Can you believe the ubiquitous Crocs have only been on the planet just over 10 years? Born in 2002, the shoe was initially intended as footwear for boating, with its nonslip tread and waterproof construction.
“The product was originally produced in Canada in clog-form,” says co-founder Lyndon V. Hanson, vice president of Crocs. “We added a strap for utility, and gave it some flair.”
While they were never ever going to receive any accolades from the notorious fashion police, people – and children especially – took to Crocs literally like ducks to water.
But how safe are they for children to wear?
Footwear such as crocs and flip-flops came under scrutiny in 2006 in the USA and in 2008 in Japan when children suffered injuries in escalator mechanisms because of the soft shoe material combined with the smaller size of children’s feet. After receiving 65 complaints of injuries, Japan’s Ministry of International Trade and Industry requested that the company change its design.
In response, the manufacturers announced plans to launch an escalator safety awareness initiative with first steps including the addition of consumer education messages (regarding escalator safety) to “hang tags” on Crocs shoes sold worldwide as well as supporting organizations that would further the cause of safe escalator maintenance and use. The educational hang tag was fully implemented by the roll out of its Spring 2009 line.
So I guess they did not succumb to changing the actual design.
Crocs came up with specific tips when using an escalator
Standing facing forward in the center of the step
Stepping on and off carefully
Not touching sides below handrail
Avoiding the sides of the steps where shoe entrapment could occur
Supervising children at all times
Crocs also used this opportunity as a great marketing exercise
“Consumer safety is very important to us” said Ron Snyder, President and CEO of Crocs, Inc. “Escalator entrapments have occurred for more than 40 years, far longer than crocs has been in business, and these accidents often are preventable. Because the Crocs brand is so visible and so popular around the world, we have an opportunity to reach millions of consumers of all ages, including parents, with educational messages that will help draw attention to this important issue of Kids Crocs.