As observant Jews take to synagogues for Yom Kippur, tradition holds that leather shoes are out. But the devoted had better not wear Crocs, according to an ultra-orthodox Latvian rabbi who declared the brand “too comfortable” for repentant sinners:
Rabbi Elyashiv’s ruling will create a challenge this year for his students, many of whom have chosen in recent years to wear Crocs on Yom Kippur. Because worshippers spend most of Yom Kippur at synagogue for prayer services that include long periods of standing, Crocs have been a favored choice among synagogue-goers on the holiday and have gained popularity in the haredi sector because of the difficulty posed by standing through all the prayers.
Elyashiv’s rabbinical ban supports Crocs’ new positioning that emphasizes the shoe’s comfort instead of its dorky style. So does news that the brand was favored by former President George W. Bush during times of tension.[more]
Last week we reported Crocs has coped with its abrupt loss of fashion cachet by targeting “professionals who spend a lot of time on their feet in messy situations, namely: caterers, doctors and nurses.” On Sunday, Maureen Dowd added the presidency to that job list:
Preparing to make a prime-time address explaining why the 2008 economic bailout wasn’t socialism — “We got to make this understandable for the average cat,” the president tells his speechwriters — W. pads around the White House in Crocs, an image that’s hard to get out of your head.
Perhaps Crocs CEO John Duerden had Bush in mind when he said “we want to drive the brand at people who choose to be happy, rather than right.” Mission accomplished!