* Prices may differ from that shownMore Offers
Sitting on my chair at the side of my desk are a pair of Clarks men's shoes all wrapped up and ready to go to The Clarks complaints department in Street in Somerset. I shall explain why.
Living on a boat for many years and generally in warm climates you do not have much call for many pairs of shoes, particularly mens' shoes. A good pair of boat wellies a pair of posh dockside shoes and some sandals make up Captain Springtide's shoe wardrobe so we were in a bit of a dilemma when we were asked to a posh wedding in the South of England a couple of years ago. He had no shoes that were suitable. Off to the shops.
We visited the biggest shopping centre nears to us which is called El Corte Ingles and is at Puerto Banus in the South of Spain. I dragged him around and as is ever he picked the most expensive shoes there, which I put back and directed him to the Clarks selection. " These will be good value" we both exclaimed having been brought up wearing, oh so sensible Clarks shoes in draughty Lancashire. They were black and plain and slip on and actually pretty boring but they would do just fine. They cost 69 euros. I know this because the label is still on the inside!
We survived the wedding, I can't really describe it any better than that but most people will have been to a wedding where a few guests walked out and family feuds surfaced. Thank goodness we were just there as friends, but, the shoes looked fine. The shoes and us returned to Spain and they were carefully stored until our next outing which was this February.
Well when it rains in Spain is just buckets down. It doesn't do light showers or mist, it does biblical deluge. My cousin was down from Scotland and I hadn't seen her for about 20 years so we poshed our selves up a bit and out came the sensible black shoes "These will keep me nice and dry, just as good as when they were bought," said Captain Springtide with satisfaction. The only other alternative were wellies so on went the shoes and off into the rain. We drove up the coast in the pouring rain confident of warm, dry toes and a good impression for we were going to take Anne to visit a Captain friend on a boat in Puerto Banus.
We met Anne and her friend at their apartment hotel and went to the nearest cafe in a close bye shopping centre and spent a little while catching up on the many in between years. It was then time to get back in the car to do the small drive back to Puerto Banus. I was aware of a certain flip flap noise on the short walk to the car but as son as we got into the car my husband started to laugh and showed us his soaking wet feet and the toes poking through both his shoes. The stitching which had attached the soles to the body of the shoes had just disappeared!. Now Anne is a hospital Chaplain in Glasgow and has come across many, many weird situations and we all had a good laugh about it and we three girls headed back to the shopping centre where we bought a pair of 15euro white trainers which luckily fitted well and have now become the rain shoes
Once back home I decided to email Clarks and explain the situation explaining that we were lucky enough to have had shops close at hand, but, what if we had been somewhere remote or at another wedding or a hundred times worse at a funeral, they were that type of shoes! They have asked me to send them the shoes so that they can examine them so now they are off on a trip to Somerset. The scary thing is that I went on the Internet and found many more cases of Clarks shoes that had parted company with their soles so perhaps Clarks are not quite all that they are cracked up to be?
I shall let you know how we get on but I shall think twice before I by a pair of Clarks shoes again!
1 out of 5 stars!
Thanks for reading my review.
I really like Clark's shoes. They are very comfortable and I think are good quality too.
I have quite wide feet so often find that my choice of shoes in lots of shops is limited, they never seem to fit properly and become uncomfortable. I find, however, if I shop with Clark's that the shoes are much more comfortable and there are lots to choose from that will fit too.
I like how in Clark's the staff appear to be well trained and friendly without being pushy. They seem to know what they are talking about too which is always good to see.
I have recently bought some sandals from this shop for a wedding in the summer. They have a cork-like soul and straps made from leather. The straps go over my toes and fasten with a buckle to straps which also go around my heal. The combination of these two straps make the sandal fit well on my foot and make it feel very secure, I do not feel like it is going to come off or as though I am stepping out of it when I walk. It is well cushioned too without being too thick that it would add a few inches to my height. Because it is well cushioned it is very comfortable to wear and so will last me the whole day of the wedding. I find there is nothing worse than wearing shoes which are uncomfortable.
I really rate these shoes, there are always lots to choose from which come in wider fittings than in other shops and I find that they wear really well, I can wear them regularly and rely on them to remain in as good a condition as possible.
I think the prices are reasonable too, I paid £40 for the sandals and I know they will last me a good while.
I remember when I was little, my mum always used to take me into the Clarks shoe shop to have my feet measured and purchase me a new pair of shoes. She would always swear that they were the best fitting and well made shoes and that they were the kindest to my feet. Now, as a mum myself, I want the best for my son and, with her words still in my mind, I always buy his shoes from Clarks.
Getting his first pair of shoes when he was cruising was a lovely experience. In the shop they measured his feet, took a photo (a fantastic keepsake) and gave him a height chart. They always measure his feet in length and width and then you can buy the shoes that fit his feet exactly.
The shoes on the shop are displayed around the sides but not all styles are available in all sizes and widths. My son has quite wide feet so we usually have limited choice - although this is exactly why Clarks are great as other shoes may squash his feet as they are wider than average. I tend to find that there is a lot more choice in the girls styles than there is for boys - but this is something that I find in most shops so it is certainly not unique to Clarks. The shoes are all sturdy in design with cushioned soles - these are usually very thick and durable. I have found that most boys shoes are either blue or brown - this is fine with me as they go with most of what my son wears but it would not be to everyone's tastes.
