Former Grist intern Jocelyn Tutak has written a short but interesting piece for the Sustainable Style Foundation‘s SASS Magazine in which she describes her love/hate relationship with Dansko clogs:

My paying job keeps me on my feet – literally – for eight hours a day. At about a mile an hour (oh yes, I clocked it with a pedometer), I put in forty miles a week just at work. My feet were no longer happy with me and quite vocal about it. I needed arch support, and I needed it bad.

Enter Dansko’s Professional clog, the shoe of choice for doctors, nurses, chefs, and nearly anyone else whose job requires more than a bit of standing. This shoe carries the “Seal of Acceptance from the American Podiatric Medical Association.” So I do a little research. My coworkers swear by them, and I even get a deal on buying them for work. The website promotes peace and earth-friendliness, and began as a mom-and-pop business. By looking at the site, the shoes, and those I know who wear them, you’d think they were helping save the world with each pair sold, with each step taken with their anti-skid tread. All is well until I check the specs on this Danish wonder-clog: The inner frame of this happy little shoe is made with PVC.

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For those of you who don’t know (and really, who can keep all these plastics straight), #3 PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, has been deemed the worst of the bunch. Bill Walsh, founder of the Healthy Building Network wrote in Grist that “the weight of available evidence tells us that … it may well be the single most important source of many of the worst toxic chemicals plaguing the global environment today.”

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I can just picture it: Umbra on one shoulder and a tired, sore Jocelyn on the other. Who won out in the end? Find out.

BTW, to all you in the Seattle area on Tuesday … the Sustainable Style Foundation will be hosting Green Drinks. There’s a rumor some Gristers will be attending.