This Week I Love …

clarks_shoes

Clarks.

So here’s the story: I’ve owned Clarks in the past, and knew that the brand reliably designed comfortable, high quality shoes. But I hadn’t owned a pair in a while, so much of my enthusiasm was secondhand: Clients LOVED the brand, readers LOVED the brand, bloggers who talk about fussy feet LOVED the brand. Enough folks loved the brand that I knew it was a good one.

But now that I’ve worked some pairs into my own shoe collection? I’m a little obsessed. Just to get this out there, no one is paying me to write this. There will be affiliate links in here, but I am honestly just so jazzed about this brand and so excited to see them churning out gorgeous, chic, wearable styles each season that I’ve chosen to gush entirely on my own. I am stalking Clarks now the way I stalked Fryes back in the day. I am recommending this brand to my girlfriends and they are quickly becoming as obsessed as I. Let me show you why:

clarks majorca isle

Majorca Isle – $174.17 – $259.95

Rich burgundy color + moto styling = total love. This is a mid-calf boot, so may be a little trickier to style for anyone worried about bisecting and visually widening the calf. But it also comes in black and dark brown, which may be easier to match to tights, leggings, and pants.

clarks decade rana

Decade Rana – $46.99

I absolutely adore my slightly higher Wessex Wyvern pumps, but have been eyeing these Ranas for months. Simple, graceful, and one of the most appealing 2″ heels I’ve seen in ages. And with Clarks design and construction, they’re guaranteed to be wonderful walkers. Also comes in a darker, chocolate brown and basic black. A great option for someone who loves the look of a heel, but needs a sturdy, short one for comfort reasons.

clarks valley lounge

Valley Lounge – $100

I am yet to get on board with this high vamp, slipper-esque flat style, but it is trendy as trendy can be. Proof that the Clarks folks are keeping current and busily churning out well-made, comfortable versions of hot shoe styles. This pair gets high marks for comfort and style, and will be a great option for warmer winter days and wear beautifully through spring and summer.

Indigo by Clarks Heath Harrier

Indigo by Clarks Heath Harrier – $89.90

And speaking of trendy, get a load of these fantastic booties. Same shape and features as more expensive options from highfalutin’ brands, but with all the quality and walkability of Clarks. YES. (The Indigo by Clarks sub-line churns out many of my favorite styles. My own booties shown above are Indigo from the Mission family, similar to these guys.)

clarks mission brynn

Mission Brynn – $167.99

In the market for a clean, classic, versatile cognac leather boot? Here you go. I have tried on this style in the store and it is marvelously comfy. Too wide in the calf for me (I’m a 14-incher), but oh so tempting. Especially at that sale price.

clarks valley moon

Valley Moon – $44.99 – $85

Such a lovely, subtle captoe flat. Trendy enough for a teen, but classic enough for a working woman. If the low-contrast, black-on-black doesn’t work for you (and there’s a patent cap/black suede version, too), you can pick from four other combos including tan/black, pink/bronze, and caramel/gold. This style also comes in C widths!

Speaking of which, I do wish Clarks did a bit more in terms of size diversity. The Clarks site offers narrow, medium, wide, and extra wide options for a few styles, but wide calves aren’t yet in their inventory. Hear that, Clarks? How about it? I know a whole bunch of women who’d love to buy your boots if you made them wide enough in the calf!

Who else out there is a Clarks fan? I know this brand has some heritage in the UK … any of you Brits Clarks lovers? Any of these styles tempting you?

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  • Carol

    I have a pair of Indigos that are extremely comfortable despite the 2-1/2i heel. Every time I wear them I get compliments and they’ve held up well. I also wish they made wide calf boots. I would buy a pair in every color!

  • Suze

    Yup. Me too. I’m really limited in my choice of footwear because of back and foot issues but when I can find them in the appropriate style and heel height, Clark’s are my first choice.

  • Angela

    I have a couple of pairs too. Very comfy fairly trendy and people are shocked when they ask the brand and I tell them. I think I have 4 pairs, 2 are wedge heeled for winter and 2 are summer sandals. They are all my 8+hour shoes meaning I can commute, tramp around work and return home without changing which is priceless on my 2 hr commute

  • Frances

    I too love Clarks for their comfort – but in previous years, because I only buy shoes on sale (and I live in Canada, where the range of styles and sizes are narrower), I’ve mostly encountered the super ugly styles, of which they have an abundance. This year I’ve been lucky – I’ve got a pair of flats with a buckle and a pair of side zipper ankle booties this year from Clarks and they are both stylish and comfortable (and were both priced at $69.00 CAD on sale). When I do buy a pair of Clarks that I like, I wear them to death.

