Crocs are everywhere, from malls to parks to schools across America. With
funky color choices like Camouflage, Haze, and Glam, Crocs are probably your
child's favorite footwear. But the Crocs shoe craze has hit a bump in the
road, as parents -- and schools -- wonder if the loose-fitting style of these
cool kicks can actually pose a danger.
There have also been worldwide media reports about Croc-wearing kids getting
their toes caught in escalators in malls, airports, and other transportation
systems, including Washington, D.C.'s Metro stations. The subway system
recently posted a warning to riders about wearing shoes like Crocs on the
escalators, although it did not name them specifically, according to
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Experts gave WebMD advice on kids' Crocs, including the benefits of Crocs
during summer, the risks of Crocs during the school year, and when a
full-coverage shoe, like a sneaker, might be a more sensible -- and safer --
Crocs Shoes in the Summer
Crocs, which were created in 2002 as footwear for boating with non-slip
tread and waterproof tendencies, have morphed into a foot phenomenon for all
ages. It's clear that for kids in particular, these shoes offer a hip
alternative to sneakers, and when the warm weather rolls around, a better
option than bare feet.
"Crocs shoes do provide protection, compared to going barefoot, or
wearing flip-flops or sandals," says Donna M. Alfieri, DPM, associate
professor at the N.Y. College of Podiatric Medicine. "They offer some arch
support and cushion, the holes in the shoe allow air in and keep the feet from
sweating, and the antimicrobial properties of Crocs could help prevent
infections in kids' feet." Kids' crocs come in so many different
styles and colors, kids everywhere are wearing the shoes that fit their feet
and their personality.
"In addition to the support and protection kids get from Crocs, the
great thing is they want to wear them," says Hal Ornstein, DPM, chairman of
the American Academy of Podiatric Practice Management.
Ornstein, who sells a special therapeutic line of adult Crocs, called Crocs
Rx, through his private practice, says that his own children wear Crocs and
"My kids wear Crocs all summer long," says Ornstein. "Instead of
having to tell them to tie the laces on their sneakers and worrying about them
tripping over untied shoes, Crocs are convenient and they like them -- they're
Fashion aside, when the days start to get shorter and the backpacks come
out, some experts say it's time to rethink your kids' Crocs in favor of some
tried but true choices.
The manufacturer of Crocs was contacted for comment, but didn't respond.
Crocs at School
Crocs shoes were created for boating in warm weather, and maybe that's for a