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The Croc Epidemic

How a heinous synthetic shoe conquered the world.

By Meghan O'Rourke

Posted Friday, July 13, 2007, at 10:55 AM ET

In the demi-monde of footwear, the term croc was once synonymous with elegance—the reptile skin covering a pair of stiletto sling-backs. Today, it's synonymous with an entirely different—and altogether vegetarian—phenomenon. In just a few years, the exquisitely ugly shoes known as "Crocs" have spread around the world like a Paris Hilton sex tape, giving rise to an epidemic of croc babies and their more egregious counterparts, croc parents. The shoe looks adorable on sun-kissed toddlers, but, alas, the fad did not stop there. For such a modest item (a typical edition sells for $29.99), the Croc has traveled in high places, disgracing the extremities of such celebrities as Mario Batali (who prefers the bright orange variety) and George W. Bush (who paired them with shorts and dark socks).

As fans will tell you, Crocs aren't just footwear; they're the closest thing to religion that the foot has experienced. The company's stock has skyrocketed in value over the past year, and Crocs is now poised to launch a new product line this fall. Yet Crocs are heinous in appearance. A Croc is not a shoe; it is a Tinkertoy on steroids. How did this peculiar shoe-manqué achieve ubiquity—and can it possibly stick around?


I personally like crocs alot. They are comfortable and super practical for boating and outdoors activities. I don't see them going anywhere anytime soon.

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Yeah, my 6 year old girl has a pair and they're kind of convenient for her and look okay but I wouldn't be caught dead in them. I prefer flip flops I guess.

Flip flops are bad for your feet and back over long periods of time. Good for a pool-side outing or something but not for out and about.

I wear sandals sometimes if I'm going out and they're safer for driving than if you just wore flip flops. They also are usually more substantial in design and have better coloring that works with more casual *but not super casual* gear.

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I hate those things. I had a class where a guy sat behind me wore those crocs all the time, that may sound harmless enough, but the problem was that I could smell every time he wore them.


The first thing I thought of when I first saw them explode onto the scene was they have got to stink like **** after a while. People have been wearing them for a few years now here in FL. I was talking to someone at Sports Authority the other day and he swears by them. There used to be people running around in boat shoes all the time. Now I see those boat shoes being replaced by these hiddeous looking creatures.

I prefer flip-flops. I would say I wear them 65-70% of the time out of 365 days a year.

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Tons of people wear them at the pool I work at in Orlando, and tons of people wear them around Tallahassee, even when I'm out at night at bars or something. They're hugely popular.

I don't really care either way. People swear by how comfortable they are, and their look doesn't really offend me, I just choose not to wear them- it's either sandals or running shoes for me.

Personally, my favorite shoe fad was L.A. Gear.

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Got my Redskin crocs last week.


They are very comfortable. I like them a lot. They also make croc flip flops. My wife swears by them as well.

And BTW ~ In order to obtain a Platinum Man Card, you must show the ability to do and wear what you like without worrying about what others might think of it.

Take my Man Card? Some of you children crack me up. :laugh:

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