The shoes that we have bought have been practical and comfortable - my son is always happy in these. They have all had Velcro straps to seal too which are great for teaching him how to do his own shoes up. They don't scuff badly or fall apart at the seams and are really well made. They always last him well - at the moment we get his feet measured every couple of months as his feet grow so quickly so they do not have to last too long, but they are the only shoes he wears so he does get good use out of them.
In the summer, we got my son Clarks Doodles - which are a form of sandal. These offered him good support around the ankles and had a sturdy sole whilst at the same time being open so his feet kept cool. He wore these all summer - in the garden, on the beach (sand and water) etc and they remained in really good condition.
Overall, I would definitely recommend Clarks shoes for little feet as they are well made, supportive and comfortable. They are a little more expensive than some other shoes available but I think the extra money is worth paying to protect growing feet.
I always had Clarks shoes as a child as my mum was a firm believer in wearing good quality shoes while your feet develop to prevent problems when you are older.
Clarks are a well known shoe brand and you can get the shoes in the shop which you will find on a lot of high streets or online. My daughter got her first pair of shoes for her first birthday. As she was only crawling and starting to stand she had to have cruising shoes. These particular shoes have soft flexible bottoms which protect little toes while crawling but also allow for foot support when your child takes their first steps. The first time I took my daughter I was pleased with the selection of shoes. I decidwd against pink as I notice most little girls seem to have pink shoes. The lady measured my daughters feet and then brought put a selection of shoes for us to try on. In the end we settled for a white pair which were half leather half patent and hadlittle silver dots and glittery bits. The shoes had a buckle which was was made of plastic and easy to fasten. I was worried thag white shoes would get dirty however the bottoms of them were easily wiped. My daughter crawled for the whole time we had these shoes so the toes took the brunt of the wear however as the toes curl upwards to protect your little ones feet they still looked good after 4 months wear. The second time we went to Clarks my lazy girl still didn't walk so she had to have anpthwr ceuiaing pair. Clarks say there should be 3 months growing room in the shoes so I didn't mind paying £26 again. This time we picked a leather pair in 'anthracite' which was a lovely purple colour. The shoes fastened with velcro and had little flowers sewn on them, the lining of the shoes was also floral. Clarks still stock this particular shoe which is called 'ida'. Again the shoes had a flexible sole. My daughter started taking some shaky steps after we bought these. I felt confident her feet were well supported. The soles even though they are bendy are quite cushioned . The bottoms have a bubble type pattern on them which provides a little grip on slippery floors. These shoes lasted us just 2 months as even though my daughters feet hadn't changed size she was walking confidently so needed the next shoes. These shoes took a bashing the leather was scuffed in places but luckily Clarks stock polish for all of their shoes so even though they were an unusual colour there was polish available. The only downside to these shoes is that as they were velcro my daughter liked to remove them and throw them!
Once my daughter was walking confidently we were ready for the next shoes which are 'walking' shoes. These have harder soles and the woman in the shop advised these were necessary once your child can walk 10 or more steps confidently. This time we had a wider choice of shoes there were more styles and colours and much to my daughters delight light up shoes! This timw we chose a black patent style. After last time we chose a buckle style to avoid losing them! The shoes have pattern bottoms which my little girl loves they have monkeys and hearts all over the bottom. The heel of the shoe has three red hearts which light up as she walks. The shoes also have flowers embroidered over the front. These shoes are still hardwearing as they still have a slighyly upturned toe to avoid scuffs. My daughter was a late walker so she is only now confident to have walk outside. After month of daily wear they look as good as new. The lights fascinate her and I have caught her hitting the bottoms with her hand to make them light up. The most recent shoes cost £30.
We love Clarks shoes. They come in a variety of sizes and width fittings. They are more expensive than other shoes but as they are worn daily I think it's worth the extra price. Everytime we have been in the shop the staff are helpful. There are a good range of colours and styles so there is something to suit all tastes.
Clark's was set up in 1825 by a pair of brothers in Somerset - their surname of course was "Clark"! Clarks is now a worldwide known brand, especially so in China, everyone goes mad for them there where they are especially expensive to buy. In the UK Clarks is probably the most well known shoe shop, with one on just about every high street.
I have only been wearing Clarks shoes as an adult and didn't really get into them until I was in my late twenties. As a child I always wore Startrite shoes and I also buy Startrite for my own children. The women's selection of shoes has greatly improved over more recent years, I can remember them being the shoes one's teacher or granny wore in the past! Clarks has expanded its collections substantially and now does the Clarks original collection which I guess are a bit hippy alongside its new "Mary and Clark" section which is quite sexy for Clarks shows and has a full selection of high heels, which I would almost certainly trip over in, as well as its normal collection.
