You all know how much I love my shoes. Dress shoes, casual shoes, gardening shoes and even the most casual flip-flop can find a special place in my closet. And although I have a shoe for just about any occasion, I had never heard about “Crocs” until a friend asked me if I had a pair. Being a shoe aficionado I said, “Of course – I love my crocodile shoes.” She quickly corrected me by responding “No silly, Crocs, not crocodile shoes! The shoes that Mario Batali wears – you know, the rubbery, easy-on, easy-off shoes that come in a variety of fun colors.”
My interest piqued to think that they might make the perfect light gardening shoe, so I decided that I must find myself a pair. I realize now that they are sold in record numbers across the country – and that I might be the last person to hear about them – but downtown Westport’s specialty shops didn’t have any. I finally tracked down one pair: a functional tan color.
When I got home with my pair of spongy shoes I was intrigued – how could something so simple-looking really cause such fuss and enthusiasm? When I slipped them on I began to understand. They felt weightless – as someone who runs in and out of the house when I’m gardening I often end up barefoot because it’s faster than putting boots back on, and these Crocs felt like I wasn’t really wearing anything. No rocks crunching under my bare soles, no worrying about getting proper shoes wet or dirty, and no struggle to get them on or off. It was enough to make a grown gardener cry – and these weren’t crocodile tears!
As one of the “newly converted”, I decided I needed to step them up. (You’re not surprised, are you?) So I went on-line and ordered an orange pair (my garden-accent color this year). Truth be told, orange also happens to be Mario’s only color of choice and the fact that his newest restaurant will open in Westport this year – well, that sealed the deal. So Mario Batali and Mar Jennings will be wearing orange Crocs in Westport, and I can’t wait for mine to arrive so I can go rockin’ my Crocs over to his new restaurant!