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Thread: Am I the only one who doesnt understand Clarks Desert Boots?

  1. #11
    Varsity Member ajs116's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillN View Post
    I don't understand the love for these shoes at all.

    They're blobby, make my feet look like Donald Duck
    Totally agree. It baffles me

  2. #12
    Super Moderator LesserBlackDog's Avatar
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    I like them personally but can see why others don't. They are definitely a casual shoe - if you are looking for a sleek, dressy chukka silhouette, these are not the shoes for you, just as the chunky shape of a classic Danner mountain hiking boot with an aggressive lug sole is definitely not the shoe for someone looking for a sleek, "heritage" "work boot" like a leather soled Wolverine 1000 Mile (much less a sleek dress boot). The simplicity and lack of structure in the CDB design that makes them look kind of flat and floppy and pancakey is also what makes them so perfect for casual wear, and so comfortable if you like really flat insoles (which I personally do).

    I've got dark brown suede Bushacres, and while I don't wear them super frequently now that I am in a mostly jacket-and-tie work environment, they still get use - for example, with rumpled chinos and a chunky fisherman's sweater, or jeans and a henley, etc.

    P.S. Off-topic but that brown seersucker (?) suit above is getting me all hot and bothered right now....
    Ben

  3. #13
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    This is very hard to explain, but there is a certain tier of dress for which CDBs are perfect.

    Not for everyone, but they get a lot of compliments for a basic shoe. I also think it's the perfect entry-level investment for guys trying to dress a little better without going full flamingo.

    The laces rot into oblivion eventually and I'd have better luck finding Nessie than replacement laces.

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    Several years ago, I also convinced myself that CDBs were a must-have, so I got the beeswax ones. Comfortable? Sure. Looks good with a little scuff and scratch here and there? You bet. Wear 'em in the rain (on both days of the year that we have rain in Dallas)? Always. But combine that wide toe box and the overall floppiness with my 9C feet and you end up with clown shoes. I recently ran across some pictures of me where I was wearing them and I was immediately struck by how cool I told myself they were vs. how cool they (didn't) look.

    Funny you mention about replacement laces. About a year into ownership, the OEM, paper-thin laces snapped on one of them. I went into the Clark's store at the mall and asked for replacements. The clerk immediately pulled out a shoe box overflowing with lace pairs and basically invited me to take a fistful.

    TL;dr: cool for some, not for me.

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    +1 to those who dislike. Blobby and (IMO) comfort was vastly overrated. They were a meme in affordable menswear for a while but thankfully that seems to have died out.

  6. #16
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    The way I see it, CDBs are not supposed to be attention-grabbing shoes. They're the most casual, non-sneaker, non-rugged (not work boots or hiking boots) leather shoes you can wear (that's more grown-up than boat shoes and sturdier than driving mocs or loafers). You can be wearing a long-sleeved henley, jeans, and sneakers and look ok, but if you swap the sneakers for CDBs you would look a lot better. The CDBs are not the highlight, but as part of an outfit they elevate the whole look.

    I understand how they might seem inelegant or ugly, but I love how slightly beat up my beeswax CDBs are. If I wanted a sleeker or smarter looking boot then I'd just wear my sleek chelseas, but if I'm strolling around town or just malling I don't wanna look like I came from the office.

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    Varsity Member JT10000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillN View Post
    I don't understand the love for these shoes at all.

    They're blobby, make my feet look like Donald Duck and, look like something every frat guy in the SEC slaps on to get dressed up.

    Help me out. What am I missing?
    Agreed. I had some when I was a boy, and even then didn't like them.

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    Maybe its because I'm a lawyer, but I'd like to clarify whether this thread is about *Clark's* Desert boots, or Desert boots generally, and Clark's are just the go to on the site and forums.

    I don't have a pair (of any desert boots) because I don't really like them, whether Clark's or not. Are there non-Clark's that are substantially better looking?

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    They're classic and will never go out of style but not for everyone....also they don't look like you're about to go hiking which is a huge plus for a boot IMO

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by emynd View Post
    I'm taking your "What am I missing?" at face value and assuming you're genuinely interested in what you're missing: for me, they're the most versatile shoe I own. I have the dark brown suede Bushacre Chukkas that I bought from Nordstrom for $40 (come to think of it, maybe they aren't exactly the same as CDB? Not sure) and I can wear them with jeans, sport coats w/ odd trousers, and even casual suits. They're unlined and floppy and light, which makes them very easy to travel with, and, of course, crepe soles make them significantly more practical for walking long distances. You can make the argument that a more refined and shapely chukka would also serve this purpose, and I do have a pair of those (a Meermin pair that I love as well), but I find myself reaching for the Clarks more simply because they're less fussy, more floppy, and more comfortable. Also, they're cheap!

    I often wear them in similar outfits to these (I'm aware the first two pair of shoes here *ARENT* Clarks)
    Are any of those boots Clarks? Because they look too trim to be CDBs, which--consistent with others' opinions here--I've found to be bulbous and clowny in the toebox. I'm all-in for chukkas as a general matter, but Clarks/desert boots are a "never" for me.

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