Currently I have two pairs of Clarks shoes, both are pump style, one is burgundy patent with a small strap across the front and a brogue-style pattern with a soft rubber sole, the other is a smart court shoe type pump, black with white stitching, a small bow and a hard re-heelable sole. Both have lasted extremely well, although I don't wear them hugely often and only in the summer. The black ones polish up well with black shoe polish and have had to be re-heeled once, however the sole is still going strong. The burgundy patent ones I clean with furniture polish - I discovered a long time ago this works best for patent shoes, and are very easily wiped clean. The have stayed in really good condition and the leather has never got scratched or marked. The sole of these have slightly worn at the heel, but then all my shoes do as I seem to walk really heavily on them. Both pairs are really comfortable, although the burgundy pair have now started to stretch and sometimes flip-flop off, which is annoying. I think both pairs of these shoes were around £40, although both are now over three years old.
I also have three pairs of Clarks sandals, a boring black pair which I use for going to the park etc. with the kids, a dark brown leather pair and a tan pair, both which I really love. The black pair are basic with a rubbery sole, t-bar and strap across the heel of the foot, good simple sandals which are comfortable and have worn well. The dark brown pair and great, they are super comfortable with a soft suede insole that feels nice on the sole of my foot. These also have a rubber sole so are comfortable to do a lot of walking in and are a great design. The have a full back, like a shoe, with a t-bar at the front. There is a big flower in the same leather as the rest of the shoe on the front and they look really nice, sort of casual but quite fashionable at the same time - I do wear them to work. My third pair is the oldest at around 6 years and are really at the point of dying, however I can't bring myself to throw them out. They are smart with a little, quite think kitten heel. They are quite strappy, with a t-bar and I always feel really smart wearing them - they also look good with a cinnamon coloured nail polish I have. These are my "skirt" sandals and unfortunately I haven't been able to find any new ones to replace them. They are starting to wear badly, they need re-heeling, they have a hard sole, the insole has worn and the leather is starting to become scratched. I do clean them with a neutral colour polish, as I couldn't find a tan polish which matched, however they are now starting to lose their colour a little. These sandals are my favourite Clarks shoes ever.
I have also had Clarks boots in the past, at least two pairs and also the odd pair of shoes. They are at the cheaper end of the good quality high-street shoe shops and on my "list" of shoe shops to check out if I am on a shoe hunt. One reason I don't get more of my shoes there is because their shoes often aren't leather on the inside, but a synthetic fabric which I find makes my feet hot, and even worse smell, yuck! I like my shoes to be leather inside too.
Clarks(women's) shoes deserve a 5/5 for much improved and still improving styles, comfort, quality and durability. Price is also good, most shoes are available for under £50. Worth checking out!
Clark's stores have been around for years and they always seem to be very busy stores no matter what time of year, you visit them. I remember when my daughter was little and she had begun to walk we had took her to Clarks. When arriving you have to take a ticket from the dispenser, this will have a number on and is used to help when the store is busy so you know you are getting served in accordance with when you entered the shop. Once you have your ticket, you are free to either take a seat and wait to be called or you can browse the shoes available so that when your number is called you know which ones you like.
When your number is called a helpful sales assistant will come over and ask if you would like the feet measured free of charge. This is essential as they measure the size and width of the feet to enable you get the perfect size. I would especially recommend this for a child getting there first shoes. I have visited 4 different Clark's stores and every time I have been the staff have been extremely friendly and more than happy to take as much time out for you as needed. Once all measured the staff will ask which shoes you like or alternatively they will bring all the shoes out which they have in that size for you to try.
When getting first shoes my daughter had her photo taken free of charge by Clarks for us to keep as a reminder of her first shoes, it was only a small Polaroid picture but I thought this was a lovely idea. Clarks gets even busier when they have a sale on as they have shoes reduced to about 10-15 pound which works out at about half price. I have been to a few sales but I can never find anything to buy there as they seem to have very old fashioned shoes left if you don't go on the first day.
Clarks stock woman's and men's shoes as well as children's however I personally haven't purchased a pair for myself as I feel the design is based for the older woman which is a shame because the padded soles look extremely comfortable especially for someone who is on their feet all day.
For around £16.00 you can invest in the Clarks doodles range which is their version of affordable footwear in the form of a canvas type trainer. The trainers are generally very brightly coloured which are attractive to kids and they can also be put in the washing machine too without losing any of their colour or shape. The doodles range is ideal and well worth the money. Clarks also do a great range of sandals and ballet pumps for the summer months and full shoes to boots in the winter.
Clark's shoes always look and feel exceptionally well made and it is no doubt that you are getting value for your money especially when you will expect to pay up to £38.00 for children's shoes. Clarks also do a great range of school shoes and another good thing is they always tend to have your size in the shoes you want, I am yet to be turned away because they don't have my product. Overall this shop can be pricy especially when you have more than one child but they are worth every penny.
===Why I Bought These===
I have never been a fan of cheap shoes - not even from my early 20s. I do not particularly like high heels either as I would much rather be comfortable than stylish or fashionable. That said having the wrong pair of shoes can instantly change you into a frump - so I like to try and walk the central path of comfortable but ok looking as well.
Clarks began way back in 1825, by Quaker brothers Cyrus and James Clark, who were then making rugs and slippers.
For many years Clarks made their own shoes in Somerset. But rising costs has now seen all manufacture moving abroad, with the result that in the 1990s redundant buildings in Street developed into Clarks Vilage, with over 90 shops.
One of Clarks' most famous stiles has been around since the 1950s and is a unisex sandal for adults and children called 'Playbeck' - with an ankle strap and adjustable buckle part across the toes - often informally called the 'Jesus Sandal'.
