What a Croc

I was not a rebellious child. The truth is, due to a combination of parents who made pretty sensible rules and my disposition to follow pretty sensible rules, I didn't have much occasion for rebellion. That, however, doesn't mean I wasn't strong-willed; I was. I knew what I liked and what I didn't, and, if I didn't like a particular article of clothing, off it came. Anything too tight, too restrictive, uncomfortable, or in any way motion-limiting was off like a racehorse. This was especially true for shoes.

In fact, even to this day, I am barefoot as often as possible—despite my ardor for shoes. I consider socks a hateful bit of devilry, a necessary evil only to be engaged for hiking or traversing snow at least ankle-deep, otherwise given no truck or opportunity to deliver their vicious stranglehold on my freedom-desiring feet.

I recall several of my cousins—especially my most athletic cousin Julie—and not a few childhood friends being the same way; many of us ran around the neighborhood in our bare feet all summer. I also remember a seemingly endless number of little kids kicking off "fancy shoes" at church. And no wonder—those little black patent leather jobbies were no good for running around on the grass like a maniac burning off some energy between sitting in Sunday School and sitting in the church service.

All of this, by the way, is a very roundabout way of saying that I suspect if kids weren't able to do what they wanted to do in Crocs, they'd probably just kick them off.

But that's just me. The Chicago Tribune's John Kass (who Paul nominates as "most ridiculous columnist of the year," heh) evidently thinks that children just wear whatever they're given without complaint, even if it impedes what they want to be doing. And you know what that means—obesity crisis! And luckily he's got the co-founder of Unicus Fitness, which runs "boot camps for brides before weddings, and sports camps for young athletes," to give his totally unbiased opinion about kids' health, too. Ergo, Crocs must be banned.

There's a lot of blahdy-blah about muscle memory and legs that can't bend to support the call for this ban, but ultimately the argument rests on this: "And while some kids run all day in Crocs or wheelie shoes and are fit as fiddles, I suspect they're the exception rather than the rule."

Oh. Well. As long as you suspect it, that's all right then.

Never mind that this suspicion necessitates believing that the majority of children who want to run all day, but can't because of their stupid, stupid shoes, are too meek to take them off (and/or that there are tons o' kids who exist with a $30 pair of Crocs as their only shoes, I guess).

How on earth does this shit get published?

Meanwhile, over at Junkfood Science, Sandy Szwarc takes a look at the very interesting relationship between athletic shoe companies and the alleged obesity crisis: "Athletic shoe companies have been among the most active corporations working to convince the public that today's kids aren't physically active." Huh—what a shocker.

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