Janet Hommel Mangas: Things I learned recently

I had no idea until this week that shoes had different settings.

Having the opportunity to drive two of my nephews to school last week, as we passed through the garage area where the families’ shoes are kept neatly organized on the way out, fourth-grader Drew asked me an important question.

“Aunt Janet, should I wear my shoes in ‘sport mode’ or ‘casual mode?’” he said.

Looking down at the array of athletic shoes, slides and boots perfectly aligned on the shoe shelf, I scanned the colorful assortment looking for a pair with some sort of new-fangled gadget or batteries.

As I seldom get asked many serious questions by my nephews, I wanted my answer to be concise, helpful and factual. But before I could figure out an answer, or even figure out what in the world he was talking about, he explained.

“I’ll just put them in ‘sport mode,’” Drew said with his endearing half-smile.

Putting his Crocs in ‘sport mode’ means the croc strap is engaged down behind the heel of your foot. ‘Relaxed’ or ‘casual’ mode refers to the heel strap being in up position — out of use — sitting on top of the croc.

Who knew? I obviously missed this social media meme for the past few years.

I also missed the RunnerSpace news that a young man named Benjamin Pacheco ran 5,000 meters in 14:47.62 in May of 2021 at the Portland Track Twilight meet wearing a pair of Crocs. Sport mode, I’m assuming.

In 2017, Benjamin Pacheco and his father Sacha came in 16th and 44th respectively in a field of over 20,000 runners during the Indianapolis half-marathon — wearing Crocs. Again, looking at the beige footwear in photos, in sport mode.

Most of the time, I slip my Crocs on in casual mode — the only time I run with them is to get the trash down to the street before the trash truck comes. It’s nice to know I can always move then into ‘sport mode.’

Thanks Drew.

Janet Hommel Mangas grew up on the east side of Greenwood. The Center Grove area resident and her husband are the parents of three daughters. Send comments to [email protected]