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Voting With Your Feet

Staff writer Ylan Q. Mui reported this week that Crocs, the colorful foam clogs that swept the nation, could go the way of the platform and jelly shoe. Last year, the company lost $185.1 million and cut about 2,000 jobs.


By Mike McPhate  |  July 17, 2009; 8:58 AM ET
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Next: The 'Birther' Brouhaha


What a croc.

Posted by: bs2004 | July 17, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

They are great for little kids - easy to get on and off, relatively sturdy and easy to clean. I wouldn't wear them, though!

Posted by: wvu1989 | July 17, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps checkboxes instead of radio buttons would have been better.

I don't disagree about their general ugliness - this is NOT an attractive shoe. (check) And I never understood why they became such a huge fad. (check)

But I have joint disease, so I really love my Crocs for general errand running and puttering around the yard. Significantly less expensive and more comfortable than a lot of shoes I've been prescribed over the years, yes I found them simple and comfortable. (check)

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | July 17, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Crocs are absolutely acceptable footwear in home gardens, in restaurant kitchens, in hospitals, in kindergartens, and on boat decks. That's pretty much it.

Posted by: words_and_music | July 17, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I wore my crocs for 6 weeks while in Egypt and Israel. I was able to climb mountains, not my favorite past time, in them. They are comfortable with or without socks. I have 3 pairs and will continue to wear them whether they are in or out of style.
Overall, though, they are pretty ugly!

Posted by: ellykluge | July 17, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I think the normal crocs are ugly.. However they have a lot of other, more sandal like shoes that are both very comfortable and not nearly as ugly!

Posted by: anonymous55 | July 17, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

If normal shoes were made from the same material and you wore them to places and events that crocs have made it into, you would be a laughingstock. Perhaps the ugliest, most stupid fad I've seen in my 58 years.

Posted by: tojo45 | July 17, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I think they are fine for kids, but not adults.

Posted by: cliffmerrell | July 17, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Besides being ugly, the polymer from which they are made does not allow the skin to breathe, thereby providing a terrific breeding ground for fungus and bacteria. In addition, the plastic is a petroleum product. I thought we were supposed to be ridding ourselves of dependence on oil. (People concentrate too much on gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel, while ognoring the petroleum-based consumer products all around us.)

Posted by: bucinka8 | July 17, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

They are the **best** shoes ever for kids, and actually do look stylish on their feet in the smaller, cute sizes. Our three kids (8, 5, and 4) live in their Crocs.

The adult sizes are not attractive, but great for around the house, running to the pool/beach, and as shower shoes at the campground. Find me another shoe this comfortable which can be hosed down inside and out. Are they appropriate everywhere? Of course not, but don't blame the shoes for poor fashion choices by their owners!

Like Tevas and Birks, although their "hottness" may fade, Crocs do have a permanent place in the roster of comfortable shoes. Although the company may fail, I expect a larger shoe company would acquire the assets and carry on the line.

(Also, they are making other products at well - my Crocs kneepads for gardening are the most comfortable I have ever worn).

Posted by: rlritter | July 17, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

My daughter's podiatrist told her that she was NOT to wear Crocs all day and they should be worn no more than a few hours per day. They don't offer sufficient support for kids with arch issues.

Posted by: SolontheGreat | July 17, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Okay, they are ugly, bulky and funny looking...but I'll wear mine to the grave. I travel a lot. Crocs are the perfect air travel shoes. You can wear socks under them. Yhey are easy to take off and put back on for security and it doesn't matter if your feet swell during a long overnight flight to Asia. They are non-slip, and when you're in the Peruvian Amazon, they are perfect shower slippers...especially when you're sharing the shower with 2 salad plate size spiders! I'm in my late 60s and got my crocs (my only pair) in Australia. I've worn them for every flight since then. They have their place in the panoply of footwear. I just hope they last for another 25-30 years!

Posted by: jdunn3 | July 17, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I agree that check boxes would have been better for this than radio buttons.
Ugly, check, fad, check, my mother has bad feet and loves hers so comfort... check, I guess.

I do have one tear to shed for Crocs, though. In another story it was mentioned that Crocs were victims of their own success in at least one way. Since they are well-nigh indestructible they quickly reached market saturation because no one needed to keep buying new ones like other shoes that wear out. Durability is an important and underappreciated consideration for environmental sustainability, so even if they were petroleum products they may still have a better overall profile than normal shoes.

Posted by: hayesap8 | July 17, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

They are dangerous. It is too easy for the foam material to get caught in escalators.

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | July 17, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

crocs are lame.

Posted by: jnwilkie | July 17, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Ugly as sin but really comfortable for those of us, particularly women, who have Flintstone Feet!

Posted by: BullyLover | July 17, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

They are hideous ugly and I still love my crocs. They are really great for those of us who spend lots of time poolside. They don't get slippery like flip-flops and they don't turn funky or weird like flip-flops after lots of exposure to water because they're plastic.

