Clarks Shoes

Clarks Womens Shoes

The Women's Range

Our Women's Clarks Boots collection range from sleek and classic to playful and fashionable and are all designed with versatility in mind keeping you comfortable all day. For summer months, check out our Women's Clarks Sandals range which features a vast selection of summer footwear styles.

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Mens Clarks Shoes

The Mens Range

Clarks Men’s shoes strike a perfect balance between function, form and quality and are made with carefully chosen materials and unique finishing touches such as butted seams, whip stitches and brogue punching. For work, check out our Men's Clarks Smart Shoes or if you're looking for outdoor options we recommend Clarks GORE-TEX shoes.

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Kids Clarks Shoes

Clarks Kids Collections

Clarks have an outstanding reputation for product that looks great and fits really well. Our ranges span everything from first shoes for girls and toddler shoes for boys to special editions from the Clarks Disney collection. For lightweight and easy maintenance Summer styles check out Clarks Doodles.

School shoes are a really strong area for Clarks and we have an excellent range of Clarks boys school shoes as well as Clarks school shoes for girls

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Clarks Shoes: An Independent Perspective on the Brand

Clarks Sizing and Width Fittings

Clarks shoes are manufactured using UK sizing with a UK width fitting - typically using letters C through H. Width fittings for Clarks Shoes are generally confined to the Children's range, since most adult styles are only made in one width fitting. Generally Clarks shoes are made true to size, however there are often exceptions to this and the shape of a shoe can often have a major impact on fitting - regardless the size printed on the box.

When shopping for Clarks Children's shoes we recommend visiting one of our specialist children's shoe fitting stores where you will be advised on the best fit for your child. Width fittings can be very confusing and we find that shoes are made in different shapes. From our experience it is best to check that a shoe fits the foot, rather than to rely on a fitting gauge to measure and trusting the size information on the box.

We have written a helpful guide on how to fit children's shoes at home on our blog - this has lots of tips and advice on what you should look for if you can't visit a local store.

 

Historic Background Of Clarks Shoes


Founded in 1825 by brothers Cyrus and James, Clarks are still based in their birthplace of Street, Somerset, but today they are a global business selling shoes in over 35 countries around the world.  It all began nearly 200 years ago whilst James was working at a Tannery owned by brother Cyrus. 

Sheepskin off cuts were piling up when James suddenly had a brainwave - a few years passed, the sheepskin slipper was created and by 1842 they were averaging sales of 1000 pairs per month.

In 1863, James youngest son William took over the reins, he introduced the first factory system and purchased a Singer sewing machine.  Until then all was made by hand at home by the local villagers which was then in turn, swapped for wages. 

20 years later saw the launch of the Hygienic range which was the first ever shoe designed specifically to fit the shape of the foot.  This was a major breakthrough for the Clarks business.  From then on in they proceeded to open their own chain of shops, introduce a range of width fittings to their children’s collection and created the first ever Clarks foot gauge used to measure the correct size and fitting. 

Even during WW2 when leather was hard to come by, Clarks remained unstoppable. They came up with an innovative design of a wooden, hinged sole to enable them to continue supplying shoes to their loyal customers regardless of the material shortages. 

Clarks Shoes in Scotland

Begg Shoes were the first retailer in Scotland to offer Clarks Shoes. Starting during the 1960s, Begg Shoes were an official stockist and in the years that followed, enjoyed huge success with their high quality mass-market footwear to customers in Scotland. At the time, the product on offer was both innovative and highly desirable when compared to traditional footwear brands.

Recent History of Clarks Shoes

Through the 80s and 90s Clarks expanded and opened their own chain of stores, selling direct to consumer. This period of growth also saw the complete closure of UK based and Clarks owned manufacturing, in favour of the popular overseas, outsourced model pursued by many brands at the time.

Clarks shifted from a shoe maker, to a shoe designer and seller. For independent stores like Begg Shoes who championed the Clarks brand this created a strong incentive to find new, alternative brands to Clarks. This shift undoubtedly strained the relationship between Clarks, its loyal retailers (including Begg Shoes) and its loyal UK customer base.

Product fit and quality of craftsmanship was widely thought to be inferior from some of the new outsourced manufacture. At times this no longer met the historical standards set and through the 2000s many customers reached out for new brands, with more fashion focussed styling or cheaper price points such as German rivals Rieker Shoes.

Parts of the former Clarks and K Shoes manufacturing capability (and key staff) were absorbed by relative newcomer, Hotter Shoes, who would later become a formidable competitor to Clarks. Only recently has the tide turned, and Clarks have resumed some UK based manufacture and it remains to be seen whether the outsourced production model of Clarks will be reversed.

During 2019 and 2020 Clarks suffered serious financial difficulties which resulted in a substantial change of ownership, away from the historic shareholdings in the extended Clarks family. Begg Shoes and other independents eagerly await the next generation of Clarks Shoes product that will be created under new direction.

Clarks Shoe Construction and Classic Designs

Clarks have amassed great knowledge in the field of shoe construction and created innovative technologies based around the motion of the human foot. Despite its evolution away from shoe manufacture and towards becoming a household brand, Clarks have remained one of the most innovative shoe makers in the market.

Throughout the years, thousands of styles have been designed and produced, with several iconic designs continuing to have great appeal to the customers of today. 

In 1950, Nathan Clark, the great-grandson of James, designed and created one of the best sellers – the classic Desert Boot. To this day this remains to be a tremendously popular choice with both men and women.  The unique trait and charm to this particular shoe is the simplicity as the design remains exactly the same as it was back in 1950.

Trigenic is a modern day style influenced by the Clarks Hygienic Collection created in 1883.  Back then this was a highly advanced creation to provide stylish looking shoes designed specifically to follow the natural curves of the foot.  Using these traditional methods along with modern design and advanced knowledge they have created a superb shoe that flexes in sync with each natural motion.  Trigenic Flex is the perfect combination of a classic design and innovative modern day technology. 

Today, the classic Clarks styling is starting to appeal in the Clarks Original range, with some updated materials on the vintage designs.

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