K shoes was formed in 1841 but by the 1940s it was named 'Kendal Shoes'. In 1981 Kendal were taken over by Clarks. With its production also moving overseas Kendal's last K shoe factory closed in 2003.
===The Product & My Opinion===
Clarks shoes are always good quality and in fact I only have Clarks shoes these days. I would rather have a handful of confortable and smart shoes and sandals than a cupboard full of cheap and tatty pairs.
I think with shoes you get what you pay for and we have never skrimped on shoes.
When my sons were boys they always had their feet measured and their shoes always came from the Clarks shop - even though they would only have one pair at a time until they outgrew them. This was something I would not compromise on - although I was happy for them to wear hand-me-down clothes - shoes always had to be measured and bought new - as shoes mould to children's feet and the bones are so soft that you can do permanent damage to their feet by using the worng size or someone else's cast-offs.
This feet measuring continued until they were up into their teens almost and then they picked their own trainers - but still had Clarks for school shoes.
The boys never had a problem with this - from being babies and starting to walk they would always have their feet measured - the correct sizes would be brought out and they would pick from those. One son had wide feet so he never had much of a choice, but the shoes were always good quality, comfortable and hardwearing, and quite often had velcro fastenings instead of laces - a great boon for youngsters having to change in Primary School.
Personally I find that Clarks have a good variety of styles - from boots, to sandals to flat shoes, as well as the more dressy sort of shoes with heels and sometimes a bit of bling.
For myself I like their black flat slip-ons to go with trousers and have a black ankle strap pair for 'best' - or funerals.
I have bought two metalic sandals - one in bronze and one in silver. I also have the matching handbags so these are my 'going out' smart pairs.
For knock-about at home I have an old white pair of sandals I bought of Ebay - but excellent value and still going strong - once cleaned with disinfectant wipes I do not mind using them - often items sold are 'as new' anyway.
When I used to work I always bought either K or Clarks shoes - not realsing at the time that they were made by the same firm. Clarks still sell some on their website under the K brand though, but I am not sure why.
Clarks do an array of styles for men, women and children, as well as lots of bags.
Their website has a vast array on offer, including free delivery and returns - but having not bought online from them I cannot comment on the service.
I am also sure we can all remember the standard buckle leather sandals from the sixties - as immortalised by the Famous Five stories/
This of course is higher than some of the cheap plastic pairs you can find on the high street. However for myself I would rather just have one good comfortable pair and for children I think getting their feet measured and looked after is essential.
===Would I Recommend?===
Clarks are a long established firm who make quality sandals and shoes for men, women and children which are long lasting and comfortable.
Firstly I thought I would give you a bit of history about probably the most famous shoe store on the British high street.
According to an article I read, "Clarks was started in 1825, by Quaker brothers Cyrus and James Clark, as a business making sheepskin rugs and slippers, using out-workers in the village, and it has now expanded to become a global shoe brand, with operations in Europe, the United States and the Far East. C. and J. Clark International Ltd, trading as Clarks, is a British, international shoe manufacturer and retailer based in Street, Somerset, England. For the year ending January 2010, the company made a profit of £125 million on sales of £1,174m, making it the 33rd largest private company in the UK. It is 81% owned by the Clark family, with the remaining 19% held by employees and related institutions."
For my situation I find Clarks an interesting store. Being in my early 30's I find the shoes in Clarks a bit too old for me and I think the store is more suited to people my mums age. That's not saying the shoes are bad, no, actually the opposite, Clarks shoes are very well made, very comfortable and you will find some fashionable shoes in there however I feel the styles are a bit older and not quite my kind of shoes. I do like their winter leather boots but I find them quite expensive, around £100 to £150+ for leather boots which I think you can find in other stores at about the same quality for less.
However, Clarks is the only shoe shop I will go to to buy shoes for my little boy and girl. When it comes to buying a first pair of shows for when they are crawling or when they are starting to work then Clarks is perfect. The service you get firstly is second to none. In each store there is a dedicated children's section where you get someone to help you. They will properly measure your childs foot and you can buy a pair that are different sizes if your childs feet are different sizes like my little girls are. Then, the shoes you can choose from not only come in different sizes but different widths too so you can be assured that you are getting a properly fitted shoe for your little ones growing feet. They really look after feet and make sure that they grow properly in the shoes you have selected. There are lots of different shoes to choose from. When they are just crawling and not walking you can get shoes with a sifter sole so they are able to crawl around and bend their feet. When they are walking you get more of a harder sole so they can start to walk properly. Their heels and ankles are also protected from all the little falls they may have when they start to walk.
A great shoe shop that I will continue to shop in for my children.
We are fortunate to live within spitting distance of two outlets, Doncaster and Castleford and then close by too are Mansfield, Hornsea and York which all have branches of Clarks shoes. Since my daughter has been on her feet these are the only shoes she has had and we have had her feet measured regularly in store.
Clarks shoes and sandals are expensive but well made and generally long lasting. We have bought a few pair so far which are:
- Trainers with lights in the heels: We have had two pairs of these with velcro fastening. Obviously their feet grow so fast they don't have chance to wear them out! Our daughter loves her flashing heels and she always gets comments from other (childless) friends when she wears these as they know I'd love a pair for myself too! They fit well and seem to be comfortable for her so are a style we shall continue to wear. The latest pair are pink with cakes on the side and the cupcake has a candle which looks lit when the light flashes. Very novelty!
