In short: Hey Dudes are so popular because they are something everyone can love. They’re made of sustainable materials, stylish, comfortable, and easy to wear (without traditional laces).
Hey Dude — known for its comfortable, lightweight shoes — has legions of diehard Gen Z fans. But why are Hey Dudes so popular and when did it become popular? Find out in this article.
When did Hey Dudes become popular?
Although Hey Dude was founded in 2008, it wasn’t until 2011 that the brand sold 1 million pairs. By 2020, Hey Dude has become a popular footwear brand in the United States.
Hey Dude was first introduced in the summer of 2008, by two Italian footwear experts Alessandro and Dario. They wanted to create comfortable and accessible footwear.
By February 2009, a year after the brand’s initial release, Hey Dude opened a branch in the United States. It was run by a new member of the team named Daniele.
Shortly after this in June of 2010, Hey Dude shoes were being stocked across the entire world, including expanding markets across Europe, Eastern Asia, and South America.
By October 2011, just over 30 months since the company was founded, Hey Dude shoes had sold 1 million pairs, showing the explosive popularity of lightweight and comfortable shoes.
In 2018, Hey Dude created the female equivalent of the ever-popular Wally shoe called the Wendy. The brand sold 5 million pairs by August 2018.
In 2021, Crocs purchased the Hey Dude shoe brand. With such a big company owning them now, there is a huge possibility that the brand will continue to become more popular.
Why are Hey Dudes so popular?
Part of the reason why Hey Dudes are so popular is due to the positive reviews and recommendations they receive. Indeed, Hey Dudes are known for being comfortable.
1. Desire to innovate
Hey Dude was founded in Italy in 2008 by CEO Alessandro Rosano, who wanted to create comfortable and accessible footwear. It all began with a single style of shoe called the Wally.
The brand continued to build upon its success. Based upon the popular Wally style, the Eco Knit range uses recycled fibers to make an innovative breathable shoe.
In the beginning, Hey Dude focused on a singular focus: create a shoe that is stylish and comfortable. After the brand has created a solid foundation, it continues to innovate.
For example, in 2017 Hey Dude manufactured their first water shoe named the Mistral, a shoe that has special insoles that can get wet and maintain grip while water quickly flows away.
In 2018, Hey Dude created the Wendy, the female version of the ever-popular Wally shoe. By providing an option for women, Hey Dude has basically doubled its potential customers.
With the desire to give people amazing shoes and a new sense of adventure, Hey Dude, as a company has continued to innovate throughout the years, which in turn propelled its success.
2. Strong online presence
Hey Dude — known for its comfortable, lightweight shoes — has legions of diehard Gen Z fans. This was all made possible by its effective online marketing strategy via social media.
According to Piper Sandler’s latest biannual survey of US teens, Hey Dude ranked among teens’ top 10 favorite shoe brands for the second survey in a row.
Just to give you an idea of how fast Hey Dude’s rise to popularity is: Hey Dude ranked 54th among the teens surveyed in 2019. By 2020, it had jumped to 17th.
It seems as though part of the brand’s popularity can be attributed to TikTok — the platform is home to hundreds of videos of customers showing off their collections of Hey Dudes.
Many fans of Hey Dude shoes posted their beloved footwear on the social media platform, and many of the videos are tagged with US states like Florida or Texas.
This continuous exposure on social media has snowballed the success of Hey Dude shoes, with the bulk of the popularity coming from the Midwest and the South of the United States.
According to Business Insider, Hey Dude has not spread to the coast as much as some other companies would, and that’s the opportunity. It has more potential in the US and also globally.
3. Focus on sustainability
Not only are Hey Dude shoe lightweight, breathable, and comfortable, but they are also made with sustainability in mind, something that appeals to a wide range of audiences.
Case in point: Hey Dude shoes are made using recycled cork, plastic, and leather, and they’re sent to customers in packaging made from cornstarch.
That being said, sustainability doesn’t mean disposable. Hey Dudes are also made from quality materials, which means they’ll last for years without any issues.
4. Functional yet stylish
It’s rare to find footwear that is both functional and stylish these days. This is an area where Hey Dude excels at. By providing functional yet stylish shoes, they have become popular.
Not only are Hey Dudes fashionable, but they are also designed to be cleaned easily. Almost all types of Hey Dudes are machine washable, except the ones made of leather, suede, or wool.
The lacing system is also a thing of beauty. Unlike most lace-up sneakers, Hey Dude uses a unique lacing system that you can tighten by pulling the elastic laces without tying.
Each purchase of Hey Dude shoes also comes with extra laces, which you can conveniently use to replace old laces. People adore extra value and that is why Hey Dude is so popular.
Now you know why Hey Dude shoes are so popular. The brand has made amazing products that people love and adore, combined with a strong online presence via social media.