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Stephanie Hayes, Katie Sanders, Kameel Stanley, & Keyonna Summers

1 year, 8 Crocs: One woman's total Crocs conversion (they're cute now, really)

9

January

This post comes from Stephanie Bolling, who works in the Times' IT department and has had an amazing run with Crocs, of all things. Enjoy her essay.

A few years ago, I launched a "final count" series tradition on Facebook, posting random stats from the year. In 2016, I slipped in that I'd purchased eight pairs of Crocs.

My friends lost their heads over this fact and seemed unable to comprehend why someone in their right mind would buy one, let alone eight pairs, of those taboo kitchen shoes. I guess they hadn't realized that those cute jellies on my feet that they had complimented were produced by that same forbidden-to-be-considered brand.

My Crocs love affair began unsuspectingly at Bealls. I was killing time while my boyfriend shopped (role reversal much?) and decided to try on this cute pair of flats in the shoe aisle.

"Holy moly," I thought, these babies were more comfortable than any shoe I'd tried on in years. I looked at the brand: Crocs. No way. I looked at the price: $45. Eh, comfortable, but not ready to commit. I noticed there were several other cute shoes in the same section, and to my disbelief, they were all Crocs. I made a mental note and hit up their website in the following week. Lucky me, they had a 30 percent off deal, so of course, I bought three pairs. I also signed up for their Crocs Club that offered perks and rewards via email.

Once the shoes arrived, they were all comfortable, but I only really loved one of them, the Isabella Sandal. I decided to return the other two, which had a nice style but not the right fit. In lieu of shipping them back, I made the journey to their storefront at Countryside Mall to check out the selection and to physically try on some styles I had been eyeballing online.

At the store, I learned a few things. Crocs does not offer half sizes, so I just had to let go of the ill-fitting ones from my initial order. The Crocs cashiers confirmed variance and fit for the same size depending on the shoe type/style.

Buyer's tip: Buy from Crocs directly (website or storefront). Third-party stores, like Bealls, charge full price and their store specific coupons do not apply to Crocs brand.

The only downside to my new purchases was the break-in time. I had to wear band-aids on my ankles for about a week until my feet got used to the new shoe. Fortunately, since many were the same style, after this period, I could wear any of them without enduring new blisters.

In case I wasn't clear, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE my Isabella Sandals. If they get dirty, I just rinse them in the tub or with the hose outside. They're nice enough to wear to work or an event and casual enough to wear to the beach.  I ended up stocking up on almost every color of them due to the sneaky Crocs Club inboxing me 40-50 percent off deals during the holidays. I couldn't bear to turn down that bargain on the most comfortable sandal I had been cheating on all my other shoes with.

And that's how I ended up with eight pairs of Crocs between July and December.

They weren't all the Isabella Sandal, though. I branched out and added the black Isabella T-Strap Sandal and a pair of adorable yellow rain boots to my collection.

The T-Strap Sandal literally goes with everything I wear and has become the No. 1 staple sandal in my closet. If I am cooking at home or running around the house barefoot, I pop my Crocs on and don't look back. I even coordinate my outfits around them so I can be sure to be supported and comfortable all day long. My back and hips remind me if I wear a less supportive or comfortable shoe one day. They whisper to me, "Go back to the Crocs," so I come crawling back to my new best friends.

They've actually helped my consumerist heart, because now, I don't consider purchasing other shoes despite their cute siren songs. I scoff and move on. In addition, having these new and beloved options made it incredibly easy to purge old pairs of heels and flats that were collecting dust. Bye Felicia, Hello Isabella!

[Last modified: Friday, January 6, 2017 4:42pm]

    

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