For swim coaches, etc. they're ugly but practical.

Posted by: historybride | July 17, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Great as pool and beach shoes, backyard cookput/light chores, and, with socks, make comfortable winter slippers.

Posted by: dlk117561 | July 17, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Crocs are the equivalent of wearing plastic grocery bags. Homeless people started that trend YEARS ago...

Posted by: zzrawlins | July 17, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

they are ugly but very comfy

Posted by: bakerbenjamin | July 17, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Crocks have saved my walking around after some spine damage from car wrecks. I went from barely 15 minutes to A LOT. I have 4 pair and am going to get some replacements soon. Shoes should be changed each year or so anyways as some wear does occur just like other shoes.

I truly hope something can be done to keep them on the market.

QUESTION ? What can they be recycled to do? What about kids gym flooring like tires are used for or exercise mats ?
I wish I could help save this company as I need their shoes like many other people.....

Posted by: kidsbks4all | July 17, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Obviously there is a continuing market for Crocs and I suspect they'll be around for some time. They're not the hot item they once were, but there are plenty of ugly shoes around that somehow seem to stay viable.

Posted by: allknowingguy | July 17, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

wvu1989-They are bad for developing childrens feet and posture

Posted by: poppysue85 | July 17, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, they're ugly. Yes, I do wear them. Not to work or anything, but after dancing they're fabulous (if for no other reason than they feel DIFFERENT than the shoes I wore to dance), running out to get the paper no matter what the weather (except maybe when it's slushy/snowy), and are otherwise good mucking around shoes. I haven't tried them on planes but I could see them being useful for security and whatnot (the last shoes I had for this was a pair of clogs that predated my Crocs). Not all of us have to be fashionable all of the time.

I do hope they don't go away.

Posted by: | July 17, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

I have one pair or real Croc's I paid $40 for and another 'knock off' pair from a national discount retailer I paid $6 for. Yeah, the real ones might be just a tad more stylist, but comfort wise both are super. Assuming I ever need another pair I fully expect I'll be able to get another $6 pair. I would never pay $40 again for a real pair. Croc's when bust because they were too expensive.

Posted by: millerld | July 17, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

These shoes are on sale everywhere for less than 5 bucks now. Still nobody is buying these Crocs.

It won't take too long before retailers dump these Crocs shoes in the dollar bin or simply dump them in the alley behind the stores.

There were attempts to give away these Crocs to homeless people, but even homeless people have enough fashion sense to reject these Crocs.

Posted by: Mickey2 | July 17, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

They are great for beach use. I never wear mine otherwise. Of course I love Clark shoes and those are ugly, too. Wallabees especially.

Posted by: jaygatsby27 | July 17, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I love my Crocs for mowing the yard, but would not wear them in public.

BUT, I also would never consider wearing flip flops in public either and at least Crocs are not terrible for the healt of your feet like flip flops are.
Flips flops need to go back to only bing used at the pool or public shower area.

Posted by: Iowahoosier | July 17, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I should edit my writing before hitting submit.
Health not healt of your feet and being used at the pool and not bing used at the pool.

Posted by: Iowahoosier | July 17, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Although I never bought any because I thought they were the ugliest shoe I'd ever seen, I knew many people bought them for the reasons stated in so many of the other posts. They're comfortable and useful in the garden, in and out of the pool, at the beach, while walking and even running.

Now, I wish I'd purchased a couple of pair, primarily because of poster ellykluge's comment about having worn them while spending 6 weeks in Egypt. My husband and I are going next year, and I really need an all-purpose shoe that is comfortable and can be worn for more than one activity.

It's too bad that they may be going out of business.

Posted by: peaster123 | July 17, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I think the original Crocs look silly, but I love my flip fops and deck shoes.

Posted by: leecameron13 | July 17, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

These are the best shoes that I have ever found for me because I have had over 10 knee operations and walking is painful.But the crocs are great,my feet never hurt nor my knee's .Could not live without them.

Posted by: DeathMaiden7 | July 18, 2009 2:00 AM | Report abuse

I love crocs. I have 12 pairs ranging from the traditional caymans (the ones with holes in them) to cork wood turquoise leather wedge heels. (their "you by crocs") I broke/sprained my ankles years ago and couldn't wear heals since. I wore the cork wood ones for 12 hours as maid of honor in my best friend's wedding. Ironically the bride wore crocs and so did the best man (who was a woman). I have thrown out all my other shoes. I have crocs to kick around in and to wear for special events and I couldn't be happier.

Posted by: tessananemenski | July 18, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I hope Life Is Good and The North Face join Crocs on the road to bankruptcy and extinction. These will be the lame fads of the 2000s. Just another indicator of America's insatiable desire to be just like everyone else instead of our own selves.

