Crocs attack in Bel Air

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    Even before that poor woman whose son lost his toenail in a Croc-related elevator accident in Virginia showed up on all the morning talk shows, my daughter’s preschool went on the colorful foam shoe offensive. In a letter sent home with the kids last week, the preschool’s director banned the ubiquitous resin shoe that comes in dozens of colors and apparently on almost every preschooler’s feet.

    “It has quickly become evident that the shoes of choice for some of our students are Crocs. From this point on, it will be new Preschool Policy that only closed toed and closed heel shoes will be allowed in our program.”

    The letter goes on to say that the ban is extended to flip flops, clogs and sandals which apparently interfere with children’s ability to climb, run, hop, skip and jump. Some of the moms were quite put out by the news. I can understand. This summer Crocs (and their faux cousins) were the perfect solution for my children who refuse to tie or quickly locate their shoes when it was time to run out the door. The Crocs’ bright colors make them easy to spot. Their clog shape makes them easy to wear. Their light weight make them easy to carry. Their rubbery one-piece form makes them easy to rinse when they get dirty. Who wouldn’t love Crocs? There are folks who don’t. Some of them even created Croc-bashing blogs like I Hate Crocs dot com. (There are also Crocs fan blogs like www.littlerubbershoes.com.) I used to read those blogs with amusement while I wiggled my comfy toes over the massaging nubs on the soles of the pair I bought a year ago. I wore mine everywhere. When it got cold, I wore them with wool socks to ward off the draft that blew through all their little air holes. I loved how the little strap across the back held them on my heel when I needed to break into a run. I loved how I could wear them outside and back in again and clean them with a quick swish under the faucet. My fashionable mother was horrified. (I bought her some anyway just to wear around the house.) My high-fashion friend who vacations in places like Milan and Cannes was appalled. (I didn’t buy her any.) But now they are vindicated because it appears I may have loved my Crocs too much. After about nine months in the soft soled shoes, I developed a sharp pain in the center of my left heel: plantar fasciitis. I optimistically slipped drug store heel supports into the backs of my Crocs and limped into the podiatrist’s office. He took one look at them and said, “Yeah. That’s not going to work. You need a shoe with good heel support.” After about a month of wearing my cross-trainers with those heel supports, the pain is just about gone. And the Crocs are in the back of my closet. I’ll still bring them out once in awhile for a little gardening or a walk on the beach. But I guess everything has its season and it looks like it’s time for me and the kids to find some more fashionable and elevator-proof footwear.