male ugg slippers How buying shoes turned into a lesson on peer pressure
I remember when Crocs first hit the mainstream several years back. “Shoes with holes?” I thought. Who would wear these? What kind of person would purposely make their foot resemble a duck billed platypus? This trend won’t last, I predicted. You probably shouldn’t take my stock tips, either.
Today Crocs are everywhere; they’ve become as acceptable in our sloppy new world as PJ pants at the grocery store. Men wear them, women wear them (a red flag right there unisex shoes?), and it seems like every child in America wears them.
And of course they must be accessorized with those little knick knacky “Jibbitz” things. And if that wasn’t enough personalization for you, the folks at Crocs have come up with an assortment of products to fit every facet of your life. for those special occasions. to honor your alma mater. Nice warm for winter. Hey, Crocs people, I have news for you: Appropriate footwear for winter already exist, and we call them boots.
A few years back my Croc wearing in laws gave my husband a pair for his birthday. I’m not sure if this was intended to be a gag gift or not, but it did certainly make me want to gag. The offensive footwear was quickly removed to an undisclosed location.
Recently a Croc o philic relative (who also happens to be a lawyer) argued in defense of the plastic shoes that they should be considered a sandal alternative, and thus should be tolerated if worn to places where sandals would be appropriate. Perhaps if Crocs had stayed at the park and the playground I wouldn’t have such an issue with them. But those nasty plastic things have shown up in offices, at “nicer” restaurants, and even (may the good Lord have mercy on your soles) at church.
Given my strong feelings about Crocs you might find it odd, perhaps even hypocritical, to hear that I recently purchased a pair for my son. Not actual Crocs, as I am far too cheap for that, but Target’s in house brand of Colorful, Ridiculous And Plastic Slip On Shoes (we’ll call them CRAPSS for short).
It was partly a move born out of potty training, which has made me see the potential merits of a hose friendly shoe. It was partly because my almost 3 year old son has entered the “I Can Do It ALL BY MYSELF” phase, and while he can in fact put on regular shoes by himself, it requires setting aside 45 minutes to accomplish. But it was mostly because while walking past the rack of CRAPSS my sweet little boy yelled out “Mommy! Look at those shoes!” and rattled off the names of all his CRAPSS wearing friends. “Aidan has those shoes and Carter has those shoes and James has those shoes and Sophie has those shoes and Nicholas has those shoes!” Yes, at the tender age of 2.5 my child had his first case of “I want what everyone else has,” and I caved.
I have memories of waging this war with my own parents (remember jelly shoes?), having grown up in a brand obsessed suburb of Detroit. As a result I can’t stand the sight of anything with an obvious logo emblazoned upon it. Burberry plaid makes me dizzy. Louis Vuitton’s emblem covered bags? Gross. I’ve spent three years trying to convince a well meaning grandparent that the designer clothes she insists on buying for my toddler (Hint: They feature a man on horseback playing a game with a stick) are neither well made, well fitting, nor well worth the ridiculous cost.
Now I’m left staring at those silly shoes and wondering how I cashed in my resolve with the $9.99 price tag. It’s just one pair of bright blue shoes, but with that purchase I know we’ve entered new territory: a minefield where peer pressure threatens to explode with every step.
How do you know where to draw the line? Of course we all want our children to be happy and well adjusted. But how do we teach them in an increasingly consumer driven, materialistic world to value what truly matters? Which battles are worth fighting and which ones don’t hold water any better than a plastic shoe with holes?
Parenting is full of tough decisions and every single one, no matter how big or small, whether a matter of the heart or the foot, comes with consequences. If anyone tells you otherwise . well, it’s a crock.
Mona Shand is a TV and radio news reporter and a mother of two. You can read more on her blog.
I found them funny at first. That being said, hey serve two purposes for me, an outdoor slipper and they are actually great when on the boat and going into the lake, much less suffocating than surf socks. We never used to be too concerend about our feet in the water but when our youngest at two years old gashed the bottom of her toe open on either a zebra mussel shell, piece of glass, piece of tin or some other foreign object in the water we became a little more avid about protecting our feet when walking in natural water. Crocs float too;) My vote for most hideous shoe is the low top duck shoe of the 80 with the rubber sould that covered the whole shoe. Not functional at all, if you got the boots I could see that, but the shoe, that wasn doing anything but justifying the publication of the “Preppy Handbook”. She was given a pair by a special relative. Eventually, wanting to DO things trumped all. She could run faster, climb higher, walk in wood chips without them, and so she didn want to wear them anymore. Function over form is a tough choice for adults, too. I had a hard time justifying heels to her! (“I know it silly, but sometimes when they go to a party, women want to look a certain way even if it doesn feel as good.”) We swear by Merrell mocs. Inexpensive knock offs abound. They are relatively breathable suede. She can put them on herself and wear them year round.
So if I commented that Croc like shoes are terribly unsafe and kids have gotten them stuck in escalators and other places would it make you feel better in your dislike? I a fellow Croc hating mother. Can stand them. Won buy them. Think they appropriate for the shower or the beach only I guess I feel the same about flip flops that offer no support too. When my children want them, they can spend their hard earned cash on them. Luckily for me they have expressed no desire to wear or want them! When they wanted to fun jibits things (or whatever they are called) my mom got them bracelets that decorations could be snapped on!