Whether you like them or not, Crocs -- the rubbery, washable footwear popular with health care workers, preschoolers and middle-aged dads across America -- are here to stay. And nothing speaks more to the permanence of this so-called “ugly shoe” than the fact that Crocs pulled in $1.4 billion in 2020, making it the company’s best year on record.
It’s really no surprise then that a shoe company that sold 69 million pairs last year would inspire some copycats.
That is what’s at the heart of a lawsuit Crocs recently filed against multiple retailers, putting them on blast for selling what it claims are blatant knockoffs. Or Croc-offs.
Big names like Walmart and Hobby Lobby have been identified in the suit as infringing upon Crocs' trademark -- specifically, selling lookalike products with distinctive markings that Crocs says are its own.
The lawsuit reads, "Given the virtually infinite number of different, non-infringing footwear styles in existence today, and which are available to other footwear companies, Crocs' competitors do not have any actual competitive need to use the Crocs 3D Marks."
The “3D Marks” are in reference, says Business Insider, to holes that run along the front end of the shoe. The suit invites the comparisons by citing specific reviews from buyers of the copycat clog, including one that says “"If you are in the market for crocks (sic), these are awesome! They are great quality, and very inexpensive."
Just how inexpensive is likely a sticking point for Crocs: while an average pair of the real-deal clogs costs about $50, Walmart’s nearly identical version sells for about $10.