- Patent shoes with lights in the heel. These again are a velcro fastening and have a hardy rubber sole. Amazingly the patent is still in quite good nick. Our daughter managed to not scuff these shoes but sadly they are around half a size too small for her now.
- A pair of sandals, velcro again! Made of white and pink leather and great for letting feet breathe. They are the easiest to fit on her feet and you get away with the half size as there is so much room in them. I go to these most when the weather is OK because they are quickest to get on her and stay on her feet well. Oh and they have the light up heels too! (You can tell I like these can't you!).
- A pair of brown leather shoes, Mary Jane style with velcro strap to fasten across the top of the shoe. I used a clear polish to protect these shoes straight away but these have been awful and quickly looked wrecked. They are a little heavier to wear and my daughter often drags her feet in them, result, very scuffed shoes. They seem to be really soft leather and were supposed to be her 'posh' shoes but I find myself not picking them out for her to wear often due to their scruffy look. These were the most expensive pair to buy too!
How many times will they get passed on?
Whilst she is not yet here to join us, her little sister will be getting these shoes passed on when her feet are the right size. OK maybe not the brown scuffed ones but certainly the velcro trainers and light up shoes.
As I mentioned above, they are not cheap but are generally amazing quality. The cheapest were the sandals which I have also put in the wash and they came out sparkling. These were £15 and the shoes were £20 so you are getting a bit of discount on the Clarks main store prices.
I like the service, staff and layout of these shops and never come away empty handed. When they are little, the shoes fit for such a short time it can be tempting to buy cheaper shoes but it is important when teaching walking skills that their feet are comfortably shod. We use our child family allowance to buy all her shoes so they really are free if you look at it that way.
I didn't rate the brown leather shoes but all other shoes have been great so far. I can see why people sell on the Clarks shoes at car boot sales too! We will continue to shop at the outlet stores for many more years, there is plenty of choice and size availability and you always feel like you are getting a bargain with the outlet prices.
Our local designer outlet has a Clark's shoe shop that you just cannot walk past. On the other hand if you love the killer heel designer shoes then maybe Clark's shoes would not be for you. I have always associated the name with good quality footwear that is long lasting and comfortable. In my childhood I was less than impressed when each new school year meant a visit to the shoe shop to be measured for yet another pair of round toed flat brown leather lace up shoes, Clark's of course. But now I positively drool over some of the wonderful shoes and sandals that are in that shoe shop window.
Clark's footwear is not exactly cheap but then you get what you pay for. Buy cheap and cheerful shoes, boots or sandals and as a rule of thumb they will only last for a few months. Some of the pairs of Clark's shoes and sandals that are in the bottom of my wardrobe are sat there waiting to come back into fashion. My taste in footwear has changed over the years and I love the flat Mary Jane type shoes that offer plenty of comfort. Wearing high heels used to present no problems but now I much prefer to admire others wearing them.
My latest pair of Clark's shoes are from the Originals range. I saw the pale blue nubuck shoes and it was love at first sight. Many shoe companies no longer do half sizes but Clark's do and this is a plus point because a size five and a half is perfect for me. This particular style comes in a few other shades , I vetoed the darker colours but loved the pale blue and the cotton coloured nubuck. The pale blue shoes are attractive and summery although you could easily wear them in the Autumn months teamed with a pair of jeans.
Nubuck leather has a very unusual feel to it, I believe that the leather is sanded in order to achieve the velvet appearance. Nubuck leather is hard wearing but like any suede type leather it is susceptible to staining. The easiest thing to do is to treat the soft leather with a stain resistant protection cream before wearing them. Thereafter the leather needs to be rubber over with a leather cleaning cream regularly to keep it moisturised.
The flat pale blue leather shoe could not look plainer if it tried but that is part of its beauty. Your foot slips into the shoe and there is just one strap to buckle up. When I first looked at the shoe I thought that the one thick leather strap seemed to sit a little high up and I wondered if it would cut into my upper foot. After trying the footwear on I realised that the soft leather strap was going to be comfortable.
The upper part of the shoe has a smart stitched seam which gives a feeling of femininity. The seaming is as neat as a pin and done in a matching thread. The large square silver buckle that fastens the strap looks smart and the strap has plenty of notches that allow you to adjust it. The insole of the shoe is soft and comfy and as you slide your foot into the pale blue unlined leather shoe you could be forgiven for thinking that you are putting your slippers on.
The Clark's Originals come with crepe soles and the soles are lightweight and very pliable. When you are wearing the shoes the crepe soles bend with your feet and make walking easy. Though the shoes only fasten using one wide strap they feel safe to wear. In the past I have owned shoes that have been lethal to walk in, slippery soles that do not grab the roads and pavements spell out danger to me. The crepe soles feel safe to walk in even when the pavements get wet.
The pale blue nubuck shoes cost me just under £60 but undoubtedly I will get my wear out of them. The shoes look good when they are worn with a long summery skirt and they look good when worn with jeans and I am delighted with them.
