Crocs Launches Prepair, Post-Workout Footwear


Crocs, a company that has been desperately searching for a second act, is launching an après-sports shoe it hopes will win over achy-footed runners everywhere. The Prepair Collection, which uses a nano-silver technology to baby your feet after a workout, "is probably the closest this company will ever come to launching a sports performance shoe," says Doug Hayes, VP/North America of the Niwot, Colo.-based company.

"The challenge was to make them look different from Crocs best-known clogs, but still have the same DNA," he says. "The common denominator is Croslite, the antimicrobial material we use to make Crocs. They're more durable, they don't smell, and in an era when everyone is trying to feel better, they feel good on your feet after a tough workout."

The Prepair Collection are antibacterial and antifungal, designed to reduce muscle exertion and peak pressure, and come in a clog, a slide and a flip for both men and women, starting at $34.99.



Ads will run in such publications as Triathlete, Men's Health, and Runner's World, aimed at avid runners, as well as a TV spot featuring endorser Matty Reed, 2008 U.S. Olympic Triathlete. Prepair has also been named the official recovery shoe for the Road Runners Club of America as well as several other sports groups, and it will maintain a strong presence at leading marathons.

At one point, Crocs was flying high, and considered the most successful initial public offering ever for a shoe company. But as demand for its rubbery clogs has slowed, times have gotten considerably tougher: Revenues plunged 43.9% to $126.1 million in its most recent quarter, including a 26.9% decline in the Americas. (Asia, however, still has an appetite for Crocs, with revenues there climbing 22.4%.) And it posted a loss of $33.2 million. Its tumbling stock price has had it scrambling for cash, and last month it announced a six-month extension of its credit facility, buying additional time for its restructuring.

While Crocs did indeed continue to launch new products, including winter boots and galoshes, few consumers ever saw them. "We've had a tough time getting them distributed," Hayes says. "For so long, the clogs were selling so well it was all stores wanted to carry." The company's new strategy, he says, is to "do less, but better. We want to partner with fewer, better retailers, with more strategic and segmented consumer touchpoints."

The demand is there, he says: "Our Internet business is on fire, and we had our best day ever yesterday. That tells us that consumers want us, we just haven't been in the right retail distribution."

1 comment about "Crocs Launches Prepair, Post-Workout Footwear ".
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  1. Lorna Lyle from TMC, April 29, 2009 at 9:42 a.m.

    I don't get the product name, "Prepair," if it's meant to be a post-workout shoe. To me it sounds like the opposite. As much as I despise Crocs as footwear for anyone over the age of 18, I'll be curious to try on a pair of these new slides and see if they live up to their billing.

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