Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ode to my Sperry's




I purchased my Sperry's last Christmas at a hectic shoe sale at Dillard's. The place was packed. There were women everywhere with associates frantically trying to keep the peace and find shoe sizes for the customers. As I picked through last season's flats and ugly heels, I spotted them. A beautiful pair of brown checkered Sperry Topsiders. Oh, they were perfect. I snatched them and held them close. No way I was letting these gems get away. I brought them up to the counter with my mother and bought them. I have never been more satisfied with a shoe purchase (ok, exaggeration. At that same time I also bought a pair of ruby red boots that are also adorable. But for the sake of the story THESE were the shoes of all shoes).

Fast forward six months. It's summertime and perfect Sperry-wearin' weather. They go great with shorts and can be worn without socks. Could it get any better? Well, yes because throughout the summer I noticed that after I wore my beautiful Sperry's my feet would turn red and itch. Not just any old mosquito bite itch. A burning, uncontrollable itch that would keep me up at night clawing my feet off. I went to the Health center and they concluded the problem was contact dermatitis (basically an allergic reaction). They gave me some cream and some pills and sent me on my way.

Everything's fixed right? Wrong.

A few weeks later the problem returned. I went to a dermatologist and got a patch allergy test. What did they conclude? I am allergic to a certain kind of rubber that happens to be one of the main materials in, you guessed it, Sperry Topsiders.

How could this be? I tried everything. I wore socks. I put the allergy cream on before I wore them, but nothing worked. 24 hours in my precious Sperry's leave me begging on my knees before the allergic reaction gods.

So goodbye dear Sperry's. I will miss you. We've had some good times, but this relationship is just too destructive. It's not me, it's you.

45 comments:

  1. I'll have them for you! that way you can still see them!! that is if they fit me.

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  2. Haha!! Love! Funny, great writing style. I'm very very excited for your new blog. May this one continue for many years and amuse the 75-year-old Morgan rocking on her porch :)

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  3. THe same shit happened to me, but I had hugeeee blisters for a week. Like puss blisters, so bad. I couldnt walk or wear any of my shoes because my feet were so swollen. I ended up getting staph in my ankle a few months later because of the wounds

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  4. This happened to my son last summer and we thought it was poison ivy and he stopped wearing the shoes. However, yesterday (springtime) I bought him a new pair and he tried them on and wore them around the house for 5 minutes but is miserable because his feet started itching later that night. We had an aha moment this morning when we realized it was never a poison ivy issue but a Sperry Topsiders issue! I've set out to search the web and see if this is a common issue. Note that he has NO other allergies.

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  5. I had the same -rash all over feet -swelling, itching. Socks did not help. I've gone through antibiotics and three Dr. appts. I've never had allergic reaction to any chemical. Now I find that it is a chemical reaction to the sperry topsiders that I love.

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  6. same thing happened to me! wonder if both the leather and the canvas types have the same rubber chemical? i'm not allergic to anything else either ..

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  7. This just happened to my brother-in-law this week. I'm curious if anyone has contacted Sperry to let them know about this? It doesn't seem right that so many people are having allergic reactions to these shoes. My BIL has worn topsiders his whole life, so I'm wondering if they have changed how they are making the shoes. He had to spend the day in the emergency room because his feet got so swollen and blistered. They looked like they had been burned and you could see the outline of the shoes. It was really unbelievable.

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  8. Me, too! Do you recall what the offending chemical is? I'd like to avoid it from here on out.

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  9. I'm having this problem also. I actually wore my Sperry's about a year ago (with socks) and had no issues, this year, about 2 weeks ago I wore them without socks, and my feet are making me crazy, 2 weeks after I stopped wearing them.Something hazardous has to be in this shoe material. Note they are made in China. Was that always true? doubt it. Now I have to go thru a process to hopefully determine what the substance is in this shoe as each time I'm exposed to it this horrible rash will reappear. I'm wondering when we all bought these shoes and what lot they are from.
    Our experiences with China manufactured materials have caused more recalls than I care to know about. Perhaps these shoes should be on the list as well. I've never had a problem before now.

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  10. I had my feet seen by a physician today. I've been told my feet are'burned' from wearing those shoes. It's not a contact rash, but a burn like a really bad sunburn. I think the company needs to be contacted about these shoes. Mine are canvas. The rash is the outline of the shoe on the top and sides of my feet. I have photos. Headquarters for this company is in Lexington, Ma. Has anyone tried contacting them about these problems? They definitely need to know this is happening, possibly the process in China has caused this issue and they don't know it.

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  11. My daughers feet look like they have had acid poured on them from wearing these shoes. Here is the information to contact Sperry.

