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Enough with the Crocs. Do you hear me? Enough!

By Alice Bradley

Maybe it’s end-of-summer fatigue, but I’ve had it with the sight of kids in Crocs. I was tired long ago of them on adults, but now my disgust has spilled over to the children.
First of all, when they get encrusted with filth, as all children’s footwear do—especially by the end of summer—Crocs look especially gross. Filth really has a way of popping when set against a neon background. I’m sure my son’s sandals are teeming with nastiness, but the yuck just blends in with their neutral hue, and no one need be offended. (As long as they don’t look too closely at the velcro on those straps, which now hold more dog hair than my dog.) But then we head to the local park and watch a parade of filthy Crocs, and ick. They just make me mad.
More important than my feelings, however, is safety. Crocs are dangerous. Dangerous! As the experts will tell you, Crocs are meant for boating. Or at least proximity to water, if you’re not a boat owner. And yet parents whose kids like the Crocs have decided that Crocs are okay for any event. They wear them to the playground, to camp, to funerals (probably). You see children lurching about with their lollipop-colored footwear, tossing themselves hither and yon, risking life and limb. Crocs at the playground rarely remain on kids’ feet. Usually they’re whizzing off of them—raining down from monkey bars, hurtling past the swings. Crocs were banned at Henry’s school last year, after several children tumbled down stairs and off of slides when their Crocs failed them. And yet most of the Croc-wearing children continued to wear their Crocs, because their parents don’t care if they break their skulls. (I’m guessing.) According to this article, Crocs are inappropriate for even “moderate physical activity.” In other words, anything that’s not strolling. (Or, I guess, raising the mainsail.) And when are your kids strolling? Do you have kids that stroll? Because I’ve never met one.
Look, I know what it’s like when your kid gets into a shoe rut. I never purchased Crocs for Henry, because I’ve witnessed how comfortable my son can get with a particular kind of shoe, and how hard it is for him to adjust to other modes of shoe-wearing. The transition last fall from sandal back to sneaker was particularly traumatic. The lack of ventilation! The binding ankle support! The socks! He rolled about the floor of Stride-Rite shrieking GET THEM OFF ME BLAAAAAGH. If we ever put Crocs on him, introducing him back to the World of Laces would be painful, to say the least.
But you know what’s more painful? Read on!
Hello, and welcome to the next paragraph, where I tell you about the Croc injuries. Brace yourself. Last week a little boy suffered a horrifying foot injury after his Croc got caught in a mall escalator. And he’s not the only one. Children have lost toes from these accidents, people. LOST TOES. Crocs and escalators do not mix. There’s even a website devoted to Croc/escalator incidents . Are we going to ban escalators? We are not. Can we outlaw the wearing of Crocs in malls or airports or anywhere an escalator might unexpectedly appear? It seems unlikely. The Crocs must go.
Luckily the colder weather is coming; Crocs will be traded in for some real shoes, and children’s toes will be safe again, for a little while. Right? I’m a tad nervous that the experts in this WebMD article are urging readers not to let their kids wear Crocs in the winter. Have we forgotten that children need to keep their feet protected and warm, as well as comfortable? Have the Crocs addled our brains even as they’ve coddled our feet? Let us all hope that we return to our senses before they kill us all. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Alice Bradley
About the Author

Alice Bradley

Alice Bradley was a regular contributor to Alpha Mom, writing about current events as they related to parenting. You can read about her daily life at her personal blog, Finslippy.


Alice Bradley was a regular contributor to Alpha Mom, writing about current events as they related to parenting. You can read about her daily life at her personal blog, Finslippy.

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  • Gina

    September 7, 2007 at 1:21 pm

    I can’t wear Crocs (or Croc knock offs) because of my Roman toe. My second toe is longer than my big toe, and sticks out one of the little holes. I think I must be in the minority from all the Crocs I see on people’s feet.

  • Procrastamom

    September 7, 2007 at 7:00 pm

    You haven’t heard about the crocs lined with fur have you? (I copied a link for you, but it’s way too long. Google “Mammoth Crocs”) Sadly, I fear the croc enthusiasts will continue to wear their plastic shoes well into the winter. Ugh!

  • epoh

    September 7, 2007 at 10:26 pm

    Hear! Hear! God I hate those hideous hideous excuses for footwear. Take them off people, unless you are pulling weeds in your garden. Find some real shoes.