  • Monica

    I am very drawn to Clarks and try them on frequently, but for some reason they just don’t fit my feet. I’m a US 8 1/2 (occasional size 9) and I must fall somewhere between a European 39-40 because the 39s are often too short and the 40s seem huge. I do have an adorable pair of Clarks sandals that I’ve had for a few years and love – open toes are more forgiving when it comes to sizing issues! Does anyone else have this problem? My friends think I’m crazy!

    • A.B.

      They fit me strangely too. I’m between a 9.5 and 10.

    • Evita

      Me too…. I am a 7.8 – 8 with a rather narrow heel. Each pair of Clarks has given me blisters on the front. On the other side, Ecco shoes fit me like a dream but they are more expensive and harder to find.

  • http://www.modalcorpus.blogspot.com Natalie

    Like many British people of my age, Clark’s symbolise school shoes! Although actually I don’t think I wore them for all that long into my high school because they just don’t make shoes big enough for my size 43 feet! Which is a shame, because they have some beautiful designs these days!
    I had some Clark’s Magic Key shoes as a child, in a beautiful pale pink shade which I always wore with a red skirt (much to my mother’s chagrin).
    I used to work with a guy who was the driver for Mr Clark Snr, he said the whole family were a pleasure to work for. They are still a big employer in Street, Somerset UK where they originated.

    • Miriana

      I too have big feet and given their somewhat ‘orthopaedic’ reputation, I’m surprised it’s taken them so long to extend a limited range of their shoes to size 9.

    • Alex

      The Magic Key shoes! With the advert with the girl in the forest. God, I loved them. Clarks’ shops always look a bit sad these days and it puts me off buying shoes there. But these beauties could tempt me back http://www.clarks.co.uk/p/20355519

  • http://notdeadyetstyle.blogspot.com/ Patti @ NotDeadYet Style

    I’m a fan, and have a pair of their booties I wear to the nub, then get re-soled. They’re conservative but have enough personality to make me happy.

  • Anne

    There are 7 Indigo Clark’s boxes in my closet right now and that doesn’t include the pairs that I’ve worn to tatters over the years. They are great shoes, in fact it is really my go-to brand.

  • Spacegeek33

    I have “problem feet” with 3 bunion surgeries in my past. I have found Clarks to be a bit too narrow for my forefoot. Same thing with Tsubo, another of your long time favorites. So I think I’m understanding what your feet feel good about! LOL

  • R.S.

    I have the Mission Brynn boots pictured above, and just adore them. They are a tad wide in the shaft, but it hasn’t been a problem with me, maybe because the overall silhouette of the boot works so well (and I have small calves and am particularly sensitive about this issue in boots – can’t tell you how many pairs I’ve had to return because they looks fitted online, but when they arrived, fit more like something I would wear to the salmon cannery!). I typically wear them with jeans, or with tights and boot socks, sot that may also solve the wide calf issue.

  • Miriana

    Clarks are the shoes that lots of Brits wore as kids. They used to have a reputation for ugly, old lady shoes, but they’ve sorted out their act over the last few years. As far as I’m aware, they’re a British chain – there is one of their shops on more or less every high street. And I think they’re a little cheaper over here.

  • BamaCarol

    I probably have 6-7 pairs of Clarks in my closet right now. Love them! I have bad knees and they have some that make walking a lot more comfortable than most other shoes. I have them in every color they make! And several of my friends have gotten hooked on them as well. I have worn a path to our local Clark’s store.

  • Caro

    Count me a fan as well. I recently travelled to Puerto Rico and my feet became swollen in the heat and humidity. I knew I would need something to fly back to frigid Canada as my travel shoes temporarily did not fit. Off I went to the nearest Clarks store to rectify my problem.

    I have frequently bought Clarks from sellers in the UK on eBay because the company seems to offer more colourful wares there.

  • http://Facebook Janice

    I, too love Clark’s. That is the only kind of shoes I buy. I have feet and leg problems and they seem to be more comfortable then any others. I have wide calves, but as their calf area is a little wider, I can wear some of their boots. I am fortunate to have an outlet store not too far from where I live and they have good sales. Right before Christmas, I picked up a pair of all leather riding boots for $80 with the discounts and coupons. Also, I bought some of their socks. Did you know that their socks are guaranteed for life? If they wear out, just bring them back!

  • Roxane

    I’ve got six pair of Clarks in my closet right now, including two pair of tall boots. My calves are large enough to make finding tall boots a problem, but my legs aren’t big enough to need truly wide-shaft boots. I’ve had great luck with Clarks in this regard, as their boots often have a 15.5″ shaft width with a gusset or buckle that will stretch to accommodate a larger calf. They also stretch out with just a little wear.