    E-mail
    customerservice@sperrytopsider.com

    Phone
    For all other inquiries please call us at 1-800-617-2239.

    Mail
    SperryTopSider.com Customer Service
    4200 South A Street
    Richmond, IN 47374


    Sperry Top-Sider Corporate Offices
    Sperry Top-Sider, Inc.
    191 Spring St
    Lexington, MA 02420

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  12. I had the exact same thing happen to me last summer! So strange, I never knew it was an epidemic. I do not have a problem with A/O's, just the canvas shoes.

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  13. Do you recall how long it took to heal? My daughter hasnt worn shoes for a week. Any medications or suggestions?

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  14. I have just had the same problem! It is the most awful rash/burn ever. It itches like there will never be an end to it. I just got over a month long outbreak, but now it is back. I finally figured out it was my new pair of Sperry's. Too bad; I love them. These are canvas pink/green plaid. I have another pair in the same exact style, but they are leather. I've had no problems with them. If you have this and it is really itchy and bad, go to a dermatologist immediately and let him/her know the background info and they will prescribe a steroid to help clear it up quicker and relieve some of the itching.

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  15. The same thing happened to me. I went to see a doctor and she thought it was scabies. My family thought that was ridiculous, how could I get that? So, I guess I'm allergic to whatever rubber is in there also... Does anyone know if Sperry-Topsider offers refunds/exchanges?

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  16. Same here. I thought it was just the sweat in the summer. Wore my Sperry's yesterday and my feet are pitiful this morning. Ouch. I want my money back.

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  17. Jennie--
    I wore the same model of Sperry for many years, and suddenly a new pair cause an awful reaction. Sperry had me send them in for testing. That was a year ago, and I haven't heard a word.

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  18. Exact same thing here. Currently going through it, as I type. Over summer, all I wore was my Sperrys. I still do. There's my mistake. My feet itch so bad, and like you, my doctor told me it was Contact Dermatitis. Took the pills, and didn't help. He then thought it was Poison oak. Wrong once again. It's so sad that I have to come to the conclusion of finding out my sperrys are the cause. I love them.

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  19. Wow!! I can't believe I found this blog. I thought I was the only freak who got a rash from Sperry's. Its terrible, like a huge hive on my feet and toes. I've had to double my allergy meds to help take the edge off. I hope someone can figure this one out.

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  20. Holy crap! We have been thru all of these same issues. 2 ER visits due to uncontrollable itching. We've seen 5 drs, 1 ped, 1 rheumatologist , 3 dermatologists and finally figured out it was the Sperry's. Only because she wore them 1st time since February & the rash came back. I will be looking into this further. We had too many sleepless nights. Would also like a refund from all this BS.

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  21. Holy smokies! I'm experiencing my first round of Sperry Topsider allergies. Horrible, horrible rash, my feet feel like they are literally on fire. I went to the dr. today at one of those 24 hour emergency clinics, he said he had seen a 17 year old kid just a couple of hours before me with the same rash, same symptoms, and had worn the same shoe, Sperry Topsiders. I have 1 pair that I've had a year (the canvas with the blue/green plaid), and purchased another pair a few days ago. Thank goodness I haven't even worn the new pair, because they're going back to the store, well, as soon as I can stand to wear shoes. Right now barefoot is about the only thing giving me relief. I just thought I'd run a quick google search and see what popped up. All I can say is...WOW.

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  22. I just had the exact same problem with my Sperrys that I purchased a year ago. I was able to wear them at first with no problem, but they say allergies can appear out of nowhere after multiple exposures. I guess that is what is happening. The tops of my feet are red, swollen and covered in blisters in the exact outline of my shoes, that I wore just one time so far this year the other day. The same thing happened to me over the winter but I suspected a different pair of shoes. I'm going to request allergy testing so I can figure out exactly what it is I am allergic too. I'm glad I'm not the only one.

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  23. OMG...I did not know this many people ave experienced the same thing my daughter is now.....she has no other allergies other than molds....there can't be no way that this company does not know about this issues with their shoes....

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  24. Stop the madness!!! I have the same shoe issue - my red rash looks like I still have my shoes on, but in a nice shade of red small bumps, outlined perfectly where my fabulous Sperry's line up!! Ugh!! I have had the rash for 2 weeks and know that I got it from one hot day of sweating, with no socks on, in the leather uppers. I will be in touch with this company showing the pictures and finding out what they know of the history of this issue. Loved the shoes - HATE the reaction!!

