Though Crocs—the rubbery, clog-like shoes commonly worn by toddlers and senior citizens—are almost universally mocked in the fashion world, it turns out they make for pretty decent footwear in the kitchen. Close-toed yet breathable, durable yet built for comfort, the shoes lend themselves well to the demands of the kitchen—an arena where cooks spend countless hours on their feet, spilling ingredients and dropping heavy pots and pans.

Still, there's one chef who might be considered the godfather of the foam clog: Mario Batali. For years, the chef has become known for his signature look of cargo shorts, fleece vests, and Crocs. But when the company announced it would be discontinuing his favorite colorway—a blindingly bright orange—he ran into a problem.

Appearing on the Rachael Ray Show, Batali explained how he stockpiled a "lifetime supply" of his favorite shoes before it was too late, rivaling the dedication of even the most ardent sneakerhead.

“Crocs and I had a long relationship, and they decided to discontinue this particular color—the one that has the light, refreshing airy holes,” he explained, holding up an orange shoe with a Batman pin stuck in it. “But we asked, before they finished the run, for what we perceived to be a lifetime supply.”​

Batali ultimately decided that 200 pairs were enough to last the 55-year-old chef until his 130th birthday. The anecdote is amusing in and of itself, but the story becomes even more ridiculous considering Crocs continues to sell a Bistro Mario Batali Edition shoe, which the chef could presumable get his hands on at anytime. Still, Batali has sentimental reasons for his love of the orange shoe. 

"Orange became the nation family Batali color when my kids were two and four," the chef said in an interview with Inc in 2013. "In their early days, in the late-'90s, everybody in the West Village [of Manhattan] had their children dress just like them, which was in black or gray. My children started wearing orange and yellow coats so we could identify them in a sea, because there's nothing more frightening than not being able to find your children."

"My wife bought me orange Crocs when I opened my very first restaurant, Po," he added. "When Crocs came out, it was obvious that they had built them for me." 

Though Batali has more than enough orange Crocs to last him, there's still no word on whether he's given his buddy Action Bronson a pair.

[via Footwear News]