While I've rarely used Clarks for myself, it was on meeting my wife that the shop kind of entered my life. Sure, I'd been dragged there by my mum on plenty of occasions, being told that the quality of shoe you wear is important, and throughout school it had been Clarks shoes and no other, but as a student on a budget, and even afterwards, I'd always resorted to Shoe Zone where I could get a pair of shoes or trainers or boots for around the £10 mark. It made sense to me.
My wife worked in Clarks when she was younger, just a Saturday job, as did her younger brother (he actually fitted our son's first ever pair of shoes!) and she does the same as my mum used to, in terms of saying how important shoes are and that quality is better value in the long run. The difference is that now I agree, having seen just what a small boy can do to a pair of shoes!
Will is now 7, and whenever we need to get him a pair of school shoes, we have nearly always gone to Clarks. For a pair of run around trainers, though, he does have a pair of white velcro trainers that he took a particular liking too from Shoe Zone. He left his school shoes in the car one day, and thus spent the best part of a week wearing these trainers to school instead. The results were quite amazing. After just a week, the fronts had not just scuffed, but had broken through a couple of layers. The sides were frayed, and the shape had nearly completely gone from them. In complete contrast, a pair of Clarks shoes usually last him until he has grown out of them as opposed to them deteriorating. The maths is simple: Clarks shoes may cost more, but they last longer, and over the course of a school year, I could easily see Shoe Zone getting more of my money than Clarks would.
I also find the same is the case for my work shoes. Having used Clarks since Will's first ever pair that my brother in law fitted for him, I have occasionally treated myself to a pair of shoes for work from there. While I always used to make do with a Shoe Zone £10 pair of black shoes, I do find that walking in them constantly would hurt a bit. The same goes for casual trainers/shoes, and once more the quality shines through. The quality certainly wins me over.
It may cost more in the initial stages, but ultimately the amount of money you could spend on shoes is likely to be less if you use somewhere reputable like Clarks. The shoes are just of a better quality design, and therefore last longer. It's also better for your body if you have the right amount of support on the bottom of your foot.
What I also like is the range of styles that the store offers. I can't say I'm a fan of a lot of them, but there's certainly a good variety. I know some people bemoan the kids' selections, but we've never had an issue with them, and it's always been a toss up between two or three pairs: plenty of options. We've also got Will's sandals from there when he was a toddler, the Doodles being the better ones, we found. Again, the quality and comfort were the most important things, and they lasted easily long enough and he outgrew them rather than them deteriorating. Now, we tend to get him flip flops from one of the millions of surf stores near us: the benefits of living on the North Devon coast mean that there's no shortage of quality options.
The other thing I think it's important to note is the quality of the staff. I believe without good staff then you'd quite easily get the wrong shoes or the wrong size. A couple of times we really haven't been sure, and thanks to some expert advice, we've made the right decision with the various shoes and sandals we have bought from there. With a worse service, we possibly wouldn't regards Clarks so highly.
Ultimately then, Clarks' shoes and sandals, and indeed any other type of footwear that we've tried, have served us well. I'd happily recommend them to anyone, and while I'm not saying you should totally discount other shops, whether it be a budget shoe store such as Shoe Zone or whether it be a specific sports store or even a market stall, we definitely prefer Clarks to anywhere else. It may cost a bit more, but in the long run you're probably saving yourself some money. Recommended.
Over the years I have had problems with my ankles - they aren't as strong as they might be and I tend to find that it is quite easy for me to 'go over' on my ankle and twist it, which can be extremely painful believe me! For this reason I rarely wear heels these days; in fact the only pair of shoes I have with heels are my black court shoes which I wear for best and the heel on those is only an inch or so!
Bearing this in mind I needed to find some decent sandals which would look good, be comfortable and were flat or nearly flat!
So, for at least fifteen years now, I have been wearing Clarks sandals usually in the form of K Skips and Springers.
These sandals are stylish, they come in a range of colours, they have very low heels and most importantly they are SO comfortable it is like wearing carpet slippers! I have never had a problem with any of these rubbing my feet with the possible exception of when I get sand between my bottom of my foot and the sandal but then that would apply whatever I was wearing.
The sandals usually retail at around the £50 mark which is far too expensive for shoes or sandals in my opinion so I wait until the sales come round. The style of the sandals doesn't change that much from year to year so it doesn't really matter whether I am buying this year's version or last year's. Keeping up with fashion has never been something that bothers me anyway!
Another good way to buy Clarks sandals is at one of the out of town retail outlets and I have visited the one up in Cumbria a few times where the sandals retail at about half the normal price and they have a good selection of styles. I have been known to come out of the shop with two or three pairs so I have a pair or two in reserve for when mine do wear out.
The sandals that I have at present include a black pair which are quite strappy and look really good for evening and 'best' wear. I have a blue and a black pair both in the same style which comprises two slightly cushioned bands of about an inch crossing over the front of my foot and a further one around the ankle.
All of the straps and bands on these sandals are adjustable so you can make your sandals fit perfectly. They all have a deep sole with a reasonable tread so they are built to last. All of the ones that I have had have been easy to clean with just a wipe from a damp cloth. To be fair, even if you paid full price, I have to admit that you would be getting value for money. In the summer I wear mine pretty much constantly and when a pair finally gets too scruffy to wear to go out I wear them for gardening until they eventually fall apart.