    I have a true medium width foot (at the ball of the foot at least), and I have found styles that were too narrow for me. I gravitate toward their sandals and boots. The combination of styles, price, and fit make these my favorite comfort shoe brand. The L.A. area has two Clarks stores, plus a shoe boutique chain that sells them. Both Macy’s and Nordstrom/Nordstrom Rack carry certain styles. I’ve had great luck getting sandals on sale at Macy’s.

  • Courtney

    Huh. Are the shoes sold in discount shoe stores knock-offs of popular brands? Last year, I bought a pair of Clark’s mary janes at either DSW or Famous Footwear (I don’t remember which.)

    They were fabulously comfortable at first, and perfect for work. After about 6 months the elastic in the strap loosened a bit, and I couldn’t get the straps tight. The shoes still stayed on, but if I wore them too long, I ended up getting aches in the top and sides of my feet. (I didn’t realize it at first, but I was scrunching up my feet like you do in flip-flops because the shoes were loose.) The padding in the insole also compressed significantly after 6 months or so.

    These issues don’t really match with Clarks’ reputation for high-quality shoes, which is why I asked about knock-offs. I was left with a less than stellar impression of their longevity.

    • Olivia

      I wonder about that, too. I bought a pair of Clark’s ankle boots off Amazon a few years ago and found the sole to be too flimsy. I roll out on one foot and it just wasn’t stable. Additionally, the leather next to the sole got a hole in it after just one season.

  • Annabeth

    LOVE Clarks. I have a pair of ballet flats by them that is, by far, the comfiest pair of flats I’ve ever owned. I want to buy them in ALL THE COLORS, but apparently they’re discontinued? So sad!

    Sometimes I can find their styling a bit clunky – but they have cute shoes too, and I consider those worthwhile investments.

  • http://corpgoth.blogspot.com/ Trystan (the CorpGoth)

    Claaaaaaaarks!!!! Love ‘em to death. The Indigo line is the coolest, to be sure. I can wear those heels all day, standing & walking, with zero discomfort.

    Btw, some of the tall boots have elastic gussets in the back or side that aren’t ugly & do help accommodate wide calves. Clarks have the only real-leather tall boots I can fit into.

  • cherry

    Another Brit here – one whose father had a small High street shoe store – we lived literally over the shop! Clarks shoes were our bread and butter – they were the sensible utilitarian choice, and required by most school uniforms. But they were well made and fairly priced. Of course most British teenagers couldn’t wait to be allowed something less sensible and more fashionable
    When I moved to the USA twenty years ago I was amused to see them being marketed as a niche “comfort” brand. Some of their styles I do find quite appealing nowadays, particularly their Indigo line.
    If you like Clarks, investigate the Hotter brand also – another British-made high quality brand (but not the high heels, they are imported. ) Website in the USA is hotterusa.com I like the bumper-soled flats, and they have fun colors in the summer usually.

  • Shawna

    I love Clark’s shoes and have a few pairs but I generally need a 9.5 shoe which can be hard to find. Sometimes a Clark’s 9 fits me and sometimes it is too small. I have a pair of ballet flats I love but as they are size 10 they are a bit too big. I have brown loafers also in a size 10 that fit better than the ballet flats and a pair of loafer style pumps that are a size 9 and fit well. I could go into a Clark’s store and have a meltdown if I had to chose only one pair. I am a huge fan of Mary Jane styles and Clark’s has always done those nicely.

  • Karen

    I generally love Clarks, as they are one of the few brands that seems to reliably fit my feet (which are a slightly narrow size 11, but not quite narrow enough to fit in a true narrow width shoe). Lately, though, I’m a little frustrated by the fact that their attempts to be more stylish and/or trendy are translating into fewer low heel options. It seems like most their current cute styles are either flats, or 3 inch heels, with no happy medium. I have several older pairs of cute heels and booties with heels in the 1 1/2 to 2 inch range from them, but such things are nowhere to be found on their site at present.

  • http://MilwaukeeKitchen.blogspot.com Sara@MilwaukeeKitchen

    LOVE Clark’s shoes…glad they are getting their due! One thing to add…most of the shoes have two style names…the first word (usually a female name) stands for the type of foot bed of the shoe; the second word is the style name. So, if you find a pair you like, you can find other, similar-fitting shoes by finding other shoes with the same foot bed.

  • Lisa

    LOVE my Clarks!! I found them about 4 years ago and bought 2 pairs of a shootie-types in brown and black and have been wearing them ever since. The soft material of the heels is kinda worn looking after all this time, but the leather uppers still look great. Last year I lucked out and found a gorgeous pair of boots in the riding boot style, only a slightly higher heel, but for $75 I snapped them up! I am always on the lookout for Clarks. Oh, thrifted a brand new pair of Clarks sandals for 3.99 last summer. Yay!

  • Shaye

    The Clarks Unstructured line is a little dossier than some, but they are my go-to walking shoes. So comfy. So quality. I did Disneyland in them this Fall and have no regrets!

