Hey Dude is on a hot streak.
In 2022, the footwear brand’s revenue exceeded initial expectations, reaching $986.2 million for the full year, according to parent company Crocs Inc., which closed its acquisition of the label last February. And Crocs CEO Andrew Rees has confidently predicted that Hey Dude will surpass $1 billion in sales in 2023.
To achieve that lofty goal, the brand has branched out beyond its signature Wally and Wendy moccasins by today launching a set of new athletic-inspired looks.
“One of the things that we’ve learned from our consumers is they want to be wearing Hey Dude on more occasions and they are versatile in terms of the outfits that they wear day-to-day,” said Kelly Cortina, chief product and merchandising officer at the brand. “So we saw the runway for us to pursue a more athletic silhouette.”
This season brings four new styles to the line: the Sirocco, a knit runner priced at $75; the Conway, a circular vamp oxford retailing for $65; the Sunapee, a traditional slip-on for $65; and the Cody, a laceup priced at $65. All are offered in men’s and women’s sizing and in multiple colorways, which are available now on Heydude.com.
Cortina said the Hey Dude team was careful to remain consistent with certain brand attributes. “As we introduce new franchises and new product introductions, first and foremost, the lightweight nature of the shoe is probably the biggest thing for our consumer. [It has to be] super lightweight, very packable — and comfortable.”
Another important factor was maintaining an accessible price point. The Wendy and Wally start at $60, so Cortina said the goal was to stay in the $75-and-under ballpark with these new styles.
“That accessibility allows us to bring a flow of newness to the market frequently in terms of wear occasions and the ability to fit the whole family,” she said.
As for its signature silhouette, Cortina said the Wally and Wendy will remain the cornerstone of the brand, but will continue to be updated frequently with fresh colors and materials. For spring, some of the latest updates feature bohemian, Western and beach inspirations. And in fall ’23, Hey Dude will continue to build on its boot offering and look for more opportunities for cozy and gift options.
“On average, we see our consumer has four pairs in their closet, so they’re coming back time and time again to the brand. They’re very loyal. And they’re excited about newness,” she said.
Hey Dude previously rolling out a new marketing and brand identity campaign last summer, centered around the message “Good to Go-To” — a tagline that came out of consumer focus groups, where the team noticed that many people described the shoes as their “go-to” pairs for style as well as comfort.
Indeed, Hey Dude has ignited a strong consumer following. In LEK Consulting’s second annual Brand Heat Index, the company surveyed 4,000 U.S. consumers age 14 to 55, and found that Hey Dude was the “hottest” casual brand among both men and women. And its fans were multigenerational, according to the report. Hey Dude was No. 1 among millennial and Gen X women, and No. 2 for Gen Z women. It was ranked No. 1 for men in all age groups.
Cortina said that as the brand aims to pass that $1 billion sales mark, it is looking across categories at areas to diversify and expand. “We are being very bold and thinking super big about the potential of Hey Dude,” she said. “Everything that we’ve learned from our consumers is giving us an indication that you know this brand has a ton of potential.”