By Carrie Johnson Weimar • Published: December 9th, 2008
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Love them or hate them, it seems Crocs are everywhere these days. Deemed hideously ugly by some, the colorful, rubberized clogs are prized by others because they’re light, easy to clean and… most of all… comfortable.

Nowhere is this more true than at hospitals, where Crocs have become the shoe of choice for many busy health professionals who have to be on their feet all day. But now hospital administrators have started banning the clunky footwear, saying the shoes just aren’t right for a medical setting.

In fact, you could even call it a Crocdown.

Hospital officials say they’re not motivated by aesthetics. They say Crocs aren’t safe because the shoes feature ventilation holes and open heels. When working around blood, bodily fluids and syringes, these holes may be a hazard.

The shoes are also too light to protect feet from heavy falling objects. In addition, some say the shoes act as insulators and allow enough build-up of static electricity to knock out medical equipment. In fact, the shoes were banned from a Swedish hospital after they were blamed for at least three incidents in which respirators and other machines malfunctioned.

After hearing reports of similar shoe bans in hospitals around the United States, as well as in Canada and the United Kingdom, Crocs Incorporated took action. They have designed a new shoe with the same spongy feel as the original but without the ventilation holes.

Called the Specialist, the shoe comes in a variety of colors… including hospital white.