Clarks Originals: Timeless Appeal
Clarks have been making quality footwear since 1825, making them one of the longest-running shoemakers in the world. What’s interesting about Clarks is they are universally loved by, it seems, pretty much everyone. From The Wu-Tang Clan making an entire song dedicated to the Wallabee shoes to their Desert Boots being included in The Design Museum’s ’50 Shoes That Changed The World’ – there seems to be no end to the adoration for the brand and with good reason.
Fashions come and go, but good quality footwear that is comfortable and has a clean, simple design triumphs over all and that is really what Clarks have shown time and time again. Some of their most popular designs including the previously mentioned Desert Boots and Wallabees have been around since the 1950s. The Desert Boot becoming the shoe of choice for The MODs of the 70s – recognised for being well made and giving a more everyday casual edge to the sharp tailoring worn at the time.
It was around the same time when the iconic Wallabee shoe was released – known for blending a crepe sole – made popular by the desert boot – with a suede upper and square silhouette. Again with minimal styling and stitching making it stand out with its simplicity. The shoe again quickly garnered popularity cross-culturally from several musical subcultures to anyone who just appreciated good, reliable footwear.
More recently, the Wallabee was the shoe of choice of much-loved TV character Walter White from the cult classic show Breaking Bad. The character stuck with the shoe throughout his entire character arc from chemistry teacher to drug kingpin and while other aspects of his appearance changed, the Wallebee’s remained.
The third legend of the original lineup was the Desert Trek, released in 1972. Building off the success of desert boot and wallabee, Clarks wanted to make something that combined elements from both shoes. With a rounded toe, new, distinguishing centre seam stitching sat on a crep sole and a bit of a higher rise on the ankle giving more support – the shoes was another instant success. It was also the first shoe to have a branded metal heel tab, a feature that would appear on numerous shoes to follow.
Today, Clarks Originals have collaborated with some biggest brands on the planet including streetwear giants Supreme, Stussy, and Carhartt to outdoor brands like Gore-Tex and even Disney.
Stuarts London have been proud stockists of Clarks Originals for some time now and have seen the shoes go from strength to strength. You can check out our full range of Clarks Originals online right here.