sizes too big so if the kids try to run or jump in them they go flying off.) And it's not like these kids don't have running shoes. These are rich suburban kids. If crocs disappear tomorrow it's not too soon. I hate those things.
posted by nax at 4:41 AM on July 23, 2009


There's an old Spanish saying:

Mono en seda, mono queda.

Which translates to:

A monkey wearing silk, remains a monkey.

Or, to quote Bill Hicks:

Humans are just viruses with shoes.
posted by dbiedny at 5:15 AM on July 23, 2009


Thanks to this thread I just ordered a pair of black Crocs. I need durable, easily washed gardening shoes, and the bile directed towards these objects fascinates me. That people can even put that much thought into other people's shoes is so strange to me. I won't be wearing mine to work, but I may wear them to the store, so be warned if you're in the greater Puget Sound area that YOUR EYES WILL BE BURNED if you see me, as if the shoes were a sort of symbolic eclipse event that you cannot look directly at. Wear protective eyewear.
posted by TochterAusElysium at 11:21 AM on July 26, 2009


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