Clarks Originals are of the moment. Always have been. Always will be. From the iconic styles that have never gone out of fashion to designs that are right for the times. Classics are revived and replicated, legends reinterpreted. Stunning new looks are inspired as much by our past as by the here and now. And superb materials from the four corners of the globe are fused with the signature Originals crepe sole For men and for Women, there is nothing quite like the Clarks Originals. Never has been. Never will be.
THE DESERT BOOT
The Originals original, the Desert Boot was designed in 1949 by Nathan Clark and launched at the Chicago Shoe Fair a year later. It’s inspiration was a crepe-soled boot made from rough suede in Cairo’s fabled Old Bazaar and the footwear of choice for off-duty Eighth Army officers. The simple lines and conspicuous comfort were an instant hit and the first ever casual shoe was born. The rest, as they say, is history. Often imitated but never bettered, sometimes different but in spirit always the same, long live the Originals Desert Boot.
Traditionally boots used in the sport of curling have a crepe sole that wraps all around the upper. Another unexpected source of inspiration for Clarks Originals, our designers took the look but cut the crepe, just keeping it on the toe and heel, to create Natalie. This laid-back lace-up is a comparative new kid on the block, but is already following in the footsteps of all the other Clarks Originals and becoming a classic loved the whole world over.
Following in Nathan’s footsteps, Lance Clark created another original – the Wallabee. Inspired by a moccasin made by a company called Sioux, it was developed in 1961 at the Clarks owned Padmore & Barnes factory in County Kilkenny, Ireland. Originally called ‘Grasshopper’ (for copyright reasons the name Wallabee was coined when the shoe first crossed the Atlantic) it was constructed around the nature form last. And it still is. But while the Wallabee is sublimely comfortable, it’s the simple, uncluttered design that over the years has earned it millions of dedicated followers.
The crepe sole has been an essential feature of Originals since the very first desert boot was launched in 1950. One of nature’s great shock absorbers and water repellents, crepe’s made from latex tapped from the para rubber tree. Mixed, mashed and dried its rolled into sheets before being trimmed to size, with any off cuts recycled. Its entirely natural and sustainable. So its good for the planet as well as your feet (it also looks pretty cool). Another constant in the Originals story is our suede. Now as ever it is supplied by Charles F. Stead, a north of England tannery with roots going all the way back to 1893.
As well as the suede, other materials chosen with care include vintage leathers from America and hand woven Harris Tweed from Scotland. With wear and over time they all play their part in helping to make each pair of Originals as individual as the individual who wears them.