Croakies is the name of an American company that makes eyeglass and sunglass retainers; straps that attach to the frame of glasses to ensure that they stay wrapped around your neck if they are knocked from your face. Croakies trademarked their brand name and the success of the company's neoprene eyewear retainers has caused people to refer to all generic eyewear straps as Croakies, much as people often refer to copy machines as Xerox machines.
The original Croakie eyewear retainer was invented by a ski patrolman in Jacksonhole, Wyoming in 1977. He sought a way to keep glasses from falling off of his head during his adventures and found his solution in the neoprene material used to construct wetsuits. Using the idea of a Chinese finger trap, he constructed his first eyewear strap and could keep his glasses hanging around his neck and secured on his head during rigorous activity.
Croakies are used by many sporting enthusiasts who need to wear sunglasses to keep the sun out, but seek a way of securing them to their head. Mountain bikers benefit from the safety Croakies provide as they negotiate rough terrain without fear of their expensive protective glasses getting crushed under their tires. Anglers casting their rod, yachters setting sail and joggers running marathons are among the many athletes that benefit from the security of Croakies straps.
Some people wear Croakies out of necessity while others sport them out of convenience. Many tourists and college fraternity boys across the Southern region of the United States wear Croakies even when not involved in physically demanding tasks. Croakies are convenient for these demographics as they can have their sunglasses readily available and do not have to worry about losing them. Some people even match the brightly colored neoprene Croakies to the logo on their polo-style shirt for a put-together look.
The Croakies company expanded their lineup of products to other items that can benefit from the sturdy neoprene material the company began using on eyewear retainers. Keyrings, watch bands, lanyards and belts all bear the Croakies brand name, as well.