To Croc or not to Croc, that is the question…

Yes, I used to be a fully paid-up member of the fashion police who hated the look of Crocs and wouldn’t touch them with five bargepoles lashed together (I lived in a town at the time that is known for the popularity of its local attractions around the canal and the canal basin).

And then I tried a pair on. And bought them.

I’d been looking for a pair of water friendly sandals whilst down in North Norfolk for a few days because we were planning on heading to Holkham Beach and would probably be doing some wading whilst we were there. Only problem – no water friendly sandals available in either the outdoor shops, the beach shops or the local chandler. So it was time for Plan B.

Now I was around 160 miles from home and hadn’t seen anyone that I knew, so I guessed that the chances of being spotted whilst trying a pair of Crocs on would be minimal. I’d seen a stockist on the main shopping street in Wells-Next-The-Sea, so I dived inside and found a navy blue pair in my size. 

They fitted me, they were comfortable and from that point onwards, I was converted to the Crocs cause. They never did see Holkham Beach (it’s the beach that Gwyneth Paltrow walks on at the end of Shakespeare In Love) and neither did I because the area was hit by a thunderstorm the following morning and the rain continued, and continued and you now get the picture. 

When I got back to work the following day, the shop I was managing at the time had had a delivery of new footwear and guess what was in amongst it? Crocs… They’d been allocated to us rather than ordered – and allocated to the wrong shop as it turned out because they should have been in Blackpool, not in a Yorkshire mill town.

They were also on offer as it was sale time, so the card came out and two more pairs were bought – a black pair and a slightly posher khaki pair that would match up with some Craghoppers and Rohan trousers that I’d just bought.

That was a year ago and all three pairs have been given a good hammering. The black and navy pairs have been used at home, around town and on campsites too whilst the khaki pair came into their own out in Portugal last year. Any dirt is easily washed off and they’re light enough to be packed into hand luggage as beach shoes/spare shoes when heading off.

They’ve worn well and kept me upright whenever they’ve been used on uneven ground. The black pair went with me to The Lakes at the weekend and were ideal for padding around the campsite in as there had been heavy rainfall one morning and a good dew cover the following day.

Feet were allowed to breathe and were ‘washed’ as I wandered around the site, a good thing as the first site didn’t have any showers and the second had a queue at the showers that saw me reaching for a pack of baby wipes and a can of Lynx instead (and a t-shirt with a silver lining – more will be revealed about that in the next few days!).

So Crocs wear well, are comfortable and are easily washed. So what are the downsides? The fashion police looking down on you as you pad about your own business and a little matter of an interesting aroma emanating from them along the way. 

Yes, if your feet are prone to sweatyitis in warm/hot weather, then you need to be aware that it is the only downside that I’ve found in over a year of wearing Crocs. Padding around campsites after rain or a heavy dew is one way to deal with the problem, but others include using them as shower shoes in hostels or on campsites or giving them a damn good wash in the bath or shower in your hotel room or hired cottage/apartment/caravan.

So dear readers, we have Crocs. Here endeth the blog’s first review!

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About Keith Rickaby

Fiftysomething writer and occasional photographer who has worked in both the tailoring trade and the outdoor/travel clothing, equipment and footwear game. Past lives include working as an outdoor instructor, managing three bands and doing PR work through an agency or my own contacts. Was a student in the mid-90s and whilst I'm originally from the North East, I'm now firmly based in't Yorkshire...
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