I would say that, with near constant wear, a pair of these sandals would last me for two summers to go out in. By this time the sole would be beginning to split so I would get another year or two's wear out of them at home before finally throwing them away.
So, if you like comfort, style and flat sandals, these are well worth investigating.
I personally don't pay out for clarks shoes for myself as i go through shoes that quickly and have that many different pairs I wear that there is really no point. However having a 3 year old I understand that her feet are precious and whilst growing need protecting.
The first time we took our daughter for her feet measured she really was too young to really know what was going on, she was measured although at this stage she couldn't weight bear very strongly and she was only getting soft shoes. We got her shoes and they lasted her until she was walking and was ready for a real pair. Happy with the shoes and the service.
When we took her for her second measuring the problems began, she didn't want to be measured and the young girl who was serving us wasn't really all that reasuring with her. Her feet were eventually measured and a number of shoes were brought out. When the girl started trying the shoes on our daughter she didn't seem totally confident in what she was doing and even told me that a pair fit when they were obviously pinching at the sides when she walked. At this point I asked for someone else to have a look, as my daughter hadn't wanted this in the first place she was extremely distressed by this point. Another member of staff came and we had to take the first pair of shoes that fitted as we weren't putting our daughter through anymore of it.
When we went to pay the lady apologised to ujs and informed us that the girl was a trainee, I complained about this as a felt with such a young child that had already being protesting she should have ot someone else much sooner. The shoes again were excellent and my daughter was very comfy in them although wish they were a bit cheaper!!
Well every time we have been back to clarks since this incident my daughter is scared and kicks up a fuss, she is 3 now so you would think she would have got over it but no chance. The first time we had taken her back since the incident I had explained to the manager why there was a problem and she couldn't have been nicer, now every time we take her to be measured we go straight to the desk explain that due to a previous experience she is now scared, we then wait in the adult area and she is pushed to the front of the queue. They also send their most experienced staff to deal with her and she finally seems to be coming around and even stood on the measuring machine last time we were there.
The shoes at Clarks are really good quality and I cannot fault them, the price always seems a little steep but then when I think that she wears these shoes everyday for probably around 3 months I suppose it isn't too bad. The way they dealt with our complaint was first rate and I cannot fault them for this. My only annoyance with them is that they always try and push extra products at the till.
For many years, I have associated Clarks shoes with sensible, comfortable footwear that might not always be the most fashionable and up to date styles but are certainly a practical option. Clarks themselves seem to be trying to escape that image, judging by recent television adverts emphasising Clarks' fun side but I actually think they should embrace their practical image as sometimes that is precisely what you are looking for in footwear and I can always be confident that Clarks shoes will offer a practical, value for money product somewhere within their fairly extensive range.
As a mum of three young boys, I seem to be in and out of Clarks shops all too frequently, particularly buying children's footwear. I have always used Clarks for that initial pair of shoes once the boys have taken their first wobbly little steps. Clarks have quite a wide range of pre-walking shoes available too, including simple 'pram shoes' without any real support and soft leather shoes for both the crawling and cruising stages, to provide some protection for tiny little feet. Personally, I've always believed that it is best for little ones to be bare-footed for the cruising stage, so that they are able to literally 'find their feet' before making them adjust to the sensation of footwear. I have bought a couple of basic baby pram shoes from Clarks over the years, mainly for a bit of protection and extra warmth over Winter months, but find that they get incredibly grubby and tend to lose their shape very quickly as they are much softer than proper walking shoes.
Clarks First Shoes range offers a good choice for parents of newly tottering toddlers and comes in some fairly unisex designs, as well as some more feminine and boyish options to choose from. I particularly like the customer service that accompanies that all so important first pair of proper shoes. As well as the measuring and the look of pride on a little one's face as they point at their brightly coloured feet (and walk as though they are stepping out on to the moon!), Clarks will take a free Polaroid shot of the little one as a lovely momento to mark the occasion. By the time my youngest is ready for this first pair, I'm sure they will be using digital cameras as the old Polaroids do seem a bit archaic nowadays but I certainly hope they don't do away with the service all together.
Clarks staff will undertake a proper fitting of children's feet, measuring both length and width accurately, and will always ensure that specific designs do actually fit comfortably, rather than assuming that they will be okay based on the sizing alone. For this service, I do think the price of their children's shoes offers good value for money. The width fittings range from E-H but, unfortunately, not all styles are available in all fittings. With my sons having very slim E fitting feet we often find that we are very limited in the choice of styles available and often have to purchase a slightly wider F fitting shoe instead. It is possible to order a specific pair and size of shoes online but these have to be delivered to a Clarks store so that the fitting can be checked by a member of staff. I'm never quite organised enough to make use of that service though but it is useful to be aware of the option.
I really can't fault the actual quality of the children's shoes at all and I have never had cause to return any single pair of shoes to Clarks which is pretty impressive, given the number of pairs I've purchased over the years. I always find that the shoes last for as long as it takes for a child to grow out of the size, although sometimes that isn't very long at all! I've never needed to replace the shoes due to wear and tear or poor quality, regardless of what my boys have subjected them to! The shoes are not cheap in price though, with the smallest and cheapest designs starting from around £26-£28, going well over £30 per pair as the sizing increases. I wouldn't consider buying cheaper shoes for the boys though, other than for pairs to be worn maybe once or twice for a specific occasion when the potential longevity is less of an issue. For day to day shoes, it has to be Clarks!
