These Crocs Are Still Coyote Ugly

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You can't put lipstick on this pig ... er, coyote. Uh, crocodile. Whatever.

Crocs (Nasdaq: CROX  ) is going retro, but unfortunately for investors, it's not flashing back to its heady days of growing sales and soaring shares. Instead, it's simply trying a new -- and purely cosmetic -- twist on the old Crocs.

The shoe company is touting its new Crocband style, which supposedly gives a little "retro sneaker" edge to the Crocs lineup. These new Crocs pretty much look like the old Crocs, except for their white-with-a-stripe soles, which recall the classic look of Chuck Taylor All-Stars, the signature sneakers of Nike's (NYSE: NKE  ) Converse division. While imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I doubt there's much of a market in people who wish they didn't have to choose between Chucks and Crocs. (Plus, you know what they say about horizontal stripes. "Does this make my foot look fat?")

Unfortunately, unlike the trucker hats woefully repopularized by Ashton Kutcher, the Crocband has managed to skip the first two stages of the usual fad progression -- "ironic," followed by "kind of lame" -- and land directly on "completely out of touch." (Thanks to my Foolish colleague Dayana Yochim for her expert input on Crocs' newest style.)

Fading fads are painful -- especially for those who have to look at them. Like investors in Heelys (Nasdaq: HLYS  ) , Crocs shareholders have clearly suffered from the company's plunging stock price, as the sour economy crashes into the rapidly fading fad for its foamy footwear. We'll see this winter whether Deckers Outdoors' (Nasdaq: DECK  ) UGG boots, long the fluffy footwear of the hip and famous, can eke out another year of popularity. At least Skechers (NYSE: SKX  ) seems adept at constantly reinventing its footwear, albeit with designs that admittedly touch on elements of recent trends.

Some investors will always maintain their love affair with story stocks like Crocs or former highflier Sirius XM (Nasdaq: SIRI  ) , no matter how poorly the business does. I still think investors should step away from the Crocs, and the Crocband does nothing to change my mind. I'm glad the company is trying new things, but I'm not sure these superficial tweaks make any real difference.

What do you think? Use the comment boxes below to tell us whether the new Crocs style is rad or lame.

Slip on some related Foolishness:

Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. The Fool has a disclosure policy. Try any of our Foolish newsletters free for 30 days.

Read/Post Comments (13) | Recommend This Article (16)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On September 04, 2009, at 5:22 PM, ImaWright wrote:

    Here goes Alyce Lomax again spouting off her own personal opinions of what she does and does not consider fashionable and somehow trying to pass it off as financial advice. Motley Fool obviously is struggling with it's own credibility if they are going to allow people to publish under their name such useless opions. Maybe Alyce and The Motley Fools should compete with The Onion for reader base. So Alyce doesn't like the shoes, who cares! What other information is anyone expected to get out of this article other than Alyce would rather wear uncomfortable shoes as long as they look good. Alyce you are at the very least wasting space on the world wide web and more likely just wasting space world wide.

  • Report this Comment On September 04, 2009, at 5:24 PM, RAF22 wrote:

    Nice going - Once again including Sirius XM in another negative story that has nothing to do with that company. You have been consistently wrong about SIRI's recovery over the last six months, costing anyone who listened to you substantial sums of money. Whether you know it or not, your credibility is on the line with these types of unwarranted negative stories and your track record is looking more and more like road kill with each passing article of this type you continue to write.

  • Report this Comment On September 04, 2009, at 5:36 PM, dorfilms wrote:

    How about an article on CROX that actually talks about the financials and the companies future! I'm tired of articles where all you can do is talk about how you don't like the physical appearance of the shoes, it must be a fad, therefore it's a dead stock. Funny, then why is my CROX portfolio up over 500% in just 5 months? What you call ugly I call a company that has shed their debt, is lowering their on hand inventory and looking towards future growth. You can keep calling them ugly but my stock price sure is looking pretty!

