I keep seeing Crocs being attacked by this “Said no one ever” meme, and I’m putting my foot down. You know what Crocs are? They are the counter-revolution for the ridiculous agonies of women’s footwear. And I’m not even talking about high heels or high fashion here–I’m talking about plain, run-of-the-mill women’s dress shoes that produces blisters like this:
No, that isn’t my foot, but it is exactly what both of my feet looked like on Friday after a conference at which I wore a pair of dress shoes that haven’t been properly broken in yet. The worst thing is that I was barely on my feet. I walked from the car to the conference (a mere hundred feet or so), up and down the stairs twice, to the bathroom twice, walked out to the foyer for lunch, and stood up to stretch briefly between each session. And yet, in spite of this notable lack of mobility, by lunchtime, my heels looked as if they’d been carelessly left in a bag full of angry, razor-toothed gerbils.
And what was I wearing? Just simple black dress flats. Sitting for a morning in flats destroyed my feet. How is that reasonable?
When I realized I had blisters, I also realized that I haven’t worn the shoes very often and decided that they needed breaking in–the way a torture prisoner needs to be broken. It’s a vicious cycle. Shoes chew up my heels. > I viciously spend the second half of the day trying to beat the shoes into submission by folding in the heel and walking around on it. > Doing this makes the shoes comfortable in proportion to how bad they look. > Once the shoes are finally comfortable, they look like crap. > I buy new shoes for a professional event. > Shoes chew up my heels.
See how this has been going my entire old-enough-to-wear-dress-shoes life? It’s stupid, and I’m calling Bernoulli on it.* I did stumble across a tutorial on breaking your shoes in quickly by using a hair dryer. It’s possibly an ingenious solution that will revolutionize the fancy feet cycle of pain, and possibly those women who always look put together and in charge have an entire arsenal of these secrets that they share only selectively. I’m not sure I’m convinced. I mean, sure, it isn’t likely to do any more damage to the appearance of the shoes than I do by walking around on the backs of them, but imagine this conversation with my husband:
John: Wait, why do you want to buy a hairdryer? You hate hairdryers because they make your hair all frizzy.
(Yes, that might be giving him credit for knowing my hair preferences that he doesn’t deserve, but just go with it.)
Me: To break my dress shoes in.
Me: You saw what they did to my feet last week, right?
John: Yeah, okay, that was gross, but how often do you wear dress shoes?
(Vaguely hostile silence.)
John: I mean, I’m not going to try to tell you you can’t buy a hairdryer or anything, but I think that was the only time I’ve seen you wear shoes with a back in, well…didn’t your Mom buy you those for a funeral? Five years ago?
John: And they’re still basically brand new?
Me: Are you saying I never wear nice shoes?
John: I never even see you wear socks.
Me: Oh, like those two things are even remotely correlated. I wear Crocs. Who wears socks with Crocs?
John: Dr. Seuss characters?
As you can plainly see, it would quickly become a very silly conversation, because it’s a silly idea to buy a hairdryer for the sole purpose of breaking in shoes once every other decade, which is about the rate I go through dress shoes. You know what, though? Crocs are awesome. I mean, not the original. Unless you’re a little kid, no one is going to compliment your Croc clogs. Those things are ridiculous. But Crocs have grown up. They’ve got hundreds of fancy styles and even more choices if you add in color, and many of those are actually quite attractive. Are they Italian leather? Of course not. But you know what else they aren’t? Full of ravenous gerbils.
So guess what, you snobby people with your “said no one ever” take on nice words about Crocs? Just shut up. Anyone who needs a compliment on their non-clog Crocs, you just send me a picture on Twitter (#shutupaboutmyCrocsalready) and I’ll tell you how great they are. And when people start throwing Bernoulli* at us about the value of wearing expensive, fancy, evil shoes, we can wade through it with confidence, knowing that our shoes are easy to hose off.
*This is a story for a different day, but John and I have taken to calling “Bernoulli” instead of “bullshit”…you’ll have to keep checking in to get the full story there.