Are Crocs Dead in the Water?

Crocs auditor questions shoemaker's viability on MSNBC.comI’m neither a Crocs lover nor hater, but when I saw this headline on and literally LOL’ed (because of the title, not the subject matter), I just had to share it:

Is the ugly shoe craze about to end?
Crocs auditor questions whether plastic shoe maker can survive

The article discusses how Crocs Inc. lost $185.1 million last year with revenues down almost 15 percent. Two years ago, Crocs had 5,300 employees but at the end of last year, that number was down to 3,700; in particular, manufacturing facilities in Canada and Brazil were closed.

Sounds like Crocs may become another victim in this down economy where people simply have less disposable income to dispose on, say, plastic shoes.

Disclaimer: I actually do own two pairs of fake Crocs bought for 5 euros each at a Chinese store here in Calabria, and I must say they are super comfortable and were a great transition shoe from summer flip-flops to winter boots.

Now I want to know what you think:

Are you going to help keep Crocs in business or what?

Buon weekend!

31 Beans of Wisdom to “Are Crocs Dead in the Water?”
  1. Gil

    I have a feeling that they might last too long in this disposable world that we live in has also hurt sales. The bad economy and the fact that those things never seem to wear out are a bad combination. I might be all wet on this as I don’t own any.

    I think you’re right, Gil…they’ve made them too well! Perhaps they just need to keep creating different styles so people buy the brand….

  2. I think they are cute on kids and I get wearing them in your house or if you are chef/doctor, at work.

    Otherwise not a fan, especially on adult men (ack!). I never understood this trend.

    nyc/caribbean ragazza’s last blog post..Flashback Friday – Birthday Edition – Rush “Tom Sawyer”

    *A lot* of adult men wear them down here (the fake ones, I think), but then again, it is very much a beach culture in the summer…many have them in loud colors too. Shocking, I know, from guys who wear red, pink, and orange pants 😉

  3. 03.20.2009

    Golly, just when I was thinking of getting a pair this year! I’m always a day late and a dollar short! LOL!

    saretta’s last blog post..Pruned to the Bone

    I got my fake pairs last July, which was pretty late in the game as well. If you do get them, let us know what you think!

  4. 03.20.2009

    Though they may be considered a bold fashion statement by some I’ll have to say NO! NO! A thoursand times NO! to plastic clogs. And my downstairs neighbours would rather I didn’t wear the wooden kind.

    Willym’s last blog post..Canon At the Ready

    Hah, we need to find you some nice rubber-soled clogs if you’re *really* needing some clogs 😉

  5. 03.20.2009

    Saretta, I am with you. I was going to write almost word for word what you wrote!! I was just thinking of picking up my very first pair, making me a giorno late and a euro short!!!! HA! I might go ahead anyway. They seem practical for my line of work.

    Diana Strinati Baur’s last blog post..Acqui Terme on Slow Travel

    Diana, I think you’d really like them as they really are super comfy…you can barely feel them on your feet, which is an excellent non-feeling 😉

  6. joanne at frutto della passione

    I use them only when I take my son to swimming lessons. You can’t wear street shoes inside the changing rooms or in the pool area and the crocs are perfect. However I don’t wear them around the house because they create a static build up and I have gotten a couple of really nasty shocks in the house. I have also heard that hospitals in the States and Canada have banned them for this very reason – ironic because they were pretty much created with hospital staff in mind.

    joanne at frutto della passione’s last blog post..Penne rigate alla Vodka – Penne in Vodka sauce

    Oh that is too weird about the static; I haven’t had that problem, thank goodness, but now that I say that….

  7. 03.20.2009

    I like them around my house as they are quiet, comfortable, and warm. I have had other varieties of slippers and they were too noisy when we are trying to give our guests a peaceful place to stay. They have their place, but not for out and about.

    Marla’s last blog post..Finding “La Dolce Vita” along with an Artichoke filled Foccacia

    *Great* point about their being quiet…so true!

  8. 03.20.2009

    No, I can’t do it!!! They are just too ugly. They would even make Gisele Bundschen’s legs look stumpy. And wouldn’t they make your feet all sweaty and stinky in the summer?

    milanese masala’s last blog post..Addicted to DVDs

    They really don’t make your feet sweat, at least not in moderate heat. In extreme heat, bare feet sweat around here 😉 Stumpy legs? Well, maybe, but some of us can’t do much about that anyway 😉

  9. 03.20.2009

    I have a pair of the Mary Jane style Crocs which I think are adorable and practical for running quick errands, taking my daughter for a walk or just being around the house. Just last night I was saying that I wanted to buy a pair of their sandal styles for the spring/summer b/c I’ve heard they’re super comfy. I do think they are super cute on kids too, my daughter has a pair that look too cute on her little feet.

    There are probably better shoes on the market for us as opposed to spending our hard-earned dollars on plastic shoes, so I am not necessarily surprised by this drop in sales/closing of factories,etc. Every good trend has its time and I guess the craze of the Croc is nearing its end.