As a child myself, I was always sporting Clarks on my feet and will always bear them in mind for my shoes even now as an adult. I only wear flat shoes - never heels- so I find quite a nice range of options to choose from at Clarks. Again, the quality and comfort of the range does come at a price. My husband's last pair of Clarks shoes actually cost over £80, for example, although those were fairly substantial lined and waterproof Winter shoes that he wears day in and day out. I do believe that, when it comes to decent footwear, it is worth paying the extra for a pair of shoes that are going to last and be comfortable to wear and Clarks shoes certainly fulfill that criteria, even if they are not the sexiest styles of shoes around!
For practical, long-lasting footwear and for decent quality children's shoes I would certainly recommend Clarks and expect to be buying them for many years to come.
I feel that this will be an ongoing review, being added to on a regular basis (maybe as often as every three months if my little girls feet continue to grow as quickley as they have been!lol!), and so feel free to keep popping back for the latest update!
I shall start by explaining that my little girl will be ten months old tomorrow and has just had her second pair of clarks cruisers bought for her. She began to pull herself up on the furniture and 'cruising' around at seven and a half months old and so shoes were an important purchase to make. Her first bad habit was to curl her toes up and them stand on them. I got slightly concerned that she may ruin her feet (well that or be a world class ballerina, but I didn't want to take that risk!) and so wanted a good quality shoe that I could rely on.
I chose to buy her some clarks cruiser shoes as they are designed to hold the babies foot in the right position and will help the babies feet to grow properly. A babies foot is mainly made up of cartilidge and they cannot feel if their shoes are too tight. Obviously if their shoes are too tight then this will inhabit a healthy foot growth which will in turn effect babies walking.
So off we went to Clarks in our home town. The lady who served us was very helpful and measured my little girls feet. She did this with a little hand held board which has a slider on to measure the length of the childs foot and a ribbon across the top to measure the width of the foot. This was a quick and painless process that wasn't at all scary for my little one. Once we had the shoe size the lady went to get the shoes that would fit my little girl. Their was only a choice of three different shoes for her at the shop however on-line there is a much greater choice. However we were happy to choose from the selection. Once we had chosen our shoe the lady put them onto my little girl and felt around to make sure they felt right cross the top and around the back of the shoe. I felt that this is very important to mention in this review as it makes sure that the shoe fits properly and for £22 for shoes that last *three months* I want them to fit properly! lol!
(* each clarks shoe claims to have three months of 'growing room' for babies foot however some childrens feet grow very quickly and so the shoe will need replacing more often. Clarks offer a free fitting service and so you can get your child feet measured as often as you like*)
The first pair of shoes she had were made of soft pink leather with a moulded soft rubber sole. They had a velcro strap over the top of the foot to keep them on. They were easy to put on and to keep clean. They lasted her just three months and still look brand new. They were worn outside (to keep her feet warm) but never walked in outside. They are back in their box now being kept safe. These were important shoes as she wore them inside and they held her feet flat for her cruising around the furniture in. She loved these shoes and I feel that they helped her feet to grow properly as they stopped her from curling her toes under and then tiptoeing.
The second pair of clarks cruisers were bought yesterday. They cost me £22 (as did the last pair) which some people may think is steep however for the quality of the service you receive from clarks and the quality of the shoes I do not think this is too bad. I am all for saving money were I can but with shoes I am not going to scrimp as my little girls feet are too important for this. The new shoes are beautiful. They are pink with flowers on. Made from soft pink leather, they also have a pink soft moulded pink sole which has flowers engraved into it. They have a velcro strap which lies diagonally across the foot. This looks fab however my only slight niggle (and I am being picky now!) is that there is a smaller piece of velcro on the shoe. This means that it is much easier for my little girl to undo the strap. *Update 03/11/10* My little girl has managed to take her shoes off a record amount of times today in just one hour it was eight times... hmmmm.... Hopefully this novelty of taking them off will wear off soon!
As I say this will be an ongoing review as her feet grow I shall continue to add to this and let you know how we get on. So far so good though I am very impressed with Clarks!
So after a whole six weeks of use the second pair of shoes have been put back into their little shoe box, and away into a cupboard. Yes, my little princess has gone up a whole shoe size and width. So we are now a 4G. We of course have gone back to Clarks for a 'just to check' measurement, only to be told that in fact the shoes did need replacing. Again a fabulous service from Clarks, not just with the measuring but with the fitting too. The shoes we have chosen have a T-Bar and buckles! (yes I did learn my lesson after the last pair being repeatedly put back on up to ten times a trip!). They are gorgeous! They are now 'Walkers' rather than the previous two pairs which were 'Cruisers'. The difference between 'Walkers' and 'Cruisers' is that the sole is a bit thicker and sturdier. It is a proper sole now rather than a cute rubber wrap around sole. The shoe is also slightly heavier than the cruiser although this has not hindered my little girl at all with her walking. I paid £28 for this new pair of shoes and fell that this is money very well spent.