Yes, Nike Knows It Just Released The ‘Air Croc’

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Nike has released a new line of foam molded footwear. Yes, they are “Nike Crocs.” Nike isn’t even tryng to hide it.[more]

Nike’s waterproof Not-Crocs are made from “Solarsoft foam” that “delivers plush cushioning” and are priced around $42, about the same as Crocs.

The similarity is lost on nobody. As one commenter on the blog Nice Kicks wrote, “I would rock these Nike Crocs.” Or as another on Hypebeast put it, “haha yea look like crocs, except not terribly hideous.” (The bigger question: would Mario Batali wear them?)

Nike seems to have not only resigned itself to this comparison, but to have embraced it. The product is named “Gato Beach,” an extension of an existing line of shoe called the “Gato.” But Croc, crocodile; Gato, alligator? C’mon. It’s surprising the release isn’t accompnied by a campaign declaring of the Gato Beach: “Not your Dad’s Crocs.”

Crocs, meanwhile, a brand that stumbled in the years after blowing the spongey footwear market wide open, reported a 36% year-over-year Q1 increase in revenue, from $166.9 to $226.7.

Crocs is also getting aggressive to maintain its comeback. The brand just launched a new campaign aiming to convert many of its 350,000 Facebook “likes” into email subs by offering coupons discounting its footwear up to 20%.

But Crocs is also countering brands like Nike by rolling out a much wider product offering. While the brand’s core product is still its Dutch boy Swiss cheese foam clog, Crocs has added “Duets,” which utilize “dual-density technology,” and standard flip flops, as well as designs molded as classic sneaker styles.

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