Crocs and escalators

No one in my family wears Crocs — too expensive. Well, even if they weren’t, they’d still look too clunky for my size 6 feet.

But the aesthetics and price of Crocs aside, last week, there was a column about children whose Crocs got caught in escalators. In Singapore, two-year-old Chong Shiyr’s fake Crocs got caught in an escalator in a mall, ripping off her right toe. At the Atlanta International Airport, a three-year-old girl had two toes partially amputated after her (presumably genuine) Crocs got caught in the escalator.

My eyebrows raised somewhat upon reading that a spokesperson for Crocs said that “The popularity of our shoes has helped draw attention to a long-existing issue that we think is very important–escalator safety.” But since I am not a Crocs user, I wouldn’t really know if this is a footwear or an escalator issue.

I’ve searched Google News for more details on these incidents (including an earlier one involving a boy, a story published in the Singapore Straits Times, according to Jojo Robles’ column) and came up with nothing. I thought this was no big story until it became the topic of conversation among parents at a wake we went to on Saturday evening.

A friend’s 4-year-old daughter has a pair of Crocs — acquired free, I might add, from a gift certificate that came with a Hewlett-Packard printer that my friend’s mother bought recently. Naturally, the girl’s parents were the most alarmed from the conversation.

Like I said earlier, I don’t know if the accidents in Singapore and Atlanta were caused by the footwear or the escalators. I do know, however, that it isn’t just footwear that have been in issue when it comes to child safety in escalators.

When Sam and Alex were younger, we carried them when we rode in escalators because there have been stories about skirts and ribbons getting caught in the teeth between the escalator steps. We didn’t allow them to step onto escalators until they were about 5 or 6. And, even then, we watched as they stepped onto the escalator and we held their hands.

Of course, we don’t have to do that anymore today. But for those with young children, Crocs or no Crocs, it’s better to be safe in escalators.

I should mention too that despite extreme peer pressure, we never bought the girls those shoes with retractable wheels.

UPDATE @ 12.54 a.m.

Apparently, I used the wrong keyword when searching for the Crocs stories earlier. I searched for “Crocs escalator” and came up with these:

Soft-soled shoes like Crocs, flip-flops and sandals are increasingly causing problems when they meet the top or bottom step of the escalator and get stuck in the metal. (ABC 7 News)

Soft Soles Fall Fashion Victim to Escalators (Washington Post)

Link to a scanned page of a Singaporean newspaper with the story of Chen Junyan (with a photo of the footwear he was wearing when the accident happened).

In Canada, a 4-year-old boy from Toronto was luckier — he was unharmed although his purple Crocs were ruined when they got caught in an escalator. Details and a video of the boy and his ruined Crocs in City News Canada.


  1. Lorena C. Marzan says

    Connie, good morning, its 630am here in my favorite place SF, (but of course Bo. Bayanihan is where I left my heart) we are having spare the air today, and yesterday SF was stinking like horse shit bec of hot temperature. Yes, do more research and u’ll be amazed on up to what extent these ladies go thru to wear those stilletos. On another topic, ur article on formaldehyde also caught attention, i think we better go back to using the “gugu”, it was also discussed in yesterday’s Oprah remembrance of the Katrina where families are getting sick living on the trailers which has formadehyde

  2. says

    Crocs on escalators has just about the same effect as flipflops on escalators.

    If you think of the number of crocs sold vs the number of crocs stuck on escalators, it does not seem much.

    Plus, if it was because of the crocs, why does it happen mostly (or only?) to those worn by kids and not to crocs worn by adults?

    Thing is, whatever your child is wearing, it is always important to make sure that you check where they are standing… not too close to the side where anything might get caught.

  3. says

    Months ago, daphne osena posted the pic of her son’s mangled crocs in her flickr page. I guess she must have taken it down.
    My kids have “crooks”- the fake ones haha. And I only let them wear theirs when playing at home, basta not when I know we’ll be riding escalators.

    • says

      Oh, and my hubby, ever so dandy, taught our kids how to safely ride the escalator: stay in the middle of the step, don’t let any part of the shoes touch the yellow lines, and hawak sa rails. Vera has now become quite OC with these rules :D

      • says

        I just bought a pair of Crocs for my 5 year old daughter today because she has been asking for one for the last 6 months now. I got them on sale for $14 from $29. My husband has one for when he goes fishing and walking the dog. He says they are very comfortable and light. I almost got one myself but I still feel that $30 for Maryjane style is too much for plastic rubber shoes.

        About the Crocs accidents, I would say it’s USER ERROR. When using the escalator, I am very conscious of where my feet are or if I have my child with me, I make sure she steps out or I carry her. Just how long is an escalator ride, is it enough to doze off? Are they one a mile long escalator?

