Whether you love them or hate them, Crocs have been around for a fairly long time. In fact, these shoes may have been around for much longer than you remember.
While they began to reach their full popularity during the early 2010s, these shoes were first released many, many years earlier. Some may even consider the Croc to be a vintage shoe… although, we don’t like to say that, as it makes us feel really old.
In this article, we will look at when exactly Crocs made their entrance onto the fashion scene, as well as giving you a brief history of the shoe itself.
Let’s get started.
When Were Crocs Invented?
Depending on your age, you may associate Crocs with a specific era (Check out When Is One Too Old For A Certain Look?).
Nowadays, Crocs are making a comeback, but some will remember back in the early 2010s when they became a controversial fashion statement. Back then, you either loved them or hated them. Either way, they were at the peak of their popularity during this time.
Many readers of this article may be surprised to learn that Crocs have actually been around for a fairly long time. In fact, they have been around since the very start of the millennium.
Crocs were, in fact, first introduced in 2001.
This may be shocking to many. If any of you reading this article were around during the start of the 21st century, you may remember the initial release of these rubbery shoes.
Crocs did not reach the peak of their popularity until many years later, but, yes: these shoes were originally invented in 2001, and were officially released in the following year.
A Brief History Of Crocs
Now that you know that Crocs first came out in 2002, you may be wondering the history of these shoes, and when they reached their full potential in popular culture.
Below, we have listed a brief history of these iconic shoes, from 2001 up until the present day.
So, let’s get into it.
The Early Beginnings (2001 – 2004)
Scott Seamans, Lyndon Hanson, and George Boedecker, Jr. are the founders of Crocs, which were created back in 2001. The brand we all know and love today was created as a result of Canadian company Foam Creations’ innovation on a polystyrene clog.
At the Florida Fort Lauderdale Boat Show in 2002, Crocs debuted their inaugural design, named the Beach. Initially designed for sailors, they prioritized the use of waterproof fabrics, soles with good grips, and the ultimate support and protection for feet.
They were, unsurprisingly, named after the crocodile. This is due to the shape and texture of the shoe itself, and the 13 holes on the front of each shoe are somewhat reminiscent of a crocodile’s scales.
Crocs were made to be a comfortable fit, as well as being quick and simple to slip on and off, taking inspiration from the style of clogs.
The Introduction Of Jibbitz (2005 – 2006)
In 2005, Crocs started to gain popularity all over the world, although they had not yet reached their peak potential.
During this time, Sheri and Rich Schmelzer came up with an idea to embellish their children’s Crocs after obtaining them. They decorated the Crocs with small plastic charms, were made to fit into the holes on the front.
After being given the name ‘Jibbitz’, these charms quickly gained popularity as a means to customise the footwear. The Schmelzers started making Jibbitz in a variety of patterns, such as floral and popular culture images.
After noticing the business, Crocs bought it in 2006 for $10 million, including an additional $10 million on the table if the sister firm achieved its financial targets.
The Resurgence Through Celebrity Marketing (2014 – 2017)
Many of us will recall the period in the late 2000s and early 2010s when Crocs started to draw criticism.
This backlash wasn’t caused by the use of the product, but rather by the fact that it was no longer seen to be ‘fashionable’. People started making fun of Crocs, leading to them becoming a meme, which caused them to fall off the market.
To improve the legitimacy and performance of the company, Crocs announced and carried out a revamping and simplification of procedures around 2014.
The business, now under the direction of their new CEO, made astute marketing choices to work with powerful big-name businesses and entertainers at the time, like Justin Bieber and KFC.
Through this marketing strategy, Crocs gradually stopped being a meme and returned to the forefront of fashion. Although opinions on Crocs were still divided at the time, there is no denying that this was possibly the pinnacle of Croc fashion.
The Effects Of The COVID-19 Pandemic (2019 – Today)
As the decade of the 2010s came to an end, Crocs once more faded into obscurity. Even though they were still being bought and worn, Crocs were once again viewed as more of a joke than a serious fashion statement.
The Covid-19 epidemic hit the world in 2019. Millions of people were forced to remain inside their homes during this time in an attempt to shield themselves from the circulating virus.
Incredibly, Crocs’ company’s stock more than doubled throughout that time, generating profits of $1.4 billion.
People wanted to feel comfortable inside their homes, and Crocs appeared to be the solution: footwear that could be worn both indoors and outside while still being cozy and protective.
To this day, Crocs are, once again, the popular (yet controversial) shoe choice for many.
So, surprisingly to some, Crocs were initially unleashed into the world back in 2002. However, they were initially invented back in 2001.
Nowadays, Crocs seem to be making their comeback, after a long pattern of weaving in-and-out of fashion trends. It does seem that, despite the ongoing controversies of these shoes, they don’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon.
Long live the Croc!
We hope you found this article helpful.
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