Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Product Review: I Heart Crocs

I don't know about you, but I have ugly feet. I mean, really, they're not cute.

First of all, they're short, stout little German square feet, just about as wide as they are long. I will never wear cute strappy sandals, because I'd have to get a size eleven (as opposed to a 6/7) for those straps to get around my fat feet without bursting.

Second, there's always something going on down there- whether it's dry, peeling skin from working in the garden all summer, or a raging case of athlete's foot from sweating in pantyhose in the winter. I will never waste money on a pedicure because no amount of soaking, scrubbing and nail polish are going to sweeten these babies up.

What I look for in a shoe is less about cuteness or trendiness than it is about the ability of my foot to actually squeeze inside with a minimum amount of Evil Stepsister-style wiggling and forcing. Remember in the original version of the Cinderella fairy tale when the stepsister cuts off her toes to fit into the glass slipper? Well, that'd be me with a pair of those damn Manolos favored by urban hipsters like Carrie Bradshaw, except I'd have to slice off the sides of my feet.

For me, the closest I can get to trendy is Birkenstocks because they are practically made for fat feet. Sure they merely emphasize the thickness, but they are at least a respectable name and not orthopedic nurse shoes. Unfortunately, Birks are so 1992!

That's why I'm so glad Marylou bought Emma a pair of Crocs, allowing me to discover these "new Birkenstocks" which are fabulous for the entire family.

The first thing I noticed about Emma's chartreuse green Croc sandals was that she could pull them on and off herself, key for preschoolers who want to do things on their own.

I also liked that they were made of a squishy, water-resistant material which allowed them to get sprayed in the hose or washed by the waves without getting soaked, smelly, decayed or uncomfortable.

Well, that's all it took to sell me on the idea of Crocs as the perfect kids shoe for summer. I resolved to get Owen and Stewart each a pair as soon as I found a place where we could try them on.

On Friday, I got my opportunity. Kyle and I took the boys to Century City to see Cars (review on that coming), and there was a Crocs kiosk near the theater.

I immediately picked out a few pair for the boys, and then decided, out of curiosity, to try a pair on for myself. After all, I spend lots of time watering the garden, and what better shoes to use than these? They're fun, bright, and water-resistant.

To my surprise, they were also COMFORTABLE- with a nice arch inside them that made them feel as natural as a Birkenstock. They were easy to walk in- and practically custom-made for fat, ugly feet like mine.

I plunked down $30 for a pair of my own with no regrets. I honestly would probably have paid double- these shoes rule! I have walked quite a bit in them already with no blisters or chaffed skin (I even had some discomfort with Birks during the first week when they were being broken in). And at $30, they are totally affordable for the whole family.

Even if your feet are beautiful, with long-graceful polished toes able to show off the most pricy pair of sandals- you have to appreciate the simplicity and felixibility of these funky shoes that look like something from the pages of an Ikea catalogue.

Plus, even beautiful feet need to wear something to the beach, or to work in the garden- and Crocs are the ideal shoes for such settings.

So check them out- I promise that whether your feet are ugly like mine or drop-dead gorgeous, you will find them, fun, useful and comfy.

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