The stars seem to be out of alignment in my part of the world, at least those that exert some influence upon the dependability of pick up dates for promised goods. All of us have at one time or another ordered something and either gone home or hung up the phone with a promised 'ready’ date. Over here in beachtown it was a pair of shoes first, ordered on October 11, promised for the 25th and finally handed over on December 3. Then on November 8 a pair of sunglasses promised for the 15th. I got those on December 1 and the lenses give me a headache. In both cases—shoes and sunglasses—the delay was blamed on a box lost by UPS, separates stories of elaborate length that sounded almost like “Sorry, the dog ate my homework.”
For now let’s forget about the late sunglasses that give me a headache and focus on the shoes that do pretty much the opposite and give me ‘podialogical bliss.’ They at least were worth the wait. Because the store in Mount Dora, Florida wouldn’t mail the package to me, a drive over there was necessary. That’s not an altogether bad deal, since Mount Dora is one of the more charming historical towns in central Florida, and a visit there is always enjoyable. It’s a small town in Lake County settled in 1874 with a population today of around 12,000. The old downtown area is filled with antique shops, clock shops, restaurants, two museums, several historical houses and buildings and one or two bookstores. The downside is an abundance of tourist-centered gift shops, shelves stocked with trivia designed to fool the tired and bedazzled tourist. Among those shops and restaurants is one called A Walk in the Woods, which is basically a shoe store, but carries as well all the expected add-ons. This store was holding my long-ordered shoes and was the target of my visit on Saturday.
In 2010 Time magazine listed Crocs as one of the world’s fifty worst inventions. Maxim’s list of “The 10 Best & Worst Things to Happen to Men in 2007” has Crocs at #6 on the “Worst” list. A Facebook group called ‘I Don’t Care How Comfortable They Are, You Look Like a Dumbass’ has 1.6 million “Likes” as of November 2011. Despite all that, huge numbers of people worldwide choose Crocs as their No. 1 daily footwear and for that there must be a reason that outweighs the ‘ugly’ label. Possible that for some shoppers the style mavens at Time, Maxim’s and Facebook have all the significance of Justin Bieber’s favorite flavor of Jello.
Crocs was founded by three Colorado friends in 2002—Scott Seamans, Lyndon “Duke” Hanson and George Boedecker. They acquired the design from a Quebec company called Foam Creations. The first model was unveiled at a Florida boat show and was called “The Beach.” They sold all 200 pairs the first day. Crocs are made of a polymer called ‘Croslite’ that molds itself to the wearer’s feet. Today the company has factories in Canada, Mexico, China, Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The pair I picked up yesterday are a third pair and the same model as my second, called ‘Yukon.’ The attraction in this particular design is the combination of leather and Croslite foam. The tops, as well as the straps fitting around the heel are a suede-like chocolate brown leather, while only the soles and edge ‘bumpers’ are Croslite. You can get a good all around look at the Yukon Crocs here.
Over the years three shoemakers have been longtime standbys in my closet: Rockport, Clark’s and Crocs. The first two are impressive top of the line shoes, but for knocking around the beach, the Croc Yukons are matchless.