Are Crocs a Crock? A Fashion Editorial

If a couple years ago someone told me it would be fashionable to wear brightly colored rubber clogs swiss cheesed with holes, I would have laughed in her face. But who’s laughing now? Without a doubt, it’s the creators of the multi-million-dollar phenomenon known as Crocs. The odd-looking shoes were first designed for boat owners tired of slipping on their decks. This makes a lot of sense, but the fad spreads further. I happened to see a vibrant yellow pair peeking out from under a long, expensive dress of a woman at a costly restaurant. Forget Manolos. Now people everywhere can go out clubbing and not have to worry about slipping as they shuffle across the dance floor. America is divided when it comes to controversial footwear. On Facebook, the most popular online forum among PA students, there are many Croc-themed groups from “People Against Crocs: The Ugliest Shoes of All Time,” and “Crocs – A Crime Against Fashion,” to, “Crocs rock my socks off – literally,” and “Crocs are the coolest shoes ever!” One side totes the argument of comfort and practicality. With soles that don’t mark or slip, they could be a miracle for the avid mountain climber, gardener or yachtsman. Ease of movement and comfort are other draws for long-distance walkers or members of a chain gang. At a good price, in many colors, and available on a global scale, it is obvious that many believe they are just the right thing. However, that still leaves many skeptics. I pity the company marketers required to “coolify” the large holes that dot the top and sides of the shoe. The official Crocs website refers to them as “big air ventilation ports” under “reasons you gotta have [Crocs].” I’m not convinced, but as the past reveals, nations have been duped into wearing things equally absurd. Years ago, the easy and sensible toga swathed men, women, and children alike. But then again, the Roman empire fell. The Crocs company has even bigger plans for the future. On August 1st, they announced that a new line of “Disney by CROCS” will be released in the fall. This new spin of the classic beach shoe will feature favorite Disney characters. The day I see a NAVY recruit wearing rubber Mickey Mouse clogs with his crisp, blue uniform will be a sad one, but maybe he will be more comfortable and happy for it. We have left behind the liberating days of loincloths and the constricting age of the corset. In modern society, we strive for a compromise between practicality and beauty in fashion. When it comes down to it, Crocs provoke an age-old question: Should you wear something comfortable even if it looks ridiculous? In the land of freedom and opportunity, it is left up to each individual to answer this question as he sees fit.