Alongside the classic sand suede the other colour long available in the USA (at least since the mid 60s) has been Loden Green. This has to be one of my favourite colours. in 1983 I bought a pair in the sale from K Shoes next to Tottenham Court Rd tube station (now a hole in the ground for Crossrail).
Back then Clarks didn’t even sell the desert boots in the UK anymore and I paid £12.99 for this overstock pair. They were so devalued at the time that K Shoes used to put them in pairs on rack outside the door onto Oxford St. That the rack itself was secured by a chain but the shoes were loose, says a lot.
Of course back then Clarks desert boots were still Made in England, the spectre of poor quality control of far east production still light years away. This was after all a time when the word ”imported’ in an American mail order catalogue meant ‘from England’ ‘from Scotland’ or wherever the item was famously made or originated. Nowadays it means something entirely different.
Some of the made in Vietnam desert boots are atrocious warped items with rigid collars and nasty fabric lining, but I did recently pick up a pair of the limited edition tobacco suede that were really well made, super soft and virtually indistuingishable (Heel crepe is much deeper into the sole) from the Clarks Made in England.
For lovers of Loden Green originals, you can’t get them in the UK (where you can get all kinds of evil incarnations from Austin Powers to cheap tweed) but you can still buy them from the USA. Even with the inevitable customs tax that Postman Pat inflicts with ever more vigour in these recessionist times, they still work out roughly the same as buying them in the UK even with the shipping costs.
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