We all have heard about crocs and crocs shoes. We all want to purchase it for ourselves. People want to be in them when travelling. We all think that they are comfortable and easy-going. But are they? Do we know everything about it? Are we sure if they healthy to wear? Let us stop making assumptions and plunge into the facts. Actually, let’s move a little back and see where it all started.

Also Read: Types Of Shoes For Women And Men

Crocs
Let’s begin!

What Are Crocs?

So those of you who don’t know what crocs are; it is an American company that is known for distribution and once manufacturing foam clog shoes. It was founded by Scott Seamans, Lydon Hanson and George Boedecker Jr. They make plastic or foam-based clogs that are apparently manufactured for the comfort of a person. These foam clogs have a huge history behind them. Read on to know.

History From Foam Clogs To Crocs

Scott Seamans, Lyndon “Duke” Hanson, and George Boedecker wanted to produce and also distribute foam clog designed shoes that were acquired from Foam Creations that used to manufacture them. The shoe was first developed as a boating shoe and was unveiled in 2002 at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show in Florida by Crocs. They sold out 200 pairs then and since then they sold 300 million pairs of shoes. In June 2004, the company purchased Foam Creations and also its manufacturing operations. The point of purchasing Foam Creations was that they could secure the right to their foam resin known as Croslite. Croslite has the tendency to shape itself to the wearer’s feet. Croslite material is known for offering medical benefits, “Apparently”.

The company debuted in 2002 November with its first model clog, “the Beach”. This debut was made at the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show where the attendees bought all the pairs that the company had to offer. There were a thousand pairs that were sold. The shoes got amazing feedback and were very enthusiastically received by the audience in March 2003 when it was their first exhibition. They were very strategically sold to people who spent long hours on their feet, such as restaurant workers and hospital employees. These people liked the softness of the product and also it’s a loose fit that prevented shoe bites. Since they were affordable and comfortable, they surpassed the traditional surgical clogs. Because of the Croslite material, the cleaning process too was very easy. The bright colours were welcomed by youngsters. Because of this strategy, their first year turned out to be an outstanding business year for them. 76,000 pairs of Crocs were sold in the first year that generated a sales of 1.2 million and since the western brands sold 649,000 pairs, it resulted in a huge revenue of $12.3 million.

The company launched its first national marketing campaign in 2005 after acquiring Foam Creations. This was an effort to increase the brand’s visibility with both consumers and potential investors. The Boulder, Colorado-based shop of TDA Advertising & Design was hired to set up a marketing campaign for the brand. They developed a print ad for them whose slogan was, “Ugly Can Be Beautiful”. This campaign was a part of some national magazines such as Men’s Journal and Real Simple. The duration made Crocs shoes a trend and this was all because of advertising campaigns that helped them sell around 6 million pairs of shoes and achieving $108.8 million in sales in 2005.

The company holds a patent covering, which is known as, “breathable work shoes and methods for manufacturing such”. This made Crocs the company that was issued with this patent on February 7, 2006. on March 28, 2006, a few other patents were issued to them that covered their ornamental aspects.

Moving on in 2007, the company took a step ahead and applied to register “Crocs” and the Crocs logo as trademarks in over 40 jurisdictions around the world, including the U.S. They further extended the application to put the logo and name of the brand on non-footwear products too. Products like, luggage, sunglasses and watches were a part of this list.

Crocs Shoes Material Composition And Why Are They So Expensive?

Crocs shoes are made from a proprietary closed-cell resin known as “Croslite” which is made from polymer and polymer is made from “Crude oil”. No, it’s not rubber or plastic, it’s crude oil…sorry, Croslite!

Croslite is an extraordinary resin material that is soft and helps to provide maximum cushioning. Croslite claims to be non-toxic and helps in resisting odour or inhibit bacterial growth. But the question here arises that if it is so, then why do crocs stink if it is continuously worn? We’ll talk about it in the article further. Stay tuned!

The main idea to use this Croslite for making crocs shoes was that it can be washed with just water and soap. Croslite is a very low maintenance material. Plus since Croslite material is very light weighted, the shoes become extremely comfortable.

So stay rest assured that the Croslite material is still the same when the crocs shoes styles are different.

IT HAS VERY UNIQUE PROPERTIES THAT MAKE IT DIFFERENT FROM THE OTHERS. FOREMOST PROPERTY IS THAT IT LEVELS THE LOAD ACROSS THE BOTTOM OF YOUR FOOT. AND THE OTHER IS THAT THE CROSLITE MATERIAL IS SHOCKPROOF. IT ABSORBS 40% BETTER THAN OTHER MATERIALS USED IN FOOTWEAR.