  4. says

    Lorena, I know that Noli de Castro picked up my Sunsilk/formaldehyde entry and comment thread on his radio show… but the entry made it to Oprah? What? Noooo… That’s too lucky hehe Just the topic, perhaps?

    AnP, are there stats on flipflops and elevator accidents?

    Chats, yeah, the photo isn’t there anymore. “Crooks” pala tawag sa fake Crocs. LOL How very apt!

  5. Lorena C. Marzan says

    Connie, here is the link for Oprah’s Katrina segment.
    My favorite episodes are the ones with Dr. Oz as guest. Everything here in the US is about supersizing, and of course there will be a side effect to everything, whatever it is, chemical, food, alcohol, coffee or medicine, we should all take everything in moderation. I myself can’t even take a tablet of Tylenol, the more that I get sick, I stick to plain old Lipton tea, lemon and honey whenever I am feeling down. As you’ve heard, US is recalling a lot of toys bec of lead which affects kids brain when too much is present in the toys or playground they go to.

  6. says

    Ahhh, ok, Chats mentioned formaldehyde in the Sunsilk entry’s comment thread. So prolonged exposure has visible effects. This may be the much-awaited break.

  7. says

    @ Lorena/Connie: hindi kaya ang mga sahig namin ang dahilan sa palaging pagkakasakit ng mga anak ko??? gosh, nakaka praning. We did not build this house, so i’m not sure of the quality of the floor boards used. But i’m sure they’re MDF. argh.

    • says

      KK, as long as she’s safe, hope she enjoys her Crocs. :)

      Chats, you know formaldehyde in adhesives used on wooden floors (including board particles, right?) got me thinking. In our old house in the city, we had wooden floors. When we moved to the suburb, the new house has tiled concrete floors only. The kids rarely got sick since the move but then again, the less polluted air and the relative quiet may be factors too.

        • Lorena C. Marzan says

          galit na si BatJay, balik tayo sa traditional na “bakya” (wooden clogs)
          on formaldehyde: I immediately checked the Cream Silk that I have been using for about a month now, there it is::: formaldehyde. alam ko masama akong damo, pero huwag naman akong imbalsamohan while I am still trying to put a mark on this earth. The Katrina issue is really an extreme case, they had no alternative but to live in these trailers but for shampoos, we can have a choice not to buy them, for those being used in construction, it should be regulated by the Phils trade and industry agency. Today, Sept 5th here in the US another recall for Mattel toys, I am hoping that those toys will not be dumped to the Philippines.

          • says

            flip flops are just about as easy to get caught in escalators as crocs — i believe it’s both the escalators and the footwear, flip flops and crocs are soft and will snag on something with teeth.

            a friend’s son’s SHOES got caught at shangri-la mall’s escalators. it might be the escalators ;P

  8. says

    She is enjoying them and insists it goes well with anything because I would not let her were it with church clothes..

    Re: formaldehyde – I went to the Filipino store about a month ago treated myself with a Filipino conditioner. Take note “treat” because a small tube of conditioner costs $4.00. I was hoping to get Cream Silk white but they ran out so I took Sunsilk instead. After I got home I happen to look at the ingredients and formaldehyde was listed, I was very disappointed but did want to burn more gas driving back. It was nice on the hair though I was really bothered that I was slathering Formaldehyde on my head. I haven’t used it since then.

  9. Lorena C. Marzan says

    sa Rustan’s ba?, I saw a lot of balikbayans buying the havaianas flip flops last December 2007

  10. Lorena C. Marzan says

    my crocs $20.00 from one of the kiosk inside Westfield shopping mall, $8.00 fake ones at Walgreens

    • Lorena C. Marzan says

      $20.00 hindi kasama tax of 8.5%, nakipagdeal sa akin yong salesperson, siguro ibnulsa niya for his merienda yong $20.00 cash na bayad ko, I rarely pay cash kasi pag credit card merong reward points

    • Lorena C. Marzan says

      a $100.00 almost , iinvest ko na lang sa Manulife, we had fun buying at Divi slippers, and sandals that I now use here in SF whenever the temperature rises above 60 deegrees. I think we paid 5K for more than 20 pairs

  11. says

    May 2,500 daw but the latest styles are 4K and 5K. Hay, naku, kung magaling lang sana ako magbenta eh bakit nga ba hindi. Kaso, kahit tig-piso na raffle ticket, hirap pa ko makabenta. hehehehe

  12. says

    I don’t think it’s the shoes. Escalators are designed to be safe. No matter how spiky my shoes are (that they keep catching pebbles when I walk on pebbly surfaces) they never get caught in escalators. Even when I “forget” to step off them (on purpose). :D

    Must be something else there. ;)

  13. says

    There was a similar incident here, reported by TV Patrol a week ago, with matching escalator test with a genuine pair of Crocs. Don’t know if ABS-CBN Interactive put it up though.

