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    Kids and Crocs Shoes: Trendy or Risky?

    Crocs shoes are all the rage, especially among kids. But are Crocs a safe footwear choice for school?

    Crocs at School continued...

    Another school-year Crocs problem is weather. Unless you live in a climate where it's warm year-round, your kid's Crocs should hibernate for the winter and be replaced with something waterproof and warm.

    "Whether it's rain or snow, when Crocs get wet they're terrible," says Volpe. "During the school year, this is something parents need to keep in mind. As soon you hit the poor weather, if your child is wearing Crocs he might as well be shoeless."

    Crocs Shoes Alternatives

    Kids love Crocs -- that much is obvious. Sit on a bench near a park and more than half of the kids that pass by will likely be sporting a pair. For kids who avoid shoes in the summer or consistently forget to tie the laces on their sneakers, Crocs are finally a shoe that fits.

    "Other trends have really affected shoe-wearing in children in a negative way," says Ornstein. "So Crocs, which kids like to wear, have been a breath of fresh air."

    Worn at the beach or the pool, or for walking short distances, Crocs are a good choice. Still, kids and parents need to remember the other shoes in their closets.

    "You need to switch around the shoes your kids wear to make sure they're getting the right support, and based on the activity they're doing," says Alfieri. "Shoes aren't a one-kind-fits-all sort of thing."

    What about kids who are too active for Crocs, sandals, or flip-flops? The obvious choice for busy kids is sneakers.

    "Any sneaker-type shoe, even one with Velcro if the child is too young to lace, is going to give your child good support and foot protection," says Volpe. "The trick is to make sure your child uses the laces. Otherwise, he's not going to get much value from it."

    Kids' Crocs Checklist

    Not sure when your child should be wearing a Croc, or when a sneaker or boot might be better? Here's a Crocs checklist to keep both feet going in the right direction:

    Activity OK for Crocs?

    Gym Class No

    Hiking No

    Walking to and from class Yes

    Recess No

    Going to the beach Yes

    Going to the pool Yes

    After-school sports No

    Boating Yes

    Walking on a cold winter day No

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    Reviewed on August 17, 2007

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