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Clarks Buyer’s Guide

Unquestionably one of British footwear’s most iconic names,Clarks has been producing some of the UK’s finest shoes now for almost two centuries. Yet despite its rich heritage and prestige, Clarks isn’t a brand to rest on its laurels; almost every season the brand strives to reimagine the Clarks archive, introducing exciting new silhouettes and designs into an ever-expanding collection that seamlessly combines much-loved classics with modern must-haves.

Clarks guide

To help you find your perfect pair of Clarks shoes and answer any questions you have along the way, we’ve teamed up with our buying team to talk you through everything you need to know about Clarks whether you’re a first-time buyer or a seasoned collector.

How did Clark's shoes get started?

Clarks was founded in 1825 by brothers Cyrus and James Clark in Somerset, England. The Clarks brand started out producing rugs out of local sheepskin, and it wasn’t until three years later in 1828 that the first veritable pair of Clarks shoes were made when James Clark decided to craft cozy slippers using the offcuts from those rug

Over the next half-decade, trade blossomed for the Clarks brothers who transitioned completely into footwear thanks largely to several award-winning shoe designs. But the Clarks brand really took off in 1873 when James’ son William mechanised the shoemaking process and brought the brand to the forefront of technological developments in doing so. By the early 1900s, Clarks was the name on everybody’s lips in London where new premium fabrications and fashion-forward styles were taking the capital by storm.


But Clark’s most iconic ‘fashion’ moment was yet to come when in 1950 Nathan Clark designed the Desert Boot. With a novel design inspired by boots Mr Clark had spotted in the bazaars of Cairo, the simple suede ankle boots took off almost immediately when introduced to the British market. Desert boots were swiftly adopted by subcultures around the world, from Jamaican rude boys and Beatniks in the U.S. to Mods in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, and by the Britpop movement in the ’90s. During its 70-year lifetime, the Clarks desert boot has been often imitated but never bettered, and the shoe remains one of the brand’s bestsellers until this very day.

Are Clarks waterproof?

Not all Clarks shoes are waterproof, but the brand does have a GORE-TEX® range that creates waterproof, breathable shoes perfect for keeping feet dry in all weather conditions. We also stock a range of shoe care products and protectors to help waterproof and prolong the lifetime of your shoes.

clarks size guide

Are Clarks shoes true to size?

The key to enjoying your Clarks shoes to the fullest lies in finding the right size. Clarks offers a wide variety of sizes, but it's important to note that their sizing can sometimes differ from other brands. To ensure you're selecting the correct size, follow these steps:

  1. Measure Your Feet: Use a ruler or a foot-measuring device to determine the length of your feet in centimeters or inches. Make sure to measure both feet, as they might not be the same size.
  2. Consult the Clarks Size Chart: Clarks understands that correctly fitting shoes are important no matter your age. Many people may not fit into a standard 'whole' size, so Clarks also offers the option of whole and half sizes. Use the Clarks men's, women's, and kids' size guides below to find your perfect fit. Match your foot measurements with the corresponding Clarks size to find your perfect fit.
  3. Consider Width: Clarks also offers various width options, such as standard (D), wide (E), and extra-wide (EEE). If you have wider or narrower feet, selecting the appropriate width can enhance your comfort.

Women's & Men's

2 34 35 21.2
2.5 35 35.5 21.6
3 35.5 36 22.1
3.5 36 36.5 22.5
4 37 37 22.9
4.5 37.5 37.5 23.3
5 38 38 23.7
5.5 39 38.5 24.1
6 39.5 39 24.6
6.5 40 40 25
7 41 41 25.4
7.5 41.5 41.5 25.8
8 42 42 26.3
8.5 42.5 42.5 26.7
9 43 43 27.2
9.5 44 44 27.6
10 44.5 45 28
10.5 45 45.5 28.5
11 46 46 28.9
11.5 46.5 46.5 29.3
12 47 47 29.8
12.5 47.5 47.5 30.2
13 48 48 30.6
13.5 49 48.5 31
14 49.5 49 31.4
14.5 50 50 31.9
15 51 51 32.3



2 17.5 10.1
2.5 18 10.5
3 18.5 10.9
3.5 19 11.3
4 20 11.7
4.5 20.5 12.2
5 21 12.6
5.5 22 13
6 22.5 13.4
6.5 23 13.8
7 24 14.2
7.5 25 14.7
8 25.5 15.1
8.5 26 15.5
9 27 15.9
9.5 27.5 16.4
10 28 16.8
10.5 28.5 17.2
11 29 17.6
11.5 29.5 18.1
12 30 18.5
12.5 31 18.9
13 32 19.3
13.5 32.5 19.8
1 33 20.2
1.5 33.5 20.6
2 34 21
2.5 35 21.4

Do Clarks fit for width?

