Moderndaydad’s recent “7 Days of Summerwear” post about Crocs — which, full disclosure, I also endorse for their convenience, comfort, and non-toxic construction — came at a good time, because while the shoes may be great for warm weather, they’re also raising serious questions about when and where else it’s appropriate to wear them.
From the CPSC’s carefully worded May 13 warning about “popular soft-sided flexible clogs and slides” to this more specific story from last Thursday (complete with not-suitable-for-mealtime-viewing video), to a pending $7 million lawsuit against the company, Crocs are as infamous for posing a potential danger to children’s feet as they are for having questionable aesthetic value. The reason: Escalators’ moving parts seem to have an unhealthy, potentially grisly attraction to the popular soft-soled shoes.
Oddly enough, Crocs seems to be taking an “Ignore it and it’ll go away” stance on the problem, at least on its online FAQ: You can get answers to questions such as “Can I boil and then eat my Crocs shoes?” (not recommended) and “Can I microwave my Crocs shoes?” (ditto), but not for something as basic as “How can I keep my kids’ feet from getting mangled in an escalator while wearing Crocs shoes?”
Well, fear not, because Consumer Reports has compiled this handy list of 11 tips for keeping your kids’ Crocs from meeting certain doom, some excerpts of which follow:
- To avoid the sides of steps where entrapment can occur, stand in the middle of the step. Always face forward and hold the handrail.
- Step over the comb plate. Always pick up your feet and step carefully on or off the escalator. Never drag or slide your feet off the edge of the escalator.
- Stay clear of moving parts. Keep your hands, feet and clothing clear of the side panels of the escalator. Remember: loose shoe laces, rubber boots and baggy clothes can get caught in the moving parts of the escalator. Make sure you have no dangling clothing or loose shoelaces that could get caught.
Of course, the simplest way to avoid Crocs-related escalator injuries is not to let your kids wear the things on escalators in the first place, but as the tips above show, such injuries aren’t just limited to recyclable, rubbery footwear. Any loose-fitting shoe, as well as dangling laces, baggy apparel or stray limbs, can pose just as big a risk, so use some common sense and teach the kids to dodge that comb plate — or, you know, take the stairs.