Crocs Are a GD Lifesaving Invention -- I Don't Care What the 'Experts Say'

adorable child in Crocs

Just about every mom of young children in America read the worst possible headline in HuffPost this summer: Here's What Podiatrists Think About Your Crocs. The title was clearly about Crocs being bad for our feet, and if you read the article, you'll recall it went on to encourage moms to ditch their kiddies' Crocs and start a bright, new, sneakers-only future. I just want to be the first to say: that's some BS, and there's a variety of reasons why.

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Let's leave the medical aspect of this alone -- you know, that it wasn't a major podiatric science convention making a statement, it was two doctors on their own making a blanket sweep of the rubbery shoe industry, and if that’s the kind of science moms were adhering to, none of us would vaccinate our kids.

The bigger issue in my mind is that statements like "Crocs are bad" are enough to make already overwhelmed moms stop using the little convenience they have in their time-arsenal to encourage their kids to get out there and have fun. I mean, I'm a mom of three young children with a fourth on the way, and I'll be the first to tell you that I'm beyond happy to tell my munchkins to go run through the grass or play with sidewalk chalk with their "quick" shoes on. We call Crocs "quick" in our house because even our 2-year-old requires no help to get them on, and can feel proudly independent as he moseys on over to the back deck to eat a homemade juice pop and consider a run through the grass.

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And realistically, if we ate our bright yellow juicy ice pops, ran through the grass and sprinklers, and then went over to Grandma's pool -- all in sneakers -- would we be able to simply hose the shoes down after, and complete the process again tomorrow? No. My kids would spend more time tying their laces, cleaning, and complaining "our feet are soggy," and spend less time enjoying the best parts of being a kid.

I can't speak for everyone, but back in the '80s and '90s, we spent the summers running barefoot through our neighbors' yards. Crocs seem like a certain step up from tetanus shots, Plantars warts, and easily infected cuts.

Don't we have bigger issues to deal with than a few hours of cushy, Windex-able shoes? Last I checked, childhood obesity was still on the rise, due at least in part to the downward slope of kids actually playing outside. I'm not suggesting that Crocs are our little saviors for public health epidemics, but I am saying that if we have something that's convenient and easy to wear and encourages our little ones to live an active, healthy, and exploratory lifestyle, we should embrace it.

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Sort of like juice boxes. We all know extra sugar isn't the best idea, but they make it possible for us to do long days at the park, field trips, and car rides to a best friend's horseback riding birthday party -- so we embrace them. I suppose this is the point where I'll admit defeat if you're the type of pristine mom who forbids juice boxes, any type of packaged snack, or clothes made with inorganic materials -- but if not, welcome to Team Normal, where we wholeheartedly accept and embrace the exhausting struggle of parenting and will take any help we can to have a smiling kiddo.

And that includes wearing foamy shoes that never require a washing machine.

We'll switch to sneakers for school days, sports, and any impromptu family marathon training, but until there's a major, scientifically backed study proving a hard correlation between Crocs-wearing and some type of serious foot disease, you'll find me in the shallow end of the pool with my kids in their foamy shoes, juice boxes in hand, and slathered in also potentially hazardous sunscreen.

 

Image via Bryce Gruber

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