As much as I live in my Clarks Desert Boots, I have to confess to an ambivalence towards Clarks themselves. For decades an arrogant and monopolising business (for years stockists of Clarks shoes were controlled by Clarks as to what else they were allowed to stock), their lack of attention to their own history is astounding in these times when every company with a vague legacy of product claims ‘heritage’ this or ‘vintage’ that. Most ‘new’ desert boot models seem to be made out of some kind of carpet, gimmicky cheap leather, or just plain naff colours. Someone there is obviously half-smart as alongside these horrors you can find the reissued cola and wolf colours. The otherwise nice Oakwood was spoiled by some hideous and unnecessary ‘J-cloth’ lining. Unlike in Italy where there is no such thing as too many shades of tan, someone corporate probably thought they needed more ‘colour’ and less ‘beige’ in their range.
But in a time when the single greatest phenomonen in footwear for the last decade or so has been the ubiquitous Ugg boot, how many brain cells do Clark’s ‘designers’ need? Their own history has the perfect foil for the Ugg – the Clarks Shearling Desert Boot.
Now, there were some blog postings earlier in the year about Shearling boots being reintroduced (albeit only in womens’ models) for September but they are nowhere to be seen. Maybe the all important price point didn’t pass muster in the UK focus group?
Some of the tiny Italian manufacturers like Astorflex often sell a shearling range for winter but these can usually be found only in Northern Italy.
Shame about Clarks, as I’d buy a couple of pairs in a flash.
As an update, I saw this morning that Clarks have introduced their shearling desert boots in sand and dark brown – but ONLY for women!
There is the alternative suggested by Bryan in the comments section, but that is oiled distressed suede. If you search online for images of Clarks Taupe Distressed it’s hard to work out exactly what colour it is – in some images it looks OK, in others really nasty.