Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I'm not a conformist hiker, sorry!

I went for a nature hike the other day; my photos of the creatures we saw were posted right afterwards. I wanted to mention how I was a bad, terrible hiker, and I don't know how to go for a walk in the woods.

You see, unlike the perky middle-adged dude with his pair of walking sticks, spiffy hiking boots, and snappy little hat, I was clad in an ankle-length skirt, a t-shirt, and crocs. Shame on me! Everybody knows you don't wear a SKIRT to hike in the woods, right? And, no, I don't want to hear it about my crocs, and you know who you are.

But, see, we get down to the stream, and I was able to hike up my skirt (tucking the hem into the waist) so it didn't get wet. I had no socks to soak. My crocs were waterproof, and had good traction on the rocks for the most part. I was able to wade with my feet fairly well protected, without getting my clothing soaked, and when I was done, I shook the crocs dry, dried my feet on the lower half of my skirt, and walked comfortably back to our trail origin. My feet and shoes were dry and undamaged, and the skirt dried very quickly on the way back.

When I was younger, we (my mom, sister, and I) would go for long hikes down Mill Creek, wearing our oldest, crappiest sneakers. The worst part was the squelching of our sodden feet on the walk back to our house (it wasn't far, but it was up a hill); the combination of sand and wet shoes giving us painful blisters for even a brief period. The shoes were usually completely ruined, so we would try to save them for the next trip. They would dry out and become misshapen and horribly uncomfortable by the next excursion, giving us blisters on the walk DOWN the next time. Furthermore, sneakers would get waterlogged and heavy during these hikes, while the crocs were light as a feather and would float if I happened to slip out of them (which I didn't).

I almost always wear skirts these days, if I have a choice. I find them more comfortable than pants, and pants are typically binding and painful for me to wear. Crocs, while not very attractive, are one of the few brands of shoe that is wide enough for my feet (I generally need an extra-wide), and they are better than any other brand for reducing or eliminating my foot pain. They're also very affordable. If you don't want to see me wearing them, then you're more than welcome to buy me shoes that 1. fit, 2. are not painful to wear and 3. aren't made of dead animals. Good luck with that.

7 comments:

KateHarding said...

I love this story!

I still don't love Crocs, but I do respect other people's right to wear them. :)

Tari said...

Hiking in a skirt rocks. And actually, though I have heretofore been vehemently anti-Croc, you're actually the first person I've ever heard explain their usefulness in a way that could convince me to pick up a pair.

Kell Brigan said...

You are not alone!

Sarah said...

Conformity is overrated.

Fibro said...

I'm not crazy about crocs either but dude, you're so right - they're so comfortable. I'm with you on the skirt thing, too.

tigtog said...

Interesting that truly comfortable/practical shoes are often greeted with an aesthetic judgement of "hideous!" - I remember people had the same reaction to my Maseur sandals, way back when.

JeanC said...

I so LOVE my Crocs, I am not looking forward to the wet season when I will have to put them away (except for wearing in the house) and going back to regular shoes.