Posted by: Notsofastmyfriend | July 19, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Here is the truth, there was nothing new in this article written by Ylan Q. Mui. HE?/SHE? simply rewrote information that was reported and available last March. DUH, nothing new, just another stab to try to KILL CROCS or gain fame. I am going to guess that there will be another round of articles on "Crocs on their last leg" in a few months and we will have deja vu or Groundhog day again.

Won't you give up on Crocs death and write why people will spend their time defending them? If you have not worn them, then don't write about them. They are so comfortable that I guess those who haven't tried them just can't relate. Ugly is a snobbish way to describe what someone else wears for comfort. Crocs makes more than this one shoe...try them.

PS I do not nor have I ever worked for Crocs. This is a US company and one might think that in this recession, instead of trying to bash US companies, you might try to support them. Get out of Washington and visit the rest of the country. We are the real people.....

Posted by: icboulder | July 19, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Good riddance.

Never buy fashions or fads. Buy classic.

Posted by: bluhvn | July 19, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

"I hope Life Is Good and The North Face join Crocs on the road to bankruptcy and extinction. These will be the lame fads of the 2000s. Just another indicator of America's insatiable desire to be just like everyone else instead of our own selves."

Yes, not like all those unique snowflakes wearing Brooks Brothers or Burberry. Those people definitely don't want to look exactly like everyone else!

Crocs are no more or less stupid looking than any other arbitrary fashion that's been deemed acceptable by society. If Angelina Jolie showed up at the Oscars in Crocs and a Shriner's fez you'd be calling them "classics" and rushing out to spend as much money as you could on them. That is America's insatiable desire.

Posted by: spacecadetkid | July 19, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

I hope they keep making Crocs forever. I discovered them and bought my first pair three years ago after reading a derisive article in another major newspaper, and I'm hooked. I've had major foot and knee problems for years, and Crocs have been the answer for me. My foot doctor might not approve of them, but I haven't had to see him since I started wearing them. Pretty good, considering that wearing the "sensible" leather shoes he recommended had me fighting a daily battle with athlete's foot and needing him to surgically remove my right big toenail three times during the preceding year. I now own four pair of Crocs in different colors. If you want to talk about ugly, try wearing heavy, black, orthopedic oxfords every day! I recommend Crocs to anyone who is practical enough to opt for comfort and healthy feet over "fashion." They have a medical line featuring a special design for diabetics. No more foot problems for me! And they do not skid -- a real plus for anyone with osteoporosis or balance issues. When will we learn that it's more important to feel good than to look good?

Posted by: clarafier | July 20, 2009 1:25 AM | Report abuse

I Love Croc Shoes!. They fit my Size 12 6E feet just fine!!! I bought another Pair, and am Searching For another pair; For at least One, or Twp, or Three Spares. I had been $95+ Wearing New Balance Walking Shoes. Crocks Wear Better! I Would Not Wear Any Thing Else! These Croc s Are So Easy To Get On And Off! The Crooked Bankers are trying to Bankrupt Crocs, so they can then Buy Up The Company On The Cheap!!!

Posted by: Xeno7777777 | July 20, 2009 2:25 AM | Report abuse

If they're comfortable, does it matter if they're "ugly"? Ugly is in the eyes of the beholder. Anyone remember the "Earth Shoe"?

The part of this story I have a problem with is the description of these shoes as "indestructible." Far from it. The foam gets soft and wears thin fairly quickly. More so in the clones -- and that may bring us to the real story here.

There are many, many cheap alternatives to "genuine" Crocs, all made with varying degrees of poor quality. They've poisoned the market. Why should someone pay $30+ for Crocs when under $7 will get you a pair of the clones? Then you buy the clones, find that they're junk. Are you going to run out and buy real Crocs now?

Why wasn't this mentioned in the article? Doesn't anyone do research anymore?

Posted by: MrDymaxion | July 20, 2009 7:23 AM | Report abuse

A certian group comes to mind..."Milli Vanilli"...I just hope they last longer then the group did. These shoes are great for kids and are very stylish. I wouldn't be caught dead in them though

Posted by: sausside | July 20, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately for the folks at Crocs, knock-offs that are comparable in quality, design & color selection flooded the market in the $2.00 - $10.00 price range and consumers chose price over brand loyalty.

Posted by: eflbell | July 20, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Crocs are hobo shoes. They don't offer good arch support, encapsulate the foot with thick rubber, and they're ugly.

Posted by: pittpanther1983 | July 21, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I think Crocs are extremely dangerous for kids. I work at a department store at a NJ mall. A few months ago, while wearing Crocs, a 9-year-old girl lost her little toe during an accident on an escalator. The little girl was trying to walk up an escalator that was going down and her Croc got caught and she lost her little toe. Even though the little girl was playing on the escalator, I do believe that the pliable nature of her Crocs shoe was a major contributing factor to the accident.

Posted by: SarahS12 | July 21, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

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