Shoe manufacturer C & J Clark Ltd. was founded in 1825. Brothers Cyrus and James Clark set up shop in the small English village of Street in the province of Somerset. While their core business was making rugs, they would use the leftover scraps of material to assemble unique slippers known as Brown Petersburgs. As the company grew during the latter half of the 19th century, it became one of the most prominent businesses in Street. In line with the Clark family's Quaker traditions, profits from the business were used to improve the quality of life for other residents of the town (many of whom were also C & J Clark employees).
At the beginning of the 1900s, a new generation of Clark family members began implementing techniques from the emerging American factory system into the shoemaking process. The business began to expand at an astounding rate following World War II, and distribution quickly went international--including an introduction to American consumers in the early 1960s. Sold stateside under the name "Clarks of England," the brand soon came to be known simply as "Clarks." Today, the company has more than 1,000 stores across the globe and averages more than £1.4 billion in annual sales. The vast majority of the company's shares are still owned by the Clark family.
The women's collection from Clarks features shoes in a number of different categories. Several of the brand's key styles have remained largely the same for several decades. The Desert Boot launched in 1950 and is easily Clarks' most iconic shoe. This ankle boot is known for its unique design and high-quality suede, and it is available for women in a range of different colors. Clarks introduced the Wallabee moccasin in 1964, and the same basic design is still available today featuring different types of suede and leather.
Other types of Clarks shoes aren't as unique, but they are still high-quality options in a number of different categories. You'll find active shoes like sneakers, hiking boots, and walking sandals. Other sandals include flip-flops, slides, and wedges. Flats range from ballet flats to clogs to loafers to moccasins and are comfortable as well as stylish. Heels come in different heights and styles that are appropriate for work or play. Wedges are designed to be both trendy and sophisticated in addition to giving you a little extra height. Many Clarks shoes are made with cushioned Ortholite footbeds that ensure comfort all day long. Other popular features include WaveWalk technology (built into walking shoes for better support) and Unstructured technology for optimal breathability.
Few shoe brands on Earth have as long and storied a history as Clarks. As the company rapidly approaches its 200th birthday, it remains as committed as ever to manufacturing high-quality shoes that are distributed to consumers around the world. The iconic Desert Boot style is very specifically military-inspired, which means it might not appeal to every woman's taste. Other shoes are designed to be very feminine, however, and might interest other shoppers more. Options like Ortholite, WaveWalk, and/or Unstructured technologies have been developed over the years to make shoes as comfortable as possible without sacrificing style. For the wide range of shoes that it offers and its longstanding reputation for quality, we give Clarks 5 stars out of 5.
- Established 1825
- Versatile footwear
- Sold at:
- Clarks stores, major department stores, specialty shoe stores, online
- Types of items:
- Ankle boots, moccasins, sneakers, hiking boots, sandals, flip-flops, wedges, slides, ballet flats, clogs, loafers, pumps, heels, wedges