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Whole Lotta Croc – Shoe Fad Falls Short

by Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

Sometimes, consumer trends come along that feel more like an invasion rather than a fun fad or good idea. Crocs managed to appear on the – dare I call it “fashion” – scene at warp speed. I barely had time to take in the sight of this obtrusive, brightly-colored, space-age-looking footwear before it seemed to land everywhere on earth. Whole Foods Market already stocks a glaring, overflowing rack of these things in every color and size, stealing space from their usually earth-friendly products.
Attempting to decipher the vague description of ingredients in these fully plasticized shoes makes them all the more suspect. Although I found information about a material called, Croslite PCCR (proprietary closed cell resin), it told me only that it is a petroleum based foam. Not good news for the environment or the animals and people in it.

I’m sure this stuff wears well (meaning it will last forever in a landfill) but the marketing that comes with it encourages consumers to own a pair in every color. Of course, accoutrements followed – stick-ons made of more Croc material, sold for $8.00/set. How long can these things stay “fashionable”? After all, just how many pairs of acid-washed jeans are hanging out in landfills as we speak?

Ok, I know these shoes make some sense if you say, live on a boat or, for growing little kids who always need durable shoes at a reasonable cost. I suppose they can be handed down as they grow out of them and are actually a little bit cute on the foot of a of a five-year-old. But, can we grown-ups just – well, grow up? If you have other, um, observations to make, go to and let it out.

Instead of unthinkingly jumping on another brain-washing trend wagon, look into the generous selection of sustainably-minded, eco-friendly shoe companies who are establishing their reputation for quality, fashion and consciousness. My feet are particular to Blackspot and Earth. Also check out Simple Shoes and Worn Again.

Got another Earth-friendly favorite in Footwear? Let us know about it!

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4 Responses to “Whole Lotta Croc – Shoe Fad Falls Short”

  1. Leslie Says:

    Tom’s are great, they are comfortable and very durable. He also makes a pair of shoes for a child in need for every pair bought, they are around $38.00.

  2. Beth Tacular Says:

    I think they are dumb, too. But, at least people can use them as colanders when they get bored of them. a colander in every color.

  3. Tom Manning Says:

    I like crocs and have 5 pair. I wear one each day of the week but usually go barefoot on the weekend. I was recently in England and China and they were everywhere! The people in asia seem to like the yellow ones for some reason. Maybe they were knock offs like everything else in that country but they looked the same. I didn’t buy any while I was there because I didn’t have room in my suitecase and, like I said, I already have 5 pairs. I really like them but 5 is enough. Maybe I could stand one more pair, we’ll see… I hear they are coming out with Dora the explorer so I am waiting for that. Have you ever see their shirts? I saw them in China but I think they were fake like everything else in that country.

  4. tao Says:

    Thanks for joining the discussion, Tom. I’d like to know more – for instance, do you actually need 5 (or more) pairs of any shoe? What do you like so much about them? What are the shirts made from (I’ve yet to see or hear of those)?

    Do you know that much or most of what we purchase here in the US is made in China? I guess that means consumers fall easily for “fake”, don’t you think?


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