Friday, August 11, 2006

A rare treat indeed, in fact a first, fashionista Petra Patterson slips into the controversy surrounding the plastic shoes now hitting the Hanoi streets... Crocs. (Check out the very sincere testimonials page.)

Is this the new Dep (dzep)?

Over the last year the new foot craze around the world has been Crocs, a light sandal-shoe originally designed as a boating/outdoor shoe because of its slip-resistant, non-marking sole.

The company promises that you’ll “stand out, look good, stay comfortable” but despite the fact the shoe has been a massive hit in the US, and is now sweeping the rest of the world off it’s feet, people can only seem to agree that it’s comfortable.

As the expats and Hanoians return from summer holidays, the shoe is already ubiquitous in town, though not yet available in Vietnam. I couldn’t help but notice that at the last soiree I attended over half of the shoes (if not more) left by the door were Crocs.

But inside the house the shoe-cum-sandal seemed to be splitting the critics.
“They’re just so comfy,” gushed Simone from New Zealand.
“But why would you pay $30 for dep,” moaned Paul from England, seeing no difference between the classic Vietnamese shower dep and Crocs. “It’s just a plastic shoe.”
“I strongly recommend them for Hanoi,” said Huong from Vung Tau, who claimed the shoe is even durable enough to tackle a Minsk motorbike.
“They make me feel comfortable, clean and light,” said Tuan Anh, who picked up a pair in Bangkok. “But other Vietnamese guys think they’re very xau (ugly).”

Outside of Vietnam it appears Crocs are also “you either love ‘em or you don’t”.

Shoe Blogger Sam Lyster claims “any shoe that can survive a session in a dishwasher should be avoided at all costs,” describing them as “plastic clogs” that come in various “unappealing colours”; a US teen on another blog complained that “everyone in school wears them”, while others, well, judging by the astronomical sales, they’re clearly voting with their feet (second quarter revenues tripled to $85.6 million over $25.8 million last year).

But if you don’t stand out, and they’re not pleasing to your eye, why bother? Simone challenged me as we left the party, “go on, just try them on”, she said slipping me her shoe, and I must admit, they certainly were light on the feet, but you could make the same argument about dep, couldn’t you?

If you’re curious to find out more, you can hear two extreme sides of the argument at and respectively


teddy said...

Jesus, that testimonials page is scary: people get marrried wearing them, play soccer in them, you can even run marathons in Crocs, also heard they can help treat cancer....

linhtinh74 said...

Hum`, I didn't see much of Crocs in Newcastle yet. May be the Jordie just too busy following the Toon Army.

pittstop designer said...

...yeah, maybe not in the UK much yet, (definitely all the rage in the US and now Australia, NZ, parts of Asia)... really can't imagine "the lads" in Newcastle on the Saturday night "razzle dazzle" going into a pub while wearing plastic clogs... would match their garish shirts quite nicely though

Buddhist with an attitude said...

They're not the same as dep. With crocs, your toes are protected yet «aerated».