Tuesday, June 20, 2006

What a Croc!

Amazon.com: Crocs Footwear

"If the shoe fits, wear it." Proverb

Speaking of shoes, did you know there's a debate brewing among the literati and what I like to call the "styleistas" about Crocs?

You must have heard of Crocs by now, maybe you even own a pair. Those multi-colored rubber clogs with a heel strap. Former gardening shoes. Fat, holey, clunky. Butt ugly. And suddenly the hottest ticket in town.

My sister and I first saw them a couple years ago in the gardening section at Target, offered in two frightful hues --- frog green and mud brown. She was outfitting herself for a month long stint as a summer camp nurse. What could be more perfect.

Camp is hot and muddy and wet. Nobody but teenagers gives a hoot about fashion. The goal is comfort and durability. Crocs fit the bill far better than flip flops. And for 8 bucks, could be tossed at summer's end.

That was the last I saw or heard about them until my pal Jesse Kornbluth stirred up a mini hornets nest over at HeadButler.com with a Croc review. Apparently more people than you'd imagine have an opinion about Crocs.

Many wrote to Jesse expressing wildly pro and anti-Croc sentiments. At the time, I wanted to say to them, "People, people! Calm down. We're not talking a 9/11 memorial here, we're talking schlubby summer shoes!" (Sorry I never added my two cents, Jesse, but your subsequent rebuttal said it all, and far better.)

I was in Target again recently and there they were in the shoe section. Actually, that's understating. Crocs have virtually taken over the Target shoe department. Every color, size, age, gender. I'm telling you, it's Crocs R Us.

Wait, it gets better. For the snobs or sceptics out there, Crocs can also be found at Bloomingdales. Yes, really. And as you'd expect, in additional--ahem--upscale styles. My favorite is the "Prima Ballet" Slip On.

Jeez. Is nothing sacred? Not in America, birthplace of free enterprise. You start out with some comfortable, durable, low-priced summer clogs. Then the marketing circus comes to town and suddenly you're being hit with a $30-$50 price tag for a reconfigured piece of the same rubber.

Will we never learn to let well enough alone?

Okay, sorry, got carried away there for a minute. But Jesse to the rescue. In the midst of my Croc angst, a note about the Butler family vacation.

Dateline: Aspen: We have temporarily moved Butler's worldwide headquarters to Aspen, Colorado. Holler if you're passing through before July 9. You may be amused to know that, on her very first day in Colorado, the four-year-old Butler heiress spotted some funny-looking shoes and, an hour later, was the proud owner of a pair of bright red Crocs. I resisted trying a pair on. Can I hold out?
I say Go For It, Jesse!

It's clear the Butlerette has her very own fashion (common) sense -- i.e., if I love them and they feel good and *I* think they look good, I'm wearing them. Proudly. Only the young, totally in touch with their inner ME, really know what they like.

Everything else is just a Croc.



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