The Cruel Shoes


See those shoes? If you have young children, you’re probably quite familiar with them. If not: they’re called Crocs … and everyone loves Crocs. Crocs rock. Except, c’mere and I’ll tell you a little secret: I think they suck, and I rue the day my children fell in love with them.

I don’t call them Crocs; I call them Trips … because I have watched my children trip and fall in them so many times — particularly Zan, who isn’t the most graceful or coordinated dude in the vicinity to begin with — that one would think I walked around throwing banana peels in their path.

I remember taking both kids out in our jogging stroller one summer day a few years ago, when Zan was barely three. He decided he wanted to get out and run down the stretch of sidewalk we were on. I encouraged him to instead walk, and suggested that running in his Crocs probably wasn’t a good idea … and, as always, he thanked me profusely for such sage advice, said that he knew I offered it freely and with no motive other than to keep him safe, and proceeded to carefully walk down the sidewalk. [comedic pause for effect] BWAHAHAHAHA! Oh god, I slay me! No, what he actually did was, he sprinted off and fucking ate it. Tore up his knees and hands. Would’ve made for a terrific Crocs commercial.

In the years since, there have been numerous additional Croc-related tripping incidents. In fact, if you look closely at Zan’s latest pair of Crocs (shown above, and I’ll admit that the Red Sox theme makes them sorta cool, but it does nothing to improve their performance), you can see the scuff marks on the big-toe area, which is remarkably adept at grabbing tightly to the ground and sending the Crocs-wearer toppling ass over tea kettle.

You know who else apparently likes to wear Crocs? Grown-ups. This came as a shock to me, as I’ve only ever seen them on children, and I tend to think of them as toy shoes rather than actual adult footwear, but it’s true: there are grown-ups who wear Crocs … like these nurses, who have created a four-page messageboard thread about how some of them have suffered Croc-induced trip-and-fall smackdowns at work … and if ever I’m hospitalized, and the EKG to which I’m connected suddenly starts to flatline, and the nurse who comes running to resuscitate me trips and falls, and I die because my nurse was wearing Crocs, I’m going to be so fucking pissed.

Now, I will admit that, this year, Zan has rarely tripped in them, and Jayna has always been slightly more graceful than her brother, so tripping has been less of a problem with her all along … but rest assured that their propensity for causing trip-and-fall disasters isn’t the only thing I loathe about Crocs.

One of the things I really like about shoes in general is that they, you know, cover your feet … feet that otherwise would become filthy and disgusting if you left the house barefoot, and so, yay, shoes! Except, Crocs? Crocs are not shoes; Crocs are sifter-equipped dirt collectors. All those little holes are perfect for keeping out large debris whilst letting in plenty of filth, and I can’t imagine filth loving anything more than a pair of feet that have been incubating in a rubber shell, because when said filth meets said feet, the two totally get it on, like so:

These are your feet on crocs

This is your foot on Crocs

This is how my kids’ feet looked just about every time they entered the house this summer … and though I’ve mostly resigned myself to the fact that, until my children grow up and move out, my house will never again look like two reasonably neat and clean adults reside therein, I simply can’t turn a blind eye to those filth-ridden feet.

Whenever Wonder Woman has taken the kids out somewhere while I’m working, and the three of them return home, Zan always enters the house first, removes his shoes (because we always remove our shoes upon entering the house, because that way we don’t track filth all over the inside of our home … you know, unless we’ve been wearing Crocs) and dashes into my office to say “Hi.”

“GAH! Look at those feet!” I exclaim as Zan begins to laugh. “Deee-sgusting! Go show Mommy right now!” I throw that last part in because, somehow, Mommy always seems surprised to find that the children’s feet have become completely filthy while they were out wearing Crocs, and she is probably reading this part right now and saying to herself, “No, I’m never surprised, I just don’t give anywhere near as much of a shit about it as you do, you neurotic asshole,” and, OK, but I still want her to wash their disgusting feet when they enter the house.

Post-Croc washing

During the course of writing this, I’ve finally discovered one thing that I’m going to enjoy about fall and winter: no more Crocs. It does very little to comfort me over the loss of that wonderful, wonderful, truly delightful, do-lots-of-things-outdoors-and-go-to-the-beach season known as “summer” … but at least it’s something.

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