    Lisa’s last blog post..Too cute to not share

    How funny that the day I wrote this, my mom told me she picked me up a pair of those sandals…guess I’ll find out soon whether I like them (assuming Poste Italiane cooperates) 😉

  10. 03.20.2009

    They’re just too ugly for me. I’m no style icon,but I draw the line somewhere, and that line is just a little bit above ‘ugly plastic shoes’.

    rich’s last blog post..Rogan josh, a king amongst curries

    Duly noted, Rich 🙂 Thanks for coming by and sharing your thoughts!

  11. 03.20.2009

    I’m with nyc/caribbean ragazza on this. My son’s navy blue crocs are cute (but he’s outgrown them) and men in crocs look like dumbasses. Plus, finding out that they were manufactured in Brazil, smells eerily like child labor to me. I don’t think I’ll buy the kid another pair.
    Thanks for the link, I’ll go read more about them, and if need be revise my comment. It’s always bad news when people are out of a job.

    Lola’s last blog post..Fellow eaters forage inspiration

    Indeed. Hopefully some new shoe craze will pick up the slack at least….

  12. 03.20.2009

    The kids love them as they are great at the beach,at the pool, in the sandpit and stomping around in the mud as they are comfy and easy to clean. I have a pair of purple Croc ‘storm trooper’ (as my son calls them) gumboots which i love in winter as they are warm. As a matter of fact i dragged them out of the wardrobe last week 😉

    MsGourmet’s last blog post..Moments of Indulgence

    Photos of you in the storm troopers please!

  13. 03.20.2009

    I don’t like them.
    They smell like chemicals.
    Here they cost $30 a pair. If I pay that much for shoes it will be leather.
    I’m cheap!
    I don’t think the economy is at fault for the decline, they are just out of fashion.
    Remember (in th 70’s) when we only wore Dr. Sholl’s? I lived at the beach then.
    Things come and go.
    I wonder what will be the next new thing.

    jmisgro’s last blog post..French Yogurt Cake

    Yeah, I think you’re right; a certain part of their drop in popularity/sales has to just be that the trend is passing. Shoe styles just don’t last forever.

  14. Lisa

    Certainly it varies by region. They are very popular here and most adults and children I know have several pair. I’d tend to agree with the very first comment, though. They simply do not wear out and therefore do not need to be replaced as often as other sandal-type shoes. Kids do outgrow them but then pass them along to their friends. The latest craze here last summer was wearing two different colors! (For kids only!!) 🙂 I wore them around Disney World for four days straight and had no sign of the foot pain as on previous trips, so for that at least they are worth it. Also, they do not make your feet sweaty and in fact are the only shoes that don’t contribute to my daughter’s horrible foot odor! That’s worth $30 too! 🙂

    Different colors? Interesting…sounds fun! Great about your Disney feet, and that’s definitely true about foot odor. P has, ahem, issues with that but the fake black Crocs he has really don’t contribute to it. He wears them basically as shower shoes and a bit around the house.

  15. awedree

    Hmmm….I think I’ll pass actually. I have too many other weaknesses. Have a great weekend 🙂

    Understood 🙂

  16. I have a pair that I wear around the house as slippers as well as after-shower shoes and I love them. They are a great rest for my feet and I think they are very comfortable. I have a pair I wear in public (hehe) that don’t look like Crocs…good in the summer!

    Sara, Ms. Adventures in Italy’s last blog post..A Wedding in Sicily and a Sicilian Food Feast: The Desserts

    Agreed, Sara–these are *excellent* after shower shoes and slippers. They’re *so* light and comfy around the house! And if you’re wearing a pair in public in Milano, I think we’re all OK 😉

  17. Ciao Michelle! I am with you … I have a fake pair that I wear only for gardening. Super comfortable! But I wouldn’t go much beyond the fountain in the piazza to get water with them on. Just don’t care much for the style, and I certainly haven’t understood the craze. Thanks for making me smile!

    Laura at Ciao Amalfi’s last blog post..Spring Showers (& Windstorms!) on the Amalfi Coast

    You know how I think to make them cuter? Striped or other patterned socks underneath when the weather is a little cooler. I think my pink ones look pretty cute with grey/pink/white/blue striped socks underneath 😉

  18. 03.20.2009

    I Love mine!! i have 2 pairs- black and tan. They are comfy, perfect for travel (they weigh next to nothing) and my black Mary Jane pair look cute with even a casual shirt or capri’s. So, yes, I guess I’ll be keeping them in business. Though, I will never buy outlandish colors like purple or orange. I’ll leave that to Mario Batali!!

    My Melange’s last blog post..Guest Blogger- Jessica from Why Go Italy

    Excellent point on traveling; they *would* be great as substitutes for slippers at the very least. And the ones I have are pink and white…for summer use only of course 😉

  19. 03.20.2009

    I think Crocs are the ugliest shoes ever and I wouldn’t be caught dead in them. I’m in the medical field and I much prefer Birki Professional clogs. More expensive, but so worth it (they are tax deductible since I use them for work and school) Still not the most attractive shoes, but practical and not an eye sore like Crocs. I have to agree that they are cute on kids, but men in clogs, or men that wear big white socks with sandals for that matter are just a total turn-off!!