  • Steve

    September 8, 2007 at 9:57 am

    I hate the crocs. I find them to be the least attractive footwear of the last decade.
    I frequently work in restaurants and I’ve twice witnessed prep guys give themselves terrible burns on their feet because they spilled boiling water or hot grease on their crocs. One guy (the one that spilled grease) was treated for perfectly round and spaced third degree burns on top of his foot.
    So there is one more example of a place it is completely inappropriate to wear crocs.

  • Amy

    September 10, 2007 at 11:49 am

    Can you PLEASE write next about the dangers of HEELIES or whatever the heck you call those stupid shoes with roller skates built in the heels?!?! I HATE THEM!!!!

  • Queenjulie

    September 10, 2007 at 12:38 pm

    I work in a hospital, and on my first day, I was shocked to see at least 70% of the RNs and nurses aides in my ward wearing Crocs! At a hospital! With heavy equipment and bodily fluids everywhere! It seems completely insane, not to mention a serious risk to their worker’s comp insurance rates if someone drops an X-ray machine on their rubber-clad toes.

  • Anne

    September 10, 2007 at 5:45 pm

    The only reason I gave into a pair of Crocs for my daughter was that I couldn’t find a single pair of flip flops for her that didn’t give huge blisters between her dainty little toes. So I figured it as ventilation without causing limping. But I refuse to wear them myself, I think they are ridiculous looking and cut weirdly to boot. Bunion pain be damned, I will not succumb!

  • Ayla-Monic

    September 10, 2007 at 8:01 pm

    Oh, goodness, how I despise those things.
    Honestly, unless you’re weeding or taking a long walk along the beach (and even then… who in their right mind would want to be in public in those things?), leave them off!
    Besides all the actually important reasons that you mentioned, they’re ugly as sin. Now, I am not the most fashionable fashionista around… far from it… but my goodness, I can tell when something is ugly. O.o

  • jessica

    September 10, 2007 at 8:05 pm

    crocs are ugly.

  • Vikki

    September 10, 2007 at 9:41 pm

    Say what you will about crocs but they are a parent’s gift during potty training. The kid pees in those suckers and you just rinse them out. That is beauty my friends.

  • superblondgirl

    September 10, 2007 at 9:47 pm

    Crocs are evil and they are ugly, and I am sad to admit that I have Joined the Herd and have a pair I’ve been wearing the past few weeks. To work. Because then? I can take my shoes off under my desk and be barefoot all night. Only now I work days, and people will SEE THEM. And I need new shoes pronto. My son is too fashionable for Crocs. He has flip-flops and light-up Transformers sneakers of unimaginable coolness. Hopefully those are safe.

  • snickety

    September 10, 2007 at 10:27 pm

    In our town, everyone (but me…wheeeee!) will spend the winter wearing socks-n-crocs. ‘Cause that is toasty warm and fashionable to boot.
    My daughter’s school had to issue an October-to-April crocs ban, in writing, last year. The children couldn’t wait to get home after school and put on five pairs of socks and a nice neon-colored pair of crocs and walk around in the snow and sleet.

  • urban urchin

    September 10, 2007 at 11:27 pm

    my parents have gifted both my kids with these monstrosities and they LOVE them- even the two year old- probably because I hate them so much. His little friend down the street wore them to his own baptism this past Sunday. I was kinda in awe how much they’re like herpes. They never go away.

  • Superfantastic

    September 11, 2007 at 12:44 am

    My boss wore Crocs to work every day all summer. Every damn day. Which made me feel completely justified in wearing flip flops. No less unprofessional perhaps, but at least not godawful ugly.

  • Jenni

    September 11, 2007 at 9:53 am

    I am in so much agreement that my agreement has overloaded into a concert of concurrence that is even now blossoming into a great symphony of subscription to your opinion.
    Crocs are evil. They are the fruit of the devil.

  • MRW

    September 11, 2007 at 12:39 pm

    You have expressed my thoughts so much better than I can about Crocs – generally I am reduced to saying eloquent things like “God I HATE those damned shoes, why is everyone wearing them? WHY?”

  • The other Vanda

    September 11, 2007 at 4:32 pm

    I’m glad that I don’t have little kids to say “no you can’t wear those crappy shoes” to.
    On the other hand I guess you could shove them in the dishwasher to clean or maybe even melt them
    Why oh why would parents allow their kids to wear such dangerous shoes? And as for wearing them in hospitals OMG, those nasty bugs and bodily fluids gettin in those little holes onto your feet, now that makes me shudder eeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwww

  • Stacy

    September 11, 2007 at 4:37 pm

    God bless you for taking on the croc-mania. Hate them. Especially on children who are tripping all over one another and their shoes. And the filth. Icky.
    Solution to dirty boy sandals (I am the servant of a dirty 7 year old boy): Keens. They can be washed in the dishwasher. Yes, I’m serious. No, not with the dishes. Durable. Attractive. Clean.
    A blessing to mamas everywhere. Love ’em.