  14. says

    I found about this through another pinoy expat blogger sometime earlier this month. Natakot nga ako. My kids don’t like Crocs too much because they look “funny” daw. They prefer flip-flops but I think they’re also on the “danger” list.

    Tama ka, we should just carry our kids when riding the escalator. At least until they’re around 6 years old.

    Eh what can you say about parents who put their kids in strollers and ride the escalator? Pababa?

  15. says

    just last week, when I was in a shopping mall here in China, my wife asked me to look for crocs. the ignorant me thought she’s asking for something from lacoste. mga sandals daw pala yun na makulay :P

  16. says

    The Crocs of Daphne Osena’s daughter got caught in an escalator in Rustan’s many months ago. I was looking for the link in her blog but I think she has put it down. Anyway, here’s what remains of it:

    Check out what happened to these Havaianas of Francis & Pia Magalona’s son after another escalator incident:

    I understand that every box of Crocs comes with an escalator warning. But, like you, I think the bigger issue here is escalator safety. Anyone, particularly children, getting on an escalator must stay in place in the middle and away from any moving joints other than the step he’s on.

  17. Lorena C. Marzan says

    I was walking by Powell on my way to work and there was pair of Nine West Stilletos left under a tree, i was nosy, so i took a peek, the heel was broken, poor girl, she had to walk without shoes for the rest of the evening, unless she ran to Walgreens to buy some flipflops and fake Crocks $8.00 they are so hard compare to the real one. do u know that ladies here in the US even go to the podiatrist to have their feet surgically altered to fit into those Manolo Blahniks?

  18. says

    The Mentat, escalators are safe when they’re new. We were at Robinson’s Galleria last week and the escalators are so old that they jerk. My husband says the teeth are so sharp that if you bump into them more than slightly, you’ll get serious cuts.

    Jon, and what did the test prove?

    Kongkong, the parent should step onto the escalator first and then the stroller but with the rear end first. Even in stairs, that’s the safer way to do it.

    kotsengkuba, LOL but it makes sense ha. Crocs = Lacoste. :razz:

    Carol, so there have been local incidents. Apparently, the media hasn’t been picking them up. Intentionally or not?

  19. says


    That escalators’ teeth manage to pierce and chew through the Croc’s sole where the toes rest. Hindi naman nashred yung sole, but it was gory imagining if tiny feet were there.

  20. says

    Jon, wow, how different from the actual incidents. In the case of the Singaporean girl (although she was wearing fake Crocs) and the one in Atlanta, tinamaan ang toes. And the boy… did you see the scanned copy of the paper in the link?

  21. says

    Crocs remind me of Doc Martens of the 80s – ugly shoes. It’ll be one of those “did I really wear that?” 10 years from now :)

  22. says

    I’m sure the discrepancies were due to the fact that a metal block/weight was placed in lieu of a real foot. Weight distribution would have been different. They did show pictures of the cases in the US where the victims suffered broken toes. The local victim they featured (a child) fortunately just had wounded feet.

  23. Lorena C. Marzan says

    Crocs, crocs, crocs, featured by Regis & Kelly and she really worshipped how comfy they are. I’ve noticed more and more nurses and medical professionals are wearing them here in the US. they’re also good for diabetics since they can’t wear closed shoes. I have a pair and it is one of my prized possessions. I think the key word is whether we are on the elevator, escalator, or the potholed streets of Manila, we should just always be aware of our surroundings and pay attention to things, people, or equipments that is within our arm’s length.

  24. says

    i personally witnessed one such incident in edsa shangri-la mall. a little boy’s crocs got caught in the escalator. he was inconsolable. the mommy just kept on massaging the boy’s feet while the latter was bawling his eyes out (the mall security guard and another shangri-la employee were there with the mommy). i think the elevator-eating-crocs thingie has something to do with the sole of the rubber shoe getting caught in the teeth of the escalator steps. if you ask me, instead of a “safety” statement, crocs should make a study/experiment if it’s true or not (calling on the mythbusters!) for the safety of crocs’ customers.

  25. says

    Lorena, I agree that care is essential. Still, apparel — shoes especially — should be subject to safety standards (and that goes for the killer stilletos too LOL)

    Glenville, was this recent?

  26. says

    An article was posted in Kikay Exchange a few days ago about another incident involving Crocs and escalators, this time in Megamall. Read the original post here.