I recently rediscovered Clarks Dress Shoes (for men) by purchasing a a pair of like-new black leather showroom samples on eBay . This is my second time purchasing Clarks. The first was a pair of casually-styled Clark’s shoes I owned some years ago. That original pair proved to be the most durable and hard-wearing rubber-soled shoes I’ve ever owned. Does this new pair combine classic ‘dress shoe’ good looks with Clarks’ legendary durability? Read on to find out!
My Clarks Dress Shoes (Thrifted) Review
I prefer rubber-soled dress shoes over leather Goodyear-welted shoes for everything but the most formal occasions. Rubber-soled shoes can offer athletic-shoe-like comfort for all-day wear. The challenge is finding a pair of rubber-soled dress shoes that look as good as their Goodyear-welted equivalents. This has become more of a challenge as business dress codes have relaxed. Rockport, long my favorite source of comfortable rubber-soled shoes, has fewer choices of late in their lineup that mimic traditional dress shoe styles. This is where the current line-up of Clark’s dress shoes stand out. They offer a wide range of classic shoe styles that pair well with suits and sport coats.
My Clark’s dress shoes (style #15103) were purchased on eBay for under $20.00. Typically, they retail for $80.00 to $100.00 if new. These may have been store samples as there is no wear on the soles. They feature soft, good quality full-grain leather uppers, leather lining, and a durable polyurethane sole. What is more, they have sleek styling that closely mimics classic full-leather dress shoes. For me, this is the best of both worlds, classic style and exceptional comfort!
As you can see, the leather has a premium look and polishes very well. The sleek design does not have the bulges or clunky edges so common in rubber-soled footwear. These shoes have been subjected to a total of approximately 20 hours of walking on pavement. However, there is no perceptible wear to the soles and the uppers show little if any creasing. Clark’s offer the longest wearing soles of any shoe I have worn to date.
I maintain these shoes with a light coat of Tarrago cream shoe polish and a single coat of Saphir Mirror Gloss to finish the toe cap area. I use a vintage Norelco Man Care Electric Shoe Polisher to buff these shoes to a high shine. Yeegor cedar shoe trees helps to minimize creasing in-between wearings. As shown, I always add rubber toe plates to prevent heel wear.
Consider Clarks if you want the comfort of an athletic shoe combined with the sleek lines of a formal dress shoe. The British heritage of this company shows in the very tasteful and somewhat traditional styling of their men’s shoes. They offer styles that pair well with sport coats and suits. Plus, the exceptional durability of Clarks footwear is something you will appreciate. Whether purchased new or second-hand, they offer very good value. -SplurgeFrugal!