  • Michelle

    September 12, 2007 at 10:11 am

    Oh boy… here I am, 5 minutes later talking about my 5 year old stepdaughter again and the first signs of divorce from her father. He bought her a “special” present for Christmas – blue mickey crocs. And, it’s all she’ll wear. Apparently her feet are the widest feet in the world and overnight none of her shoes fit her, but the crocs do. And, she has this foot problem which involves sweating and horrific odor, which you may imagine is only exacerbated by the crocs which HER FATHER ENCOURAGES HER TO WEAR IN THE WINTER WITH A PAIR OF SKI SOCKS! Oh, the humanity…

  • geminimama

    September 12, 2007 at 12:06 pm

    But they’re so comfy! When you’re enormously pregnant with twins you can put them on without even bending over. And two-year-olds can take them off and put them on by themselves!! Now I just wish they’d make a foot-neutral crock so it doesn’t even matter if they’re on the right foot.

  • Angela

    September 12, 2007 at 12:36 pm

    Thank goodness for winter so I can put off actually purchasing Crocs for another year. Hopefully my daughter will have forgot about them by the time next June rolls around (when we stop wear closed toes on her in Montana). She had a hand me down pair for about six weeks this summer. I hate them, she loved them and they were awful at the park.
    They all look crusty this time of the year. I noticed that the other day at the park.

  • Pippy

    September 12, 2007 at 10:48 pm

    Hey, I wear crocs! I love them! They are comfortable, colorful (I know a lot of people are uncomfortable with color) lightweight, breathable, and made from material which is anti-microbial, from what I’ve read. And plus I’ve never gotten hurt in them, and I bike in them and walk my dog and run around in the park with him in them.
    I’ve never gotten so much as a blister from them and they’ve never fallen off.
    Plus, some parents I know of a 15 month old who has developmental problems with her legs was told by their physical therapist that crocs would be a good thing to use for her since they are easy to get on and they are comfortable.
    I understand thinking they are ugly, I did too until I tried them.
    But I don’t think you need to go getting your shorts all in such a twist about it.

  • kristy

    September 15, 2007 at 10:37 am

    I am 32, do not have kids, and I wear Crocs. They are hideously ugly and I wear them anyway, knowing with each step that I am making a statement. I feel I am brazen, BRAZEN, as I step-say to the world: YEP. HOT PINK UGLINESS ON MY FEET COMING THROUGH. LOOK HOW COMFORTABLE I MUST BE WITH MYSELF.
    It’s all a conceit, of course, but there you go.
    p.s. Mario Batali? Anyone?

  • kirsten

    September 17, 2007 at 6:59 pm

    Girl, I’m from Oregon. We will simply put socks on under our crocs, put on our fleece hoodies and call it a day.

  • Heather

    September 18, 2007 at 9:34 am

    My mom and I were in Disney world and her shoes were causing her a lot of pain, we bought them out of desperation hoping they would help her..boy were we wrong. They ended up causing HUGE blisters on her toes. Her one big toes the blister popped and she has raw skin exposed..her feet were bleeding and oozing. None of this, I repeat, none of this was from her earlier shoes. The bottoms of her feet were sore, the blisters appeared on the toes of her feet. Crocs be damned!

  • QT and Crazy

    September 20, 2007 at 3:55 am

    I thought Crocs were ugly too, but I tell you 3 long days at Disney and the first day you go through 3 pair of shoes, I got crocs. Having very wide feet shoes are NOT all comfortable or even made wide for people like me. Mediums, which most shoes are made in do NOT fit. Crocs fit perfect in mens for me, so no I’m not complaning when they lasted 3 long 13 hour days of continuous strolling. And cleaning is easy, a little soap, water, and all done.
    As for escalators, pay attention to your kids, even the sign on the escalator says to help your child on and off the moving stairs.
    My son bent over on the escalator as we were about to get off to get a Quarter, I lifted him up as his finger was almost to the end.It could have easily gotten caught or cut off. So do I try to ban quarters now????? Or escalators??? No I pay attention to my children and help them on and off moving items.
    Crocs are great, colorful, and fit great!!!!!!
    And I love the shoe doodles for them as well.