  • Report this Comment On September 04, 2009, at 7:14 PM, timdarchang wrote:

    Talk about something that is full of holes. Oh well...Ms. Alyce Lomax can certainly feel free to pontificate her biases all she wants; perhaps she shorted the stock when it was in the 2's or 3's. What matters to an investor, is not whether Crox will be "flashing back to its heady days of growing sales and soaring shares" (although anything is possible), much like whether NASDAQ will reach 4,570 again, or Google $715 again, or GE $58 again, or Pfizer $45 again ( get the point) should not be the litmus test, for making the decision to invest for the first time or staying invested regardless of prior entry point. The real question is: having hit a high of $48 (and a low of $1), what is the prospect of a very handsome return on the current share price of around $6. Based on everything I have seen, I would have to say that the odds are pretty good. I have been taking my kids (who are all proud owners of several pairs of Cros) to the local swimming pools and finding ourselves surrounding by Crocs. I have seen Crocs dominating the top selling list on websites and the popularity of these shoes in stores in various US cities. Asia is a big, growing market for them as well - and the stores I went to in Taiwan and Beijing were stuffed with eager shoppers. The future seems bright.

  • Report this Comment On September 04, 2009, at 8:49 PM, MikeRules wrote:

    This author is almost as bad as Munarriz. Again I repeat I don't think people are (and if they are they shouldn't be) listening to articles written by Motley Fools for investing advice. These writings are more like sitcoms with Sirius XM the constant punchline every time. True sadness, and I am at a Breaking Point with this website. No reason the stock isn't a buy at these levels, just look at the subscriber base.

    Tip of the Day: Buy the USO on a pullback.

  • Report this Comment On September 04, 2009, at 10:33 PM, poconobear wrote:

    time to get SIRIous about crocs!!

  • Report this Comment On September 05, 2009, at 9:45 AM, mpk44 wrote:

    The true sadness is that this is the new journalism. With newspapers disappearing, traditional journalism is dying and replaced WWF or shock journalism. Alyce is looking for reaction. It makes her writing relevant.

  • Report this Comment On September 05, 2009, at 4:30 PM, trammen0 wrote:

    Ya show your poor ability to write articles hey way to go using SIRI with a sor stock???? Goes to show you the FOOL absolutely has no talented writers!

  • Report this Comment On September 06, 2009, at 4:27 PM, asll wrote:

    crox and siri are favorite MF bashing stocks for the simple reason that they elicit the most responses - that translates into pg-views and ad revenue - tho prolly not that much.

    MF is trying desperately to seem relevant, if not make money.

    They're not and won't.

    Don't expect good stock advice.

  • Report this Comment On September 06, 2009, at 5:06 PM, Posala wrote:

    I've thought Crocs were hideous and pointless from the word go. I'm hoping they're on their way out for good.

  • Report this Comment On September 07, 2009, at 5:49 PM, sharptongue13 wrote:


    And why should you care what anybody else wears. I like Crocs, and those are the only shoes I wear unless I am hiking through rough terrain, it is extremely cold and wet outside or I have to go to a function where wearing them might be seem inappropriate by some.

    I just wonder what is mentally wrong with you when you express such opinions.

  • Report this Comment On September 08, 2009, at 11:05 AM, Imat06 wrote:

    Hey you croc haters. Why don't you give them a try before judging them. The comfort level is unlike any other shoe on the market everyone I know who owns crocs loves them and will continue to purchase them for years to come! And crocs has over 120 styles so they do have a pair for anyones taste! All of you haters are tearing down lots of our American companies when we should be supporting every American company. Insead of letting the rest of the world own America. So you haters get online purchase some and then give your comments once you have worn them.

  • Report this Comment On September 10, 2009, at 8:53 AM, ifool100 wrote:

    What is it about Croc's that elicits such a strong emotional response from otherwise sensible financial writers? Some hate the shoe with such passion - it borders on racism! And Alyce is not the only one. (I know she's doing the best she can and just can't help herself from being repulsed by the style.) So much that it crosses over to their professional judgement. I mean, even if I didn't love them - they are amazingly comfy and versatile, it would have been stellar advice to buy in about 3 months back and enjoy that 500% gain. Maybe it's time for a little honest financial reflection. By the way, Crocs are consistently among the top 5 best selling shoes on Amazon. Alyce - it's almost Mamoth season. Try them - I think you will love them!

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