Apart from this, it is lightweight and soft. It is waterproof and is made with a characteristic of open-cell foam because it is soft and is made from a closed-cell foam that helps the shoes be comfortable as well as hygienic. Because it does not absorb water or sweat, it becomes bacteria resistant and has high durability (well, we’ll talk about it)

These are the qualities that make Croslite expensive but durable. 

But apart from all these good things, there is something else you should know about the material. It’s not like Croslite material cannot be damaged.

Zuko’s fire can damage it easily! I think so!

Croslite material can be damaged by extended high-temperature exposure or direct sunlight. Because of the same reason, the manufacturers of Crocs advise the customers to store the crocs shoes in a cool place. The shoes also lose their grip from extended use. So when this happens you are not left with a choice and you have to buy new shoes or not buy them.

Here are some additional benefits of the Croslite material:

  • Super light
  • Slip-resistant
  • Antimicrobial
  • Insulating
  • UV-resistant
  • Recyclable

This proprietary closed-cell resin that produces the “shoe charms” is under the parent organization, Crocs. The strategy behind owning the purchase of Croslite material is that Crocs thus has more control over the production and raw Croslite material.

Revenue Generation

As mentioned earlier, the company was founded in 1999 by Scott Seamans, Lydon Hanson and George Boedecker Jr. But the product distribution started in 2002 and the revenues started to grow from $1.2 million in 2003.

  • By the middle of 2003, The company had started selling the “Beach” model now known as Crocs Classics. Crocs have sold more than 120 million pairs of shoes since their 2002 introduction. By the end of 2003, Crocs had already doubled the production and manufacturing and had technically managed their inventory. Crocs increased the number of model manufacturing and sales and that leads them to a revenue of over $1.2 million in the fiscal year.
  • In June 2004, the company acquired Foam Creations Inc’s upstream counterpart and gained manufacturing facilities as well as the proprietary closed-cell resin – Croslite.
  • Their official name was changed to Western Brands of Crocs in January 2005.
  • 2006 was again a year of profit for Crocs where it raised an IPO of a shoe manufacturer worth $207.9 million. Not only this, their product offering increased too from 25 models to 250 products in 2007. Amazing, isn’t it?
  • By the end of 2007, Crocs had a few new stores opened in Santa Monica, Boston and New York. On top of this, it also had 5,300 employees working for them in over 15,000 locations worldwide. The revenue had a huge hike from $354.7 million in 2006 to $847.4 million in 2007.
  • 2008 wasn’t a great year for them. There was a loss of $4.5 million and the revenue growth had slowed down in the first quarter. As a result of this, manufacturing facilities were closed in a few locations such as Canada and Brazil and the production was decreased in China and Mexico. Hence, obviously, the employee number reduced for them. With a loss of $185.1 million, 2008 ended for Crocs.
  • Slowly and steadily recovering from the loss, Crocs hired John Duerden, previously working at Reebok as a CEO. Things changed and crocs was able to sell more than 200 products in over 100 countries.
  • 2010 was when Duerden decided to leave and with the promotion of John McCarvel from COO to CEO they launched a campaign, “Feel The Love”. The spring collection was promoted using this campaign and the audience was made much aware of the proprietary closed cell resin, Croslite. Because of this campaign, Crocs made a revenue of $160 million.

“We are growing at over 35 per cent year-on-year. In terms of outlook, we will be doubling our India business in 3 years. We will achieve this through widening our product portfolio and geographic expansion. We are looking at expanding beyond our core beachwear offerings. We plan to expand our brand to a pure casual shoe brand. Over 4-5 years, we want to be a larger player in the casual footwear category and capture 10 per cent market share.,” 

CROCS INDIA, MANAGING DIRECTOR, DEEPAK CHHABRA 
  • Crocs have always been secretive about their numbers. But the number of shoes sold in 2016 was around 55 million. You do the math now!

On expansion, Chhabra said: “We plan to open 50 standalone stores this calender year. Going forward, standalone stores will be an important growth channel for us. We want to expand our retail network in East and North-East part of the country”.

  • 2018 was the best year proven for the company. This was because there were some bold moves made to achieve this turnover. For this result, crocs not only strategized their marketing by taking huge risks but also invested around $200 million and also closed some underperforming stores. The revenue for the same year grew by 12.7%.