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  25. This happened to me a few years ago and I ended up on oral steroids (prednisone) and topical steroids to clear it up!! I knew immediately it was from the sperrys as the chemical burns were on the contour of my feet. 3-4 years late I still have scars on my feet from the burn. They literally gave me chemical burns. I have to say tho, despite the itch being unbearable, itching felt so good hahah. I emailed the company but never heard back.

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    Replies
    1. I also experienced this issue. Wasn't sure if I was the only one. Do you think it's something we can be compensated for? I also have dark scars on my feet

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  26. OMG! I am so glad I googled this but sad so many people have suffered from this same problem. Everything I have read is identical to my situation but I was hard headed & after I heal from a breakout I tried them again only to have it occur again! At least now I can cancel my dr. appt I was
    going to get a prescription I don't need. So sad that after people report this to the company they have not responded to the complaints. Thanks for the relief that it is not just another issue of turning 40! I have 8 pairs of Sperry's and 4 give me this reaction!

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  27. Oh my gosh I had my first pair of sperrys last year they were so vute and I loved them I wore them all the time with no issue then one day after school my feet began to itch ridiculously ans it kept me up through the entire night scratching my feet until my skin began to peel off the next morning I went to cheer practice and it hurt so much to jump,stunt and even workout my coavh asked me what was wrong then I told her my feet were burning and itched lije crazy she wanted to see but I didnt let her. I then went jome again that night and the itching continued through out the night, the next morning when I woke up for practice the top of my feet felt really tight like I couldnt even scruntch my toes I looked at my feet and the were super swollen and had huge ugly blisters and the feeling was soooo unexplainable I just wanted to chop off my feet. I showed my mom and she freaked out and schedualed a doctors appt. I still went to practice and showed my coach she was disqusted my foot seriously looked disqusting and I could even fit into any of my shoes. I finally went to the doctor and she just gave me some cream to rub on. After a week it went away. Recently I wore my new plaid sperrys I bought this year only once and my foot reaction is back it reallllly hurts and burns. Im afraid to tell my coach its back because we have competition this weekend and I dont want to let my team down. I have been putting on whats left of my cream though hopefully it goes away. has anyone contacted Sperry company about this? They are such cute shoes but not worth the pain....

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  28. I had the same reaction with the Bahamas canvas Sperry's, in both the blue and pink plaid. My feet were bright red, super itchy to the point I could not sleep at night, and blisters the size of M&M's on the top of my feet greeted me the following day. That was the worst and last time. I haven't used them since late summer and will not wear them ever again. The company has not answered. I have pictures to show them, but they obviously do not care. Sad because this was a reputable US company (or so I thought) and now their China made shoes are first rate crap. It would be nice if they at least told me the materials in their canvas shoes so I knew to stay away from that in the future. Super cute and comfy but the scars from the ugly blisters will remind me forever to stay away from Sperry.

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  29. I had same problem. I had to throw mine away. Even with socks my Sperry canvas turned my tops of feet into blisters, red itchy painful and lasted for weeks. Something is very wrong with these canvas shoes by Sperry. Mine said they were made in China. Other canvas shoes that were a different brand did not effect my feet.

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  30. Does anyone know if their had been anykinf of leagal action taken about this. My daughter is dealing with this right now. Chemical burns on her feet.

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  31. This happened to me too... I bought my Sperry topsiders before a trip to Barbados in January. I wore them about 4 times there and had a horrible reaction. My feet swelled a little and got very red/ itchy. I figured I must not have put sunscreen on my feet the first day or two on my vacation but I finally figured out the problem. This past weekend I wore them again for the first time since my trip. No socks. As soon as I took off the shoes something clicked in my head that it was the shoes NOT the lack of sunscreen. This time after wearing the shoes about 10 hours my reaction was much worse. I had about 8 blisters on the top of one foot and a few on the other, my feet are red and itchy and the outline of the shoe is around my foot. This is ridiculous that so many people have this issue. I am going to contact the company. I drive by Lexington 3 days a week for work... I should stop by today and show them my feet!

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  32. A year ago, I went through the same thing. Several Dr. visits later, it was determined that the shoes are the issue. I contacted consumer protection and they referred me to Wolverine Worldwide, A consumer relations firm that works for Sperry. They asked me to send them the shoes(I sent one) to do testing. Surprise! The test came back and they "meet all safety standards". They sent this letter to consumer protection to keep their name clean and to blow me off. I'm contacting them again today. We'll see what happens...

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  33. Me too. I also loved topsiders. These canvas ones really burned my feet.

