Crocodile Fears

A couple of years ago I became a great fan of Crocs. I know they probably cost pence to make and sell for £30 but I love them. Not only are they particularly suited to our camping lifestyle but they give a great sense of freedom, being the closest thing to walking around barefoot without actually having to resort to the pain of bare feet. The only downside is that all other shoes tend to feel constrictive after them. I started off with a reasonably muted green pair and then went mad with an acid orange pair, just for fun.

Last year I realized that I’d lived in them so much that I’d all but worn them out. No grip left at all; smooth as a baby’s bum. Unfortunately, I realized rather too late. When I went looking for replacements there were hardly any left in the shops. I did find a large pair that seemed to fit at Frosts, a garden centre near us, but they were a particularly unappealing shade of blue. I was also less than convinced because they claimed to be size 12 whereas both my original pairs were size 11.! Having no confidence in the apparent sizing, I was reticent to order over the Internet and decided to wait until the new season’s supply.

Enter the new season and enter a visit to friends near Ipswich last weekend. Whilst wandering around one little Suffolk town, I noticed a rack full of Crocs in one shoe shop and couldn’t resist going in. There were a couple of non-violent colours that seemed reasonable and I tried them on. Both were fine. Remembering last year’s size confusion, I flipped them over to see which size I really needed. Yikes! One pair claimed to be size 11 and the other, size 12. I offered them up together; they were exactly the same. again! Then I noticed the countries of manufacture: one pair (11) was made in Italy, the other (12) in Boulder, Colorado. Confusion cleared; American sizing versus UK sizing was to blame. There was actually a third pair (11) that had been made in China.

I know American shoe sizes are different from European ones but, for an International distribution company with multiple countries of manufacture shipping goods to multiple countries, you’d think that Crocs might at least standardize on sizing so we knew where we stood, if you’ll pardon the expression regarding shoes. If one has to know the country of origin before choosing a size, how is one supposed to order over the Internet thingy with any confidence?

Get a grip, Crocs! My new made-in-Boulder-Colorado-size-12-(American) Crocs certainly have. 🙂

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