    Piccola’s last blog post..True Love Never Dies

    Aw, but tell us how you *really* feel, Piccola 😉 Thanks for sharing that link!

  20. 03.20.2009

    It’s not so much that I want to wear them as that I kind of have to. They definitely aren’t pretty. But my feet are spoiled, and demand comfort… I am still looking desperately for something comfy and cute! Meanwhile, I’m wearing my crocs!

    Amber’s last blog post..Bell Peppers with Tomato and Basil

    My feet are so spoiled too…I’m hoping to go directly from my sheepskin boots to flip-flops this year….

  21. vanessa

    Ha i think it’s because even though they are ‘cheap plastic shoes’ there are lots and lots of the cheaper rip off copies!! So they are losing out to the fake versions as maybe in these times folks don’t even have the $30 (or whatever) to splash out on the ‘real’ ones. I don’t have a pair but my daughter is on her second pair and we just got another pair for the baby (on sale out of season for 1e!!!). They are all fakes and I think i never paid more than 3e for any pair. Perfect for kids!

    You really can’t beat the prices of the fake ones, I agree.

  22. Carla

    I’m with nyc/caribbean ragazza…cute for kids, but that’s pretty much it. I kinda hope they fade away 🙂

    Have a good weekend, Michelle!

    Sounds like you may get your wish, Carla…hope you’re having a nice weekend as well 🙂

  23. 03.21.2009

    They are hideous…except on kids. I used to think they might be ok for hospital workers, but then with the holes…the idea of vile fluids dropping onto your feet, or as a friend pointed out…a syringe landing in many of those holes.

    That said, people love their ugly shoes…Birkenstocks, Tevas et al.

    joli’s last blog post..Preparation

    I have to admit, I never quite got the hospital worker idea. My mom was a nurse for 40+ years, and I was always under the impression that open anything was a BIG no-no….

  24. 03.21.2009

    I had a foot surgery 4 weeks ago and in their defense I have to say that I couldn’t have managed the rehabilitaton without my hideously ugly pink crocs:)

    Calzetteros(s)e’s last blog post..Compito – recensione

    Hah! See, they *are* good for some things 🙂

  25. Kristin

    I’m with you Michelle – my kids have the knock-offs from Five Below. My daughter loves them … but I’d never pay $25 for plastic shoes. I don’t have them but, knowing my big feet, you can understand why 🙂

    But, but, they’re *smooth* plastic….

  26. 03.21.2009

    I never bought a pair, as I thought they were rather goofy, my husband loves them, he wears them after skiing. As a shoe to wear to the beach, gardening maybe then I would get some. Everyone says they are really comfortable.
    Given that I am Canadian, I may just buy a pair to help out a fellow Canadian.

    Esme’s last blog post..My Life with B.

    They really are great at the beach, especially if you have pebbly ones like we do here 🙂

  27. 03.22.2009

    My son loves their boots. He has wide feet and so few rain boots fit him. Theirs are really nice and light and can go in the wash. I heard about their loss and bought an extra pair for him in the next size up. For me I think they’re ugly as sin and only wear the pair I have in the garden but they are comfy.

    Maggie’s last blog post..Digestive Biscuits with Almonds

    I think I’ve come around to the “they’re so ugly, they’re cute” line of thinking….

  28. 03.22.2009

    excellent article, thank you

    Thanks for reading!

  29. 03.23.2009

    I must admit I do own a pair 🙁 they are comfy, don’t wear them out much my hubby can’t stand them. Out here in the frozen north they actually have ones with furry stuff on the inside for winter I have not gotten a pair of those.
    Funny article.

    Louise’s last blog post..

    Ooh fur…I think I’d like those for the winter!

  30. 03.23.2009

    They are big here in Hawaii. Just about everyone I know has at least one pair. I am in the haven’t bought a pair yet camp. My feet are very narrow and they always feel like they are swimming in them whenever I try on a pair. Maybe I should give them a try and buy a pair for my trip to Italy this summer before they disappear.

    All my kids in my class wear them. Teachers love them because they are easy for the kids to slip on. No dealing with tying shoes. One of my kids always wears two different colors. His mom wrote to me the first time he did this to make sure I knew that she knew he *chose* to wear two different colors. I did not know that was a trend with kids though. Cool blog post!

    girasoli’s last blog post..decisions decisions… Arezzo or ??

    That’s too funny that they checked with you to make sure he “meant” two different colors. Glad you enjoyed the post, and thanks for sharing your experiences 🙂

  31. 03.25.2009

    I got my first pair back in August when I was having foot issues. They are awesome my foot has since gotten better and I am able to wear real shoes again but I still turn to my crocs for around the house. Especially when standing all day cooking.
    I’ve also just bought a pair of the high heal crocs. talk about comfort. I can walk all day in these things and still look somewhat stylish.
    I finally got my husband to buy a pair a few weeks ago. He loves them.

    Oh wow, high heeled Crocs? I think I need to check out their website….

Michelle KaminskyMichelle Kaminsky is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer who lived in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy for 15 years. This blog is now archived. 

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