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  34. I have the exact same problem! I have the leopard print top siders and a pair of the faded black ones. After wearing either pair for less than a day, the tops of my feet and toes were swollen up and red/pink/rashy looking. They itch and burn terribly as well! Ive tried washing them and anythign else you could think of. I have the same reaction every time I wear them. When I wear other slipons, like Vans or Converse,
    ihave never had problems with them. I only have problems after Ive worn my Sperrys.

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  35. I didn't read the entire thread but I was told today by my naturopathic doctor that I am allergic to all shoes made in China which doesn't leave many cute shoes. He sent me to the sas store and I cried b/c they were the ugliest shoes ever. Anyway, I'm interested to know what shoes do not give you that reaction.

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  36. The same thing happened to me! And the weird thing is, I used to wear them all the time. But one summer I went down to Arizona and once I came back, I had a horrible, itching, burning reaction to my shoes. I thought maybe I sweated a lot in them when I was down there. They were old anyway, so I threw them away.
    I went out a week or two later, bought a brand new pair and within hours my feet were burning and I had to leave the place I was hanging out at just to go home and take them off.
    Odd thing is, they are only the Bahama styled Sperry's that my feet have an allergic reaction to. I can wear the Authenic, Angelfish, Bluefish, I've tried all of them and my feet are fine. But the Bahama ones, I can never wear again.

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  37. My feet are burning and itching as I type this. I have two pairs of topsides amd both have caused this reaction. I thought it was from them rubbing the tops of my feet but this time around I was just sitting at work all day. Went home and toke off my Sperrys and five minutes later I've got this crazy rash/ burn again.

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  38. I thought Ii was going crazy until I read that other people had the same reaction! Saturday I purchased my first pair of Sperrys (I had always wanted a pair) well I wore them Sunday for about 2hts max. I took them off when I came home and noticed two huge light red patches on top of both feet. I thought well they're new shoes and the material just rubbed them that's what it was. NOPE so they started to itch so I put cortazone 10 hoping it would give me some relief. WRONG again! I was scared to scratch because I thought it would spread because I didnt know if some dirty chick with foot fungus tried them on before me. Next day... holy shit iooked like I had pregnant girls feet that had been burned with an extremely hot iron cast skillet! And I'm not exaggerating! I immediately bought lamasil thinking it was a foot rash and went to wk. Omg I was so miserable I wanted to peel my skin off thats how bad the itching was. I asked to go to the ER and sure enough I was allergic to whatever the damn shoe was made out of. I received two injections and three medications. I got so much relief I was able to sleep with out clawing at my skin. The swelling went away 100% and the itching went away about 90%. If you happen to get a reaction like this from these shoes PLEASE go get seen!

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  39. Another victim here as well, 30 years wearing Topsiders just about exclusively, now every pair I've tried (four in the last two years) all chemically burn my feet after a few hours wearing them.

    So has anyone heard if Sperry is doing anything about this? I know you can buy the 'original' Sperry's on their website for about $300 a pair, as much as I love the shoes I can't see dropping more than $1200 to replace the four pair I have now...

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  40. The same thing happened to me about 3 years ago. I haven't worn sperry's since, but today I experienced the same rash and itching. I got a new pair of keds and I am praying that it's not the shoes since I love them so much!!

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  41. OMG, I had the same thing happen to me back in 2008. I attributed the reaction to stress, since I have never had an allergy to anything. Being a science teacher, and willing to experiment, I tried wearing the shoes again once the stress had been relieved. Of course, I experienced the same reaction. While I really liked the shoes, I was not willing to wear them again, and risk the same reaction. Recently, I purchased a pair of Keds that were very much like the Sperry's. I wore them yesterday, and about 10:00 last night, my feet started itching and burning. Fortunately, I had worn socks, but the itching/hive-like blisters formed at the ankle line where the socks had not covered my foot, and the shoes contacted my skin. My intent is to contact Keds and see what is going on. Hopefully, I will receive a response.

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  42. Wow I've been experiencing the same symptoms since I started wearing Sperrys Bahama last year march. I never had anything like this and it gave me such a hard time in many ways. My doctor said it was Contact Dermatitis due to the shoes. I am not allergic to anything at all. This was the first time I experienced continuous rash and blisters after wearing something. After recovering I wanted to test if i could wear it again after doing a special antibacterial clean (I used a professional shoe cleaning company). The result was rash again! I am a Korean living in Korea and we don't even have Sperry here so for customer service I need to contact them in the states. Also I doubt they will reply. This is so frustrating. We all have a right to be informed about exactly what kind of material they used in making these shoes. I don't even anticipate they would offer a refund or anything but at least they should stop using those materials and we should be informed so we can avoid the reactions. Have this matter been on public or social media in U.S? I think it should be.

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