I recently just made a visit to clarks for my daughters school shoes and I was pleasantly surprised with the service I received whilst I was there. The staff were friendly and willing to do anything for you plus every single thing I requested was in stock and there for me to buy right away. The best thing about the shop was the fact that they sell shoe and bags, that means I was able to get a bag for myself, my daughters school shoes and her school bag all at once without having to go to different shops which to me is amazing as I am not the biggest fan of walking around shops for hours and hours.
The staff shocked me as they were so helpful, they were happy to keep going upstairs for all the different shoes me and my daughter wanted to try on at the time. They were extremely friendly and made me feel very welcome indeed.
The prices were very reasonable considering the quality of the product you are receiving. Also clarks had a shoe care section so you will be able to keep your shoes looking brand new for many years to come.
I will definitely be returning to clarks to purchase more shoes again due to all of the reasons I have just mentioned. Would defo recommend going there for kids school shoes due to how friendly and hard working the staff are. Would rate the overall experience a 5/5 xxx Imogen
Before I start this review, I think its worth pointing out that I live about 20 minutes away from McCarthy Glen, the East Midlands Designer outlet which has a large Clarks shop within. Therefore the shoes we buy are generally 1/3 or 1/2 the retail price. Looking at other reviews, I see there is an online shop, however with this outlet being so close its not something I have considered, especially as my children get measured each visit.
I have spent the last 14 years visiting Clarks shops. I have always believed strongly that children's feet are really important and therefore have insisted they are measured and wear good quality shoes hence Clarks. Now as many parents appreciate, as they get older they aren't as keen to wear "sensible" footwear and I have been beaten into submission and bought far cheaper shoes from other shoe shops and these have quite literally disintegrated within weeks. Therefore although Clarks cost more, I would say from our shop, around £20 a pair, they do last the course and generally stay looking nice with very little effort. What I particularly like is the different width fittings as my oldest daughter takes after my mother in law with very wide feet. Over the years we have bought the children doodles, sandals, school shoes and normal shoes.
Now as I am waiting for the children to choose, I have by default bought quite a significant number of shoes. I have now got to the stage where I will not wear any shoes for work that aren't Clarks. Their shoes seem to fit like slippers, essential in my job when doing a 12.5 hour shift. I will spend up to £30 in this shop for shoes retailing for often double that, but recently at another factory shop bought a nice pair of sketchers for a similar price but within weeks I had skulked back to Clarks as my feet ached and the shoe felt baggy. When I used to buy cheaper shoes, they used to walk themselves to the bin after around 3 months, I often double bagged then as felt I would receive complaints from the refuse men for the severe odour whereas I find my feet don't sweat in Clarks leather shoes and therefore last until I quite literally wear them out. My shoes always look smart and professional which is essential in my role.
I have bought sandals and court shoes too and equally pleased with the quality and fit. My oldest daughter refuses to even consider the children's section with her size 5 feet, but for her the Wide foot versions of shoes are a real bonus. I find that she can easily find something that she likes (a huge necessity) and although more expensive than the children's section, its a good compromise.
I haven't purchased bags or other items from Clarks so can not comment on these items.
I have always found the staff helpful and friendly, the shop clean, although I try to avoid at peak holiday times as it is absolutely chaos in there then.
Its a 5 DOO YOO from me.
I have been using Clark's shoes for my children for the last 10 years so have had quite a lot of experience of their service and shoes. I have used quite a few different stores and purchased both boys and girls shoes.
Below is a summary of our experiences.
I initially chose Clarks for my children's first shoes due to their reputation and if im honest the fact they offered the novelty of photographing your child in their first shoes, (sad but true) this did influence my decision, after all who could resist having their little angel photographed in their very first shoes!.
I have always been very impressed with the service that the staff in the shops provide. Whichever store you visit the service I have experienced has been first rate.
They have a great way of managing the queues in the stores by having a ticket system; as soon as you enter the store you take a ticket which has a number on it. You can browse the shoes and they will tell you when it is your turn.
They then start by measuring your child's feet and then will bring out what shoes they have in your own size. Its worth bearing that in mind when you are browsing the store because on a couple of occasions I have fallen in love with one of the pairs of shoes on display only to be disappointed when they don't have it in my child's size.
The staff are all really good with kids and will make your child feel relaxed. I have always felt that they have fitted the shoes really well and never had any problems with the size after we have bought the shoes.
I have never felt rushed by the staff. The stores can get busy especially around the end of the summer when everyone is shopping for new school shoes but the staff remain calm and let you take your time which is always nice.
The shoes I have purchased have always lasted a long time. I have always been offered polish etc to keep the shoes nice which is helpful but you are not pressured to buy this if you don't need it.
I have always found the staff are also very honest and if you bring your child back for new shoes because you think they are small and they don't think they are needed they tell you even though this will lose them a sale.
There is a big selection of shoes in store and they get new ones in for every season. In addition to the leather shoes they also do a selection of canvas cheaper shoes called doodles which are good value ive often bought mine these and used them as playing out shoes so the best ones don't get spoilt.