  • Kiraa

    October 12, 2007 at 3:06 pm

    Yeah, so, I never really got Crocs. First off – they’re HIDEOUS. As in…so ugly I think sometimes my eyeballs will fall out. Secondly – the colors are so not cool. I’m not a fan of neon shoes, personally.
    Did I mention they’re hideous?
    I’m all for comfort but there has to be a combo of comfort and pretty and non-neonness.

  • Anonymous

    October 14, 2007 at 6:56 pm

    Kinda wonder why everyone is so concerned with what others are wearing and why they’re wearing them??? Who cares? I love crocs for the comfort, not the fashion. I’ve had enough fashion and it makes my feet hurt!!

  • Ginger

    December 4, 2007 at 12:19 pm

    If you hate the bright colors wear brown or black. They have cuter more refined styles now. I wore them around NYC and I couldn’t care less what people thought because my feet felt niiice.

  • Amy

    December 30, 2007 at 1:58 pm

    I agree–they ARE ugly. But oh, they really are comfy for walking around the house and standing for long times on the hard wood floors doing dishes, laundry, and other menial tasks.
    I know they are ugly. Sinfully so. I refused them for so long. Then my husband caught me wearing his around the house and bought me a pair. (I do not wear them in public, buy yes, my kids do. Heelies too.) There are worse things I hope….

  • Anonymous

    June 4, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    wearing crocks, whiched caused me to fall, resulting in a badly splintered upper left arm, aa I can say
    is ” throw them away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • GillJairm

    July 29, 2008 at 8:30 pm

    – You might be wondering what the benefit of a classic espresso machine with all the bells and whistles. [URL=]commercial coffee makers[/URL] [URL=]antique glass coffee maker[/URL]

  • Britt

    September 28, 2008 at 7:08 pm

    Well. I knew they were dreadful all along…but my 63 year old father just called and he is in the hospital with serious injury from falling down the stairs..guess what he was wearing on his feet??? You guessed right. I’d like to burn every last one of those things…but let everyone keep wearing them and don’t complain when health insurance premiums go up..
    I’ve never owned a pair, and I will never will.

  • jimmie

    October 20, 2008 at 10:59 am

    I first saw these abominable creations on children. I can see why they might like them with the bright colors but assumed this fad would quickly pass. However, adults began donning crocs more and more. I tried to avoid them but a crocs rack resides in every store imaginable so I succumbed to my begging children and bought them each a pair of the ghastly footwear. However, they couldn’t persuade me to buy some for myself. I kept it nice for the kids but never will crocs go on these feet. Hopefully it’s over soon. It’s 35 degrees this morning and I just saw a woman wearing blue jeans, a turtleneck, and a sweatshirt, and NEON PINK CROCS! Can it be required that with the purchase of crocs, a person must also buy a full length mirror. If not, at least a clown nose should be included with these “shoes”.

  • Glenda Hanson

    January 11, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    Fall in them and see what happens!!! I am 53 years old, a Nurse and I have worn all kind of shoes in my lifetime. I bought a pair, started down the hall @ work, fell, 18 mos./later, 2 surgeries and $70,000.00 to repair my right arm and shoulder. I would not recommend them to anyone young middle-age or elderly. The Company continues to deny these shoes are dangerous. It took one second to change my life forever. Just fall and then you can have an opinion.

  • nate

    March 7, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    crocs are disgusting. anyway you cut it. kids or adults. its a rubber shoe that is mostly enclosed and worn during hot weather outside of the water. grosses me out from a distance. or my personal favorite “im getting on an airplane today. lets gross out the entire flight with my nasty feet that have been jammed into this rubber sweat lodge for 3 months solid”

  • kerri

    May 3, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    You think Crocs are more dangerous than flip-flops for children?! I have NEVER let my kids wear flip-flops because I have seen so many kids and adults walk, run, trip right out of them. One can fall and get hurt no matter the age or footwear. My 90 year old father can get these on and off easily and wears them while he EXERCISES for goodness sake! They might not be the most attractive footwear in the world (Birkenstocks, anyone?) but take it easy and stop acting like they are such a scourge. Flip-flops are the most dangerous and unhealthy shoe on the planet!

  • Will

    December 31, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    My kids wear shoes and sock year round even in the summer time. The only time they wear sandals is when they are near water. Sandals, Crocs and flip slops do not offer the support and protection of a real shoe. They even wear their shoes and socks around the house during the day which makes going out so much easier. They are so used to them, they don’t mind having them on. In the summer we try to get them light colored sneakers with a lot of mesh. Socks are high quality synthetic/cotton blend and fit like a glove. Nike socks are good. I don’t when when open toe shoes became the norm, but I’m sick of it.