My Massive, Ugly Platform Crocs Are the Best Purchase I’ve Ever Made
The other weekend, I was at a party at which a friend—mid-cheerful gesticulation—accidentally spilled a can of Miller Lite on my feet. At one point, this would have been a minor emergency. I might not have hissed “Ruin my satin shoes, why don’t you?” (Cher-Horowitz-from-Clueless style), but I definitely would have been annoyed (and if I’d been wearing my agonizingly uncomfortable yet beloved Intentionally Blank cheetah mules, may or may not have cried in the bathroom). As it was, though, I was able to shrug, smile, and fix the problem with a half cup of water. This, my friends, is the beauty of wearing black platform Crocs, made of easily washable Croslite. (They’re not Balenciaga or any other designer collaboration, unfortunately, but I’d be more than willing to trade up at some point in the not-too-distant future.)
I have, to put it mildly, always had capital S, capital P shoe problems. Throughout my high school and college years, I agonized about the size of my calves and the width of my ankles, resolving to wear shoes with only enough of a heel to make my legs look relatively long and sinuous (particularly when they were emerging from the stringy bottom of a thrifted house dress). This resolution was hard to keep, though. Sure, I could lace up my trusty Doc Martens throughout the winter months and kick on a pair of Danskos in spring, but what about summer? What was I supposed to wear to the beach while all my friends ran around in flip-flops and cute, delicately crafted sandals, a pair of rubber tires secured with string?
Luckily, I’m not quite as body-conscious now as I was when I was 19, and to put it frankly, I really don’t give a shit if my shoes make my legs look thin. What I do care about, though, is comfort, and I’ve never really found it in socks and sneakers, which tend to make me feel like a cranky eight-year-old boarding the bus for day camp. I had a brief dalliance with oxfords a few years ago, and tried to embrace Tevas as recently as last August, but I found them to be too precious and too crunchy, respectively. Despite my improved self-esteem, I can’t help it; I still have a penchant for enormous shoes, particularly the kind that actually let me—gasp—walk around with more ease than my Docs or Danskos ever afforded.
Enter the Crocs Bae Classic Platform Clog, which I started spotting around Brooklyn on all manner of cool people sometime last year. When I heard people I trust online—specifically, Vice‘s Sara David, platform Croc queen extraordinaire—praise their walkability, I was sold. Tragically, I wasn’t able to secure my own pair online until this past July due to the frequency with which they sell out online, but once they arrived at my house and I slid them onto my feet, I knew I wouldn’t be taking them off anytime soon. (Okay, hyperbole. I do clean them, and I sleep barefoot, but the rest of my time is pretty much be-Crocced.)
I’ve always longed to be the kind of classy, vaguely Parisian woman who had just one good, solid pair of shoes that she replaced a few times a year, but unfortunately, I am a Jewish pack rat of mild hoarding experience, which means my closet runneth over with hastily purchased flatforms and strappy sandals with gum holding the soles together. When I moved to Austin earlier this fall, the only other shoes I packed were running sneakers, a pair of wedding-appropriate heels, and the aforementioned cheetah mules I refuse to part with (even though they make my feet bleed).
Austin is, simply put, a Croc-lover’s paradise, and living here has only made me more convinced that my Bae clogs are the shoes I was destined to own. I can wear them absolutely everywhere, from the Barton Springs Municipal Pool to a fancy-ish French dinner at Justine’s Brasserie to a very long, very gay night out at local queer watering hole Cheer Up Charlie’s, and I never experience the sinking feeling that comes with knowing you’re in too much heel-induced foot pain to stay out any longer. Do my platform Crocs look elegant with my assortment of vintage dresses, printed jumpsuits, and frayed jean shorts? Not necessarily, but IMO, elegance is overrated and comfort is king (or should be, anyway).
The best part of my platform Crocs, aside from their comfort level, is the fact that they quite literally help me make friends. I knew only a handful of people in Austin when I moved here, and I can’t count how many times someone has pulled me aside in a bar bathroom or at H.E.B.—the greatest grocery store chain known to man, in case you’re not familiar—to ask me where I got my shoes. I recently engaged in a 20-minute discussion of the merits of platform versus regular Crocs with a server at a year-round Christmas-themed bar I love, and ultimately convinced her to pull the trigger despite her fear that she would “fall out of them.” (Hey, if I can walk in them, anyone can; did I mention I got kicked out of ballet class at age two for displaying an insufficient amount of commitment and grace?) Yes, I know, I sound like I’m in a cult, but if your shoes made you feel as if you were walking around on a cloud all day and got you this many compliments, you’d sing their praises too.