    • Shaye

      *Dowdier. Dammit, autocorrect!

      • A.B.

        That was a fantastic autocorrect. There are some cute flats in that line.

  • Sue

    Another Brit ‘of a certain age’ here, too. I wore Clarks all through my childhood and teens, I had an ortho problem and they were the only kind that the hospital would ‘build up’ for me. As soon as could I escaped the image and have never worn a pair of Clarks until recently. I found the cutest pair of patent burgundy ballet flats on Ebay. To my absolute surprise, they were Clarks and were the comfiest flats I have had for a long time In my mind they were always frumpy, comfort shoes, but looking at the styles above, I shall have to investigate further. Thanks for showing them, Sally.

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  • http://www.clarksusa.com Clarks USA

    Hi Sally, thanks for the great blog post! We were thrilled to read it. Regarding your request for wide calves, we will share your feedback with our Product and Design teams for review. In the meantime, though, our Mullin Spice and Ingalls Vicky2 styles may fit the bill. They’re both sold out on our website, but may be available at Clarks stores or by calling 800-211-5461 (8-8 EST M-F, 10-4 EST

  • http://www.clarksusa.com Clarks USA

    Hi Sally, thanks for the great blog post! We were thrilled to read it. Regarding your request for wide calves, we will share your feedback with our Product and Design teams for review. In the meantime, though, our Mullin Spice and Ingalls Vicky2 styles may fit the bill. They’re both sold out on our website, but may be available at Clarks stores or by calling 800-211-5461 (8-8 EST M-F, 10-4 EST Saturdays). Thanks for your interest in Clarks!

    • http://www.alreadypretty.com Sally

      Fantastic! Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll keep our eyes peeled in the future for more wide calf options!

  • Megan Martin

    I am a very HIGH energy High School Art Teacher. I need my shoes to be stylish, funky, hard wearing, long lasting, with a great sole (soul?). I’ve worn Reiker, Bass, Birkenstocks, Dr. Martens, Nine West, Bjorn, Merrell and others. Because of their ability to work style and function so wonderfully, Clarks now dominate my closet. My delightfully fashion obsessed students even like them sometimes, and heel or no, I can handle them on my feet for 7+ hours a day. Two big thumbs up! Thanks for the posting.

  • shebolt

    I am also a Clarks fan, now that my feet have developed some problems and I need to find stylish shoes that don’t hurt. My latest addition was the Sage Elfin heel in the forest green.

    My biggest gripe about Clarks is that their colors are so boring. Enough with the black and dark brown, already! They do throw some fun colors in from time to time. I’ve got heels in cobalt blue suede, the forest green suede (which they call teal), and a burgundy. But I almost get depressed when I walk into the store because it’s overwhelmingly black and dark brown offerings.

  • Vee

    I so love Clark’s they are very comfortable but hate buying them online because they look different in the store.

  • hollyml

    I like Clark’s and have owned a number of different styles over the years — including my current pair of brown fall boots which, although not designated as a wide calf size, have a quite comfortably wide calf! (I often don’t need wide-calf myself, but a local friend who always does tried ‘em on and loved ‘em.)
    My biggest problem with them is that the sizing is so incredibly inconsistent. When I visit a Clark’s store, I can try on five pairs in the exact same labeled size, and one will be the right length but too narrow, one will be both too short AND too narrow, one will be too long and too narrow, one will be wide enough but too short, and one will fit. Their styles are grouped into different categories that use totally different lasts or standards (and typically, only one or two of those will come in a wide that’s wide enough for me), and they don’t use the same names for the categories from season to season. That means I hesitate to order Clark’s online — which is how I normally buy shoes — because the fit is so unpredictable. Whereas, in most “comfort” brands, once I find the size that works for me I can order other styles and be confident they’ll fit.
    Given some of the comments above, I’m now wondering if perhaps the quality is inconsistent from style to style as well.

  • http://birdybegins.blogspot.co.uk/ Eleanorjane

    Yup, count me in as another Clarks lover. One of the perks of moving to England is that generally shoes are a lot cheaper than in New Zealand and also Clarks make attractive and COMFY shoes! I’ve got several pairs of Clarks in different styles. My winter knee high boots have lacing up the back so they fit my wide calves.

    Clarks don’t officially do wide calf boots, but they do cut fairly generously and do have styles with lacing or elastic so I’d suggest people give them a go.

  • http://slipandfalllawyers.net sLIP AND FALL

    I know a whole bunch of women who’d love to buy your boots if you made them wide enough in the calf!

  • Veronica

    I love my clark boots, they’re the first picture.:) I got them as a birthday present to myself. I just loved the color and the feel of them. I wear them with jeans because right now it’s just too cold to attempt them with a dress or skirt.lol