How My Obsession Began
Several summers ago, I developed tendinitis in both ankles. I tried to stand up from bed one morning and fell to the floor. My chiropractor said he could treat my ankles—bad idea. When things weren’t getting better, I went to a podiatrist and orthopedic doctor. Physical therapy helped the most, but I was still having a hard time at work. I couldn’t jump, stand, or walk much. I was wearing either my boot, an ankle, brace, or custom shoe inserts that I’m convinced made things worse.
One day, I was at the mall, and the bright green glow of the Crocs sign lured me in. I was chatting with an older man inside as we were both looking around. He told me that Crocs are the only shoes he can wear to avoid the pain in his feet. Alright, I had to try them. I bought a few pairs, one thing led to another, and now I’m the owner of dozens of Crocs. I even wore a pair of strappy, floral Crocs wedges to my wedding.
The change at work was immediate. With Crocs on my feet, I was able to make it through a full day plus after-school chorus without wincing in pain. I still am not able to jump much, but I can walk around pretty confidently, and that has been such a liberating feeling.
Most of the Crocs that I own are discontinued styles, or are currently unlisted, but may come back to the website during the appropriate season with a tweak or two. I’m going to talk about a few styles to consider and avoid before I get to my golden girl, The Kadee flat.
In the photos, I’ve ranked the shoes form 1-5.
1 = I can wear them for about 10 minutes.
5= I can wear them all day.
Strappy wedges like Leigh Sandal Wedge are surprisingly comfy. I wouldn’t wear them if you are moving a lot because you could twist an ankle if you step on a rock the wrong way, but I can comfortably wear mine at work if I want to grow a couple of inches.
I was disappointed by wedges with a stiff upper like the A-Leigh. The hard faux-leather is not form-fitting and cuts into your feet. Sizing for these are all over the place. I even bought a pair where one shoe was bigger than the other and would drop off my foot before my heel was ready to meet the floor.
The LiteRide Stretch sandal is a great casual shoe. It’s super light and has great arch support. If you want something slightly more feminine, try the Isabella T-strap sandal. I have a pair in gold, and it goes with most of my outfits.
The Classic Crocs Slide is too casual for work. They are great for running short errands but can rub against the top of your foot if you wear them for long periods. The flip flops are great for summers but don’t offer a lot in terms of support, not that you would wear them at work anyway.
The LiteRide Mesh Lace sneakers are light, comfy, and easy to clean–just throw them in the washer. My only complaint is that the color is a bit of an off-black. An added bonus is that I’m able to insert foot insoles (the flexible store bought ones and hard custom insoles) without having to remove the insole of this sneaker because it’s attached to the shoe. There’s actually enough room for both making it extra comfy.
The LiteRide Pacer is similar to the mesh sneaker above, but the upper is made of a rubbery material that doesn’t have a lot of give. It can cut into your heel unless it’s sized perfectly for your foot. It seems like most of the harder uppers I buy go into the “donate” bin.
When it comes to an all-around winner, the Kadee Flat is it. I know she’s not going to turn any heads at the ball but her clean and simple design will go far in terms of comfort, durability, and versatility. I’ve had the same pair for several years and have spotted them at work and at weddings. Although Crocs lose their shine after a while, you can rub some $5 Crocs butter on them, and they will look as good as new. There are three versions of this flat. The newest ones are the slingback and a work version with an anti-slip tread. I’ll probably try the work version when my current pair wears out. I have a pair in black, but I’ve seen teachers wear the leopard print, and it’s super cute! I don’t see any loafers currently in stock on Crocs.com, but I’ve had good experiences with them as well. The flats with canvas uppers shown below have served me well on field trips to the National Zoo and Six Flags. I hope they come back in stock again.
I’ve owned the following flats before they became “work” flats, so the design may have improved, but after looking at the reviews, not enough for me to buy them again. I’m talking about the Alice Work flat (Mary Jane style) and the At Work flat. The strap on the Mary Janes is uncomfortable and both of these styles STREEEETCH! If you buy them to size, they will look like clown shoes after a year or so. No thanks.
I wasn’t able to recommend some of my faves because they aren’t currently on the website. The Karin Clog is one of them, but you can not wear them all the time if you need arch support or use them for exercise. Size them way down. I’m usually a 7.5 in non-Crocs and I order these in a 6 because they stretch… a lot. It’s not bad breaking them in. The soft material hugs tight at first and soon stretch to the perfect size. Plus, you can personalize them with Jibbitz! I’ve also had good luck with Crocs boots in the winter. I would try them on before buying as sizing can be all over the place with different models. I wear a 7 in Crocs, 8 in Crocs boots, and a 6 in Karin clogs.