Some Bold Moves Taken By Crocs

Crocs have taken some good bold moves to make their brand stand out. These steps could have been proved to be a great risk but somehow Crocs survived because of its brilliant strategy. Here is what you can learn from their marketing strategy:

Try To Reallocate Your Resources

So basically if something doesn’t work for your business, instead of trying to make it work, replace it with something that can get you a first spot in the target market. There is always some or the other thing that your business cannot be best at, DROP THAT and focus on something that no one can do better than you, even if it is a basic step. Crocs dropped their fancy models and new design and decided to stick to their basic and popular Classic Crocs shoes.

Use Of Influencer Endorsement

Not every business can leverage the use of the influencer endorsements but you can decide where to focus on your business model for a greater impact.

For example, both Chinatown Market and Post Malone joined hands with Crocs to launch their special editions shoes which were sold out before.

Non-core Competencies Outsourcing

Divide the work! Divide larger jobs into smaller ones and assign them to the workers. Try outsourcing anything you think your team will not be able to handle. Let other firms take over where you think you can let it.

For example, Crocs already sold about 300 million pairs of shoes. Now, it is not manufacturing their clogs. This was a strategic move that worked for them and they could focus on something that they do the best. Till date, they are following this business model and their business is doing quite well. What do you think?

Are Crocs Good For Your Health?

There have been different theories claiming that clogs/crocs are not good for the feet. Let’s dive deep into it and know what the Podiatrists have to say about it. After all who can judge footwear better than them.

They are undoubtedly comfortable for people who wear them once or twice a week. But for the people who want to regularly use them, hear what the doctors say:

“Unfortunately Crocs are not suitable for all-day use. While they offer nice arch support, these shoes do not adequately secure the heel. When the heel is unstable, toes tend to grip which can lead to tendinitis, worsening of toe deformities, nail problems, corns and calluses. The same thing can happen with flip flops or any backless shoes as the heel is not secured.”

DR MEGAN LEAHY, A CHICAGO-BASED PODIATRIST WITH THE ILLINOIS BONE AND JOINT INSTITUTE. (SOURCE: HUFFPOST)

“Patients are more likely to have foot pain if their shoes bend in the shank. The only two types of patients that may benefit from wearing these shoes are patients that have a very high arch or those who suffer from excessive edema of their legs and ankle. But, under no circumstances can I suggest wearing these shoes 8 to 10 hours per day.”

DR ALEX KOR, THE PRESIDENT OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PODIATRIC SPORTS MEDICINE (SOURCE: HUFFPOST)

“One of the problems with clogs is how they restrict the natural movement of your foot. The foot naturally bends to press on the ball of the foot to propel you forward. Clogs, instead, make you kick your foot forward, ‘it changes the way you walk’, and not for the better.”

DR ANDREA WATERS-RIST – BONE & JOINT – WESTERN UNIVERSITY SPEAKING ABOUT CLOGS IN GENERAL

“Keep away from clogs… Yes, clogs are often a comfortable choice for those who are standing for many hours at a time, due to the open, or low nature of the heel cup and elevated heel. However, they are inherently less stable.” 

DAVID I. PEDOWITZ, M.D. ORTHOPEDICS SURGERY AT THOMAS JEFFERSON UNIVERSITY SPEAKING ABOUT CLOGS IN GENERAL

In addition to this, researchers say these shoes are not suitable for a travel purpose or for that matter any purpose that requires a good amount of footwork. It is now clear that the reason is the Croslite material. As you all know these shoes do not protect the heels. When there is no support on your heels, toes tend to balance and grip. This can lead to tendonitis. Not only these crocs shoes, but all shoes that lack back support can also lead to health problems.  

TENDONITIS IS AN ACUTE CONDITION WHERE THE TENDONS THAT CONNECT MUSCLE TO BONE BECOME INFLAMED.

Doctors advise that if you are wearing crocs shoes, wear them with socks to avoid skin contact with the Croslite material.

Also, people have complained about smelly feet when they wear Crocs shoes. The company claims the Croslite material to be anti-bacterial. But if Croslite material is actually anti-bacterial, the feet should not stink. Then why do people think that crocs shoes are anti-microbial? Because the company markets them that way.

TOO MUCH LOGIC? 

In 2011, EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) told the company to pay $230,000 to resolve their case of unsubstantiated anti-microbial claims for several types of its shoes. After this, Crocs removed the claim from multiple products and stopped making such claims too in future.

Hah, told ya!

Harmful Design

According to Natural Footgear which is a team that promotes healthy feet as a choice, clogs cause multiple feet and toe problems. Well, we don’t doubt that anymore since the doctors say the same. The problem with this is that they hold your feet in a particular position that is not natural for the feet. So the position of your feet is compromised. This is not the only problem, the bigger problem is explained as under. You’re welcome!

