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Children and Crocs shoes

WebMD Medical Reference
Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks

Crocs are still everywhere, from the high street to parks and playgrounds, and with their bright colours they are probably your child’s favourite footwear. But some parents wonder if the loose-fitting style of these casual shoes can actually pose a danger.

There were reports about Croc-wearing children getting their toes caught in escalators in shopping centres and on public transport. In 2008, Crocs issued safety advice for wearing their products on escalators:

  • Stand facing forwards in the centre of the step
  • Step on and off carefully
  • Do not touch sides below the handrail
  • Avoid the sides of the steps where shoe entrapment can occur
  • Supervise children at all times

Experts have given us advice on children’s Crocs, including the benefits of Crocs during the summer, the risks of wearing them during mundane daily activities, and on when more traditional shoes, such as trainers, might be a more sensible, and safer choice.

Crocs in the summer

Crocs, which were created in 2002 as non-slip footwear for boating, have changed into a footwear phenomenon for all ages. It’s clear that for children in particular, these shoes offer a trendy alternative to trainers, and when the weather warms up, a better option than bare feet.

Foot experts say Crocs do provide protection, compared to going barefoot, or wearing flip-flops or sandals.

They offer some arch support and cushion, the holes in the shoe allow air in and keep the feet from sweating, and the anti-microbial properties of Crocs may help prevent infections in kids’ feet.

Crocs come in so many different styles and colours that appeal to children. Fashion aside, when the days start to get shorter, some experts say it’s time to rethink your child’s Crocs in favour of some tried and tested choices.

Crocs during daily activities

Crocs shoes were created for boating in warm weather, and it shows.

They can be convenient in the summer as a beach and pool shoe that's easy to put on and take off.

For physical activities, experts say Crocs provide little support and they can easily slip off during any activity beyond walking.

Parents and children need to be careful about when Crocs can be worn safely and when trainers or sensible shoes are required, experts say.

Another Crocs problem is weather. They offer little protection against rain or worse.

Crocs shoes alternatives

For children who avoid shoes in the summer or consistently forget to tie the laces on their trainers, Crocs are a shoe that fits.

Most people would agree that, worn at the beach or the pool, or for walking short distances, Crocs are a good choice. Still, children and parents need to remember the other shoes in their cupboards.

Experts say parents should pick the shoes their kids wear to make sure they’re getting the right support, and based on the activity they’re doing.

If laces are a problem, many trainers for children now offer Velcro fasteners instead.

Children’s Crocs checklist

Not sure when your child should be wearing a Croc, or when a trainer or other shoe might be better? Here’s a Crocs checklist to keep both feet going in the right direction:

  • PE lessons: no - schools generally insist on plimsoles or trainers
  • Hiking: no
  • Walking to and from activities in summer: yes
  • School playtime: no - unlikely to be acceptable as part of school uniform or dress policy
  • Going to the beach: yes
  • Going to the swimming pool: yes
  • After-school sports: no - schools generally insist on plimsoles or trainers
  • Boating: yes
  • Walking on a cold winter’s day: no
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Reviewed on December 19, 2017

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