I recently rediscovered Clarks Men’s Dress Shoes after my first and only purchase more than thirty years ago. That pair proved to be the most durable and hard-wearing shoes I’ve ever owned. However, the styling was so dreadfully clunky (they reminded me of Earth Shoes) that I could not bring myself to buy another pair … until now. I recently purchased a pair of smart black leather Clark’s dress shoes on eBay in like-new condition that combines the sleek style I seek in rubber-soled dress shoes with that legendary Clarks’ durability I remember so well. Move over Rockport, Papa’s got a brand brand new bag … uhh … shoe!
My Clarks Men’s Dress Shoes Thrifted Review
I prefer rubber-soled dress shoes over leather-soled for everything but the most formal occasions. Rubber-soled shoes offer more comfort for all-day wear. The challenge is finding a pair of rubber-soled dress shoes that look as good as their full-leather equivalents. This has become more of a challenge as business dress codes have relaxed. Rockport, long my favorite source of rubber-soled shoes, has fewer choices nowadays that mimic formal full-leather dress shoe styles. This is where the current line-up of Clark’s men’s dress shoes stand out. They offer a wide range of conservative 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 very durable polyurethane sole that is flexible and comfortable. What is more, they have elegant styling that closely mimics classic formal dress shoes. For me, this is the best of both worlds, style and comfort.
As you can see, the leather has a premium look and polishes very well. It is a sleek design without any of the bulges or clunky edges so common in rubber-soled footwear. In fact, I have been wearing this pair for the past month. I’ve used them for a total of approximately 24 hours of hard-walking on pavement. However, there is no perceptible wear to the soles and the uppers show little if any creasing.
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 help my Clarks to retain their shape in-between wearings.
If. like me, you want the comfort of an athletic shoe combined with the sleek lines of a formal dress shoe, consider Clarks. The British heritage of this company shows in the very tasteful and somewhat conservative styling of their men’s shoes. Plus, the exceptional durability of their footwear is something you will appreciate as well. Whether purchased new or second-hand, they offer good value. -SplurgeFrugal!