The design my friends, the design is itself a problem in these shoes.

1. Rigid Soles

The rigid soles not only lead to a poor footfall but also gives ankle injuries since your walk doesn’t remain natural wearing these shoes.

2. Heel Elevation

Ever tried walking in heels? Ever thought why does it pain? I will explain it. When your heel is placed above your forefoot, your foot arch is destabilized. This leads to you putting more pressure on the ball of your foot. The feet become less stable and can make you fall.

3. Tapering Toe Boxes

Clogs undoubtedly give more space for your toes to stay put. But is this concept of “Wide Toe Box” good in clogs? The toe box position in the clogs is at the ball of the feet that don’t help in stabilization.

Clogs may have a “wide toe box” but this is often just at the ball of the feet. Your toes need to be able to spread.

4. Toe Spring

The rigidness in the crocs shoes does not let you move your toes much in a natural way. This leads to an imbalance that causes accidents.

Accidents Caused By Crocs Shoes

According to many Crocs fans, footwear is very comfortable. What if I told you there have been accidents happening because of Crocs. Keep counting:

  • In Singapore, a two-year-old girl wearing rubber clogs ripped off her toe in an escalator accident.
  • In the US, a three-year-old boy wearing Crocs hurt his toes again on an escalator at Atlanta Airport. A spokesman for the airport terminal said that was one of seven shoe accidents since May, two of which included Crocs.
  • In California, Westminster, something similar happened when a four-year-old girl’s foot got stuck in the side of an escalator and in the accident, she lost her toe. Her family sued the company for 2 million dollars.
  • In Pennsylvania, a 6-year-old boy wearing Crocs shoes mangled his foot in an escalator. The family sued the company for 7.5 million dollars.
  • A 2010 study in The Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics says that 17 children with escalator-related foot were admitted to the hospital in two years. 13 of those were wearing crocs. This doesn’t stop here. One of those had “an unsalvageable traumatic amputation of the great toe at the level of the interphalangeal joint,” and others had fractures, lacerations and cut tendons.
  • The claims are that the accidents were caused due to the shoes getting caught in the teeth of the escalator. Hence it made Crocs settle these cases.
  • Andrew Laskin, an attorney with Robinson and Yablon, P.C., a Manhattan law firm, says that 20 such cases have been handled by his firm and all of them have been settled.
  • These situation made Crocs settle most of such cases and another such case where a boy got injured will be settled once he turns 18 years old. This happened at the Atlanta airport in 2008.

Many such incidents caused by the crocs are said to be negligence on the company’s part as they knew that Crocs are dangerous on the escalators but didn’t inform their customers nor did they do something about it. They made Crocs pay for their negligence. There was one court case that said that the company contacted the consumer product safety and filled 186 complaints against the escalator injuries.

I am assuming that something is wrong!

If you still can’t resist these weird-looking shoes, at least take precautions such as wearing socks that restrict your contact with the Croslite material and don’t make kids wear them. Please!

Do let me know in the comments section what you think about Crocs.

Also Read: Nike Vs Adidas, The Battle Is Still On! But Which One Is Better?

FAQs

Are Crocs plastic or rubber?

Crocs make foam-based clogs that are made for the comfort of a person. These foam clogs have a huge history behind them. The material with which they are made is a proprietary closed-cell resin known Croslite material. Read the article to know more.

Are Crocs really good for your feet?

Crocs being good or bad for your feet is a different debate altogether. Researchers have some opinion that differs from what the company says about the health of your feet. Read what the Podiatrists have to say about Crocs. You will be surprised as the facts that they have shown is something that Crocs might not want you to read.

What are crocs?

So those of you who don’t know what croc is; Crocs is a company that distributes and once manufactured foam clog shoes. They make plastic or foam-based clogs that are produced for the comfort of a person. Crocs shoes are made from Croslite material. Shoes produced from Croslite are super comfortable.

What are crocs made of?

Earlier it was foam-based, but currently, Crocs shoes are made from Croslite material, which is a resin and is neither plastic nor rubber. Crocs made of Croslite is said to be comfortable as the material shapes itself according to the wearer’s feet.

Why Crocs is expensive?

The expensiveness of the Croslite material used in Crocs shoes is what makes them so expensive. Also, the rigidness makes it long-lasting and durable for the wearer.

1 COMMENT

  1. I have been wearing a pair of Crocs for about 3 years now. I like the fact you can just skip them on wear them around the house as slippers then go out in the garden. However since wearing them, my previously healthy feet have become problematic. I now struggle with hard split skin, athletes foot and a very warped and manky toenail.

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