This has been my Crocs summer.

Ever since I bought two pairs of the ugly yet comfortable shoes on sale at a local department store, they have been affixed to my feet. I have worn them almost everywhere. A few weeks later, my wife got a pair. We also got a pair for my soon-to-be two-year-old son. At times, we look like an advertisement for Crocs. Our initial enthusiasm for the shoes is starting to wane, though.

First of all, the original model Crocs don't provide great arch support. Their Swiss-cheese like design makes them impractical during the rain. They are not great for driving long distances either. Crocs has introduced new models to address these shortcomings, including the the odd looking Crocs venture leather dress shoes for men. There are also Crocs Ambler winter boots. Crocs even has something called jibbitz, "jewelry" to adorn Crocs.

Oh brother.

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Judging from Crocs' share price, many other people have grown tired of the trendy shoes as well. Shares of Crocs, which once were favorites of Wall Street, have plunged almost 90 percent this year. Moreover, loads of stores have cheap Crocs knock-offs, a trend which will only get worse.

As Crocs continues to struggle, it will likely continue to add new products. Eventually, the company will have to lower prices. When that happens, perhaps consumers will find the ugly shoes appealing yet again.

I blame the decline of Crocs -- as I do most things -- on President Bush. Last summer, the most unpopular president in modern times was photographed wearing a pair of the trendy shoes. Thank goodness this did not happen when he was meeting with the likes of Russian strongman Vladimir Putin or North Korean dictator Kim Jung-il. I am sure his enemies in Congress would have interpreted this as a sign of weakness as well.

Let's hope Bush sticks with wingtips and the odd loafer or sneaker as a footwear choice. Going trendy again could have disastrous consequences for all concerned.


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