I received a pair of black Crocs as a Christmas gift from my daughter, son-in-law, and three grandchildren. My first comment was, "Didn't these shoes go out of style years ago?" My grandchildren, ages 22, 18, and 16, chuckled because they knew their 77-year-old grandma was out of the loop and was quite unaware that her gift was going to propel her into the current trend.
Lessons I Learned About Crocs
I did some research and discovered I had been given the perfect gift. I learned the following things about Crocs.
I was right. Crocs were first designed as boating shoes in 2001. They became popular in 2002 because they could be worn in the water and on land. The shoes were called Crocs as the shortened word for "crocodiles."
I was wrong because I did not know that Crocs had been resurrected in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. A lot of employees, including men and women, were working from home and did not need to wear dress shoes around the house. School children were learning virtually. Therefore, the entire family owned at least one pair of Crocs. My teenage granddaughter owns four pairs in different colors, a different pair for each season.
I learned that all Crocs for small kids and adults have exactly 13 holes on top to allow for ventilation to let out excess moisture to keep the shoes fresh. The holes are also good to hold decorations called Jibbitz. They are charms for Crocs similar to charms for bracelets. Jibbitz can be added to show the wearer's unique style and creativity. My daughter gave me my first Jibbitz, a beautiful pink and gold butterfly.
Downfall and Restoration of Crocs
By 2014, Crocs Inc. had taken such a major hit that 100 Crocs stores closed, 180 employees lost their jobs, and a pair of Crocs could be purchased for only $0.79. Today's Jibbitz cost more than a pair of Crocs during that time.
While some companies went out of business during the onset of COVID-19 in 2020-2022, Crocs, Inc. is a company that began to thrive. Crocs experienced a surge in sales. Most people in the know own at least one pair of Crocs these days.
Description of Crocs
Crocs were inspired by the Dutch clog. While they were originally designed to be boating shoes, they are worn today for other reasons. Like the design of clogs, Crocs were also designed to be easy to take on and off, which is great for running errands. They can be worn with or without socks.
Crocs are made in a variety of styles and colors. The classic styles are available in more than 20 colors that cost between $49.99 and $64.99. Some cost as much as $100 depending on where you purchase them. Most other styles are made in four to six colors or two-color combinations.
Some people make the mistake of saying Crocs are made of plastic or rubber. That is not true. Crocs are made of a patented foam called Croslite. The foam, which is exclusive to Crocs, is actually closed-cell resin. In 2018, LiteRide was introduced. That material is “25% lighter and 40% softer than Croslite, while still providing shock absorption and support.”
Crocs feature comfort and style with a 1.6-inch platform sole all the way around
They are incredibly lightweight and fun to wear. Crocs have a roomy fit with a strap that can be worn on the heel or on the top of the shoe.
Crocs are so comfortable that the company sent 100,000 pairs of shoes to hospitals to be distributed to the staff because healthcare workers must be on their feet for long hours at a time.
Jibbitz designs for children feature Disney characters. There are also Jibbitz for men and women decorations. They cost $4.99 for a single clip or $16.99 to $19.99 for multipacks. The little charms for Crocs are similar to charms for bracelets.
Crocs' trademark registrations and applications cover more than footwear. The company has also released a line of purses in a variety of colors to match the Crocs.
Crocs' logo is used on non-footwear products, such as sunglasses, goggles, knee pads, watches, luggage, and some of their Internet sales activities.
Negative Press About the Original Crocs
A 2006 article in The Washington Post described Crocs:
"Nor is the fashion world enamored of Crocs. Though their maker touts their 'ultra-hip Italian styling,' lots of folks find them hideous."
Crocs were ranked the sixth worst thing to happen for men in 2007. During his show Real Time, comedian Bill Maher stated:
"People should "stop wearing plastic shoes."
Fashion consultant Tim Gunn told Time in 2008:
"[The Croc] looks like a plastic hoof. How can you take that seriously?"
Maher and Gunn were wrong. Crocs are not plastic shoes.
Positive Press Boosted Sales
Just as negative press about Crocs years ago caused a decrease in sales, the positive press helped Crocs become popular again.
Like other products, Crocs became even more popular in 2020 and 2021 when celebrities began wearing and talking about them. The shoes caught the public eye in 2021 when celebrities such as Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj, Ariana Grande, Post Malone, Questlove, Bad Bunny, and Kanye West were seen wearing them. That helped to inspire the general public to purchase Crocs and to embrace the shoes as something "cool and comfortable." The rest is "Crocs history."
Do You Own a Pair of Crocs?
Crocs are one of the top 10 non-athletic footwear brands in the world today. More than 700 million pairs have been sold in more than 90 countries worldwide.
In September 2021, Crocs Inc. announced that it expects revenue to increase to more than $5 billion by 2026.
My youngest grandson and his girlfriend took me out to Olive Garden during the holiday. The invitation said:
Therefore, all three of us were rocking our Crocs!