Clarks understands that your width fitting is every bit as important as your shoe size. The brand offers a range of width fittings for men, women and kids:


C Narrow Fit
D Standard Fit
E Wide Fit
EE Extra Wide Fit



F Narrow Fit
G Standard Fit
H Wide Fit



E Narrow Fit
F Standard Fit
G Wide Fit
H Extra Wide Fit

Are Clarks good for your feet?

A combination of high-quality materials, a huge number of fits, and almost 200 years of industry experience makes Clarks one of the most reputable and respected footwear brands working today. The brand takes pride in offering contemporary shoes crafted from quality materials that never compromise on comfort or functionality. For this reason, Clarks has garnered a reputation for developing shoes that consider comfort and foot health to be every bit as important as design and aesthetics.

What is Clarks’ Ortholite® footbed?

One standout feature of many Clarks shoes is the Ortholite footbed. Ortholite offers an advanced propriety polyurethane formula with recycled rubber content that delivers a combination of benefits unmatched by virtually any other insole manufacturer. The unique open-cell structure of an Ortholite® high-performance footbed delivers long-lasting cushioning plus breathability, a lightweight construction, moisture management and being machine washable. This innovative technology offers a superior level of comfort and support:

  1. Cushioning: The Ortholite footbed is designed to cushion your feet, reducing the impact of each step and providing a comfortable walking experience.
  2. Moisture Management: Ortholite insoles are known for their moisture-wicking properties, helping to keep your feet dry and fresh throughout the day.
  3. Long-Lasting Comfort: The combination of cushioning and breathability ensures that your Clarks shoes with Ortholite footbeds remain comfortable, even during extended wear.

Are Clark's shoes non-slip/slip-resistant?

Many Clarks shoes feature a certified, slip-resistant rubber outsole perfect for school, work, or slippy environments. You will be able to find out if the sole of your shoe is non-slip or slip-resistant by checking out the description on the product page.

Are Clarks shoes made from real leather?

The extensive range of Clarks shoes includes many styles crafted from real leather.

Materials Used in Clark's Shoes

Clarks is renowned for using high-quality materials that ensure durability and style. Common materials found in Clark's shoes include:

  1. Leather: Clarks often employs premium leather for their uppers, which not only looks elegant but also molds to your feet over time, offering a personalized fit.
  2. Suede: Soft and luxurious, suede is another favored material used in Clark's shoes, lending a sophisticated touch to various styles.
  3. Textiles: In addition to leather and suede, Clarks utilizes textiles for a variety of designs. Textiles can provide breathability and versatility in different weather conditions.

We would recommend carefully reading the description on the product page which will clearly state whether the product is made from real leather, or alternatively please feel free to get in touch with us if you are unsure about the fabrication of your shoes or would like more information.

clarks originals

What are Clarks Originals Wallabee made from?

The Clarks Original Wallabee is a legendary style from the Clarks archive produced by the brand since 1967. The shoe comes in two styles—the shoe and the boot—which are both made from two pieces of leather or suede in the timeless moccasin design with two eyelets and a signature wedge crepe rubber sole. Suede is a type of leather that comes from the underside of the animal hide, providing a soft and velvety texture. The suede upper of Clarks Wallabees gives them their characteristic look and feel. The shoes often feature hand-stitched moccasin-style details, including a distinctive apron toe and a central seam that runs from the toe to the upper part of the shoe.

The sole of Clarks Wallabees is usually made from crepe rubber. Crepe rubber is a natural rubber material known for its comfortable and flexible properties. It provides a cushioned feel underfoot and contributes to the overall comfort of the shoes. It's important to note that Clarks offers a variety of Wallabee styles, and the materials used may vary based on the specific design and colorway. While suede leather and crepe rubber are common components, there may be variations in material choices for different versions of the Wallabee. The combination of suede leather and crepe rubber gives Clarks Wallabees their distinctive look, comfort, and versatility, making them a timeless choice for both casual and stylish footwear.

How are Clarks Desert Boots made?

The Clarks Desert Boot is made using a stitch-down construction which means that the upper is rapidly stitched directly to the sole. Although simplistic in nature, the stitch-down construction provides the Clarks Desert Boot with its durability plus the distinctive curving shape of the upper.

The video below gives an insight into the making of the limited edition Made in England Clarks Desert Boot, produced in 2015:

How can I style my Clarks?

Throughout history, Clarks has been worn and styled by everyone from Wu-Tang Clan to Noel Gallagher, Robert Pattinson to Steve McQueen, Drake to Prince Harry. In addition to their functionality and comfort, Clarks’ shoes are beloved for their versatility which allows them to complement most aesthetics. Below are a few suggestions on how to style your Clarks shoes.

Do Clarks just create formal styles?

Clarks has developed its range of footwear over the years to include fashion footwear and trainers, alongside their more formal focus. See our blog on the shoe we are labelling a game-changing silhouette, the Trigenic Trainer or read up more about the Clarks Originals Wallabees!


Holly Thompson
Holly Thompson Writer and expert

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