I love this piece. Mainly because of what inspired it—pure, blissful, sob-inducing comfort. Also, there is a pun about resin that I think I might always be proud of.
I bought Crocs. They weren’t a present. I didn’t find them wrapped in a blanket on the steps of my local church. They weren’t accepted for free because of my propensity to take anything going ‘gratis’, be it a broken clock, a mattress spring, a spaniel.
I purchased them through my own volition, actively seeking them out. I even signed up to the website for future offers, committing myself, accepting this was more than a deviant one off, a blister-fuelled lapse of judgement.
Crocs have always been contentious. No other apparel can evoke such dry-retching at a mere mention. Passions at fever pitch wane to nothing within five feet of a pair, wives leave husbands, and babies cry in confusion, not knowing why they’re crying but understanding dark forces are afoot, literally.
To be fair it’s the original model that gets the most gyp. The perforated rubber clog with the ankle strap that can either hold the shoe securely to the foot or be flipped to the front for a more casual look, without the commitment (these ads just write themselves; call me QVC). I can concede there are relatively new models out now such as ballet flats, boots and trainers that are still marginalised by the Crocs association but less likely to result in vilification and the singe burn of a pitchfork prong on your bum as you’re run out of town.
So why did I buy Crocs? Why will I wear these on holidays instead of a pretty pair of sandals? Well let me give you a ‘resin’. Yes, that was a pun, I meant reason but because Crocs are made made from resin I substituted it. I hope you like what I did there. I’m not getting paid for this.
I bought them because I spent last year on holiday walking through the cobbled streets of Prague and Budapest with blistered feet. Every step was accompanied by “Uh”, “Ouch”, “Release me baby Jesus” and eventually “Cut them OFF!”
I bought them because they make me feel like I’m walking on fields of plump marshmallows. They hug me and accept my movements wholeheartedly, without question. I walk, I sink and yet my feet are supported as I rebound smoothly back to starting position. I believe this beautiful way of being is called ‘ergonomic’. Ironically they are wipe clean yet there is no need to wash away bloodstains or blister-bursted pus, while gammy plasters hanging off my feet for a week are a thing of the past. They are so comfortable I don’t care if they don’t go with any of my clothes. I don’t care that they look like I got them on prescription. I don’t care that they smell like condoms.
To conclude—if I haven’t driven home the point already—this is what these alternative shoes make me feel like I’m walking on after an hour on the go:
Ballet flats: A slice of bread (no support, not an ounce)
High heels: Swords of pain forged in a hellfire of fury by angry Triads
Pretty little sandals such as be-thonged embellished numbers: The hob, gas mark 6 (the blood, the scabbing, the skinned rawness—it’s like a horror film, Hostel or something)
I hope this article encourages you to embrace ‘The Croc’ and if it doesn’t just bear in mind Jack Nicholson wears them.
First published May 2013