I think the prices of Clarks shoes are reasonable, you can expect to pay anything between £28 and £40 for a pair but they do last a long time and because they are fitted in size and width you know you are getting good shoes that will not damage your child's feet.
I am always happy with both the service I receive at Clarks and also the shoes; I have been a customer of theirs for 10 years and have never encountered a problem.
The Clarks family have been selling shoes since 1825! It was the place where my mum would always take me to get my school shoes. I remember them measuring my feet as a child and still see kids in there now having the same thing done.
As a teenager/ young adult I didn't shop at Clarks and wore 'silly' shoes, probably as a result of this I now have bunions. As I've got older and my feet have suffered, comfortable shoes have become very important to me and I've looked again at Clarks.
I would start by saying that not all Clarks shoes are what I would call comfortable. They do sell high fashion shoes with heels that probably are more comfortable than similar ones in other shops. Yes, some of their shoes could be described as frumpy but there's plenty that aren't.
I recently bought my first pair of Clarks 'unstructured' shoes. I bought them in a rush because I was going on holiday and so this meant I hadn't waited for a sale or anything. I think I paid about £50 for these shoes but they have been incredibly comfortable. The only downside with them is that they're not very breathable and my feet do get a bit warm.
Clarks sell all types of shoes, ones for special occasions, everyday footwear, work wear, boots etc. They sell shoes for men, women and children (but not dogs or cats as far as I am aware). They also sell handbags.
Clarks can be quite pricey but they do have regular sales so it is worth waiting for them.
I'm in my early-mid twenties and my feet have probably been mistreated by my shoes as much as the next girl. I've worn horrendously high heels, I've worn cheap shoes with soles so thin you can feel the pavement on every step, shoes that the rain has leaked through in seconds and finally shoes that don't fit properly and pinch my toes/give me blisters/make me unable to walk after a few hours! I had always been told that Clarks shoes were really comfortable but I had given in to them six years ago at my mum's insistence while buying some new work shoes and they were the most uncomfortable shoes I've ever owned, they absolutely killed the arches on my feet and were very painful! My mum thought that I was just playing up because they were Clarks shoes and uncool, until she tried wearing them and also had to admit defeat! Since then I'd held a grudge against Clarks and just assumed that I was destined to wear shoes that don't live up to my expectations. However I recently started working as a Care Assistant and would be on my feet all day and would need shoes which covered the whole of my foot and met certain requirements, for which I decided to put my grudge aside and give Clarks another go.
The Clarks Unloop shoe completely met my requirements, it's from the unstructured range so has loads of padding and is like heaven on your feet. I have to admit though that I wasn't prepared to pay the Clarks prices for them so I ended up buying them online in the sale for half the price! However I was so impressed by the shoes themselves that they completely changed my mind about Clarks and having looked around the store I found that there were some quite trendy styles on offer which, I'll be honest, I wasn't expecting! Mary Portas has just introduced a range with them and they also have a Boutique range which offers more trendy options aimed at people my age. I also like Clarks Originals, particularly the Yarra Desert boots which are my autumn/winter boots for this year!
I also really like that they offer wider fits for adults because I find that my feet are wider than the average woman's and my little toes always seem to get squished which causes me a lot of pain, but usually wider shoes end up being too wide or only in the rubbish styles! Clarks seem to offer quite a large range of wider fit shoes but I also find that most of their normal shoes fit my feet without me having to buy wider versions, so maybe they just have a more realistic view of the width of feet than other stores!
Clarks shoes are undoubtedly more expensive than your average high street shoe from New Look or the normal places I would shop. However I have found that their sales are quite good and you can find discount codes for use on their website which makes them more affordable. I don't mind paying extra for their shoes because they are more comfortable, fit my feet better and are more sturdy and durable than high street equivalents. They also tend to be made from better quality materials which mean your feet can breathe!
I have bought all of my Clarks shoes on the internet so I can't comment on in-store service but I found the website easy to use and I was able to use discount codes in order to get my shoes at a cheaper price. It is easy to add items to your shopping basket and go through the checkout process and my shoes had arrived well packaged within 5 working days, much to my excitement! My shoes arrived with information on how to return the item which seemed an easy process.
Clarks stores are well lit and well laid out, it's always easy to browse through because the shoes are well spaced out, well ordered and easy to see. Although you do have to ask to try on shoes which some people don't like doing I find that the staff aren't too pushy and don't hover while you're trying shoes on and you don't feel forced to buy if you're not sure. The fact that all the shoes aren't out on display is also a bonus because it means that your shoes will be brand new and won't have been marked or damaged in the shop! The staff all seem to be friendly and helpful in my experience, however I've never had to try and return anything!
Overall I find that my mind has been completely changed about Clarks and I find their shoes to be good quality, although a little pricey and the shopping experience to be simple and efficient. I have had loads of compliments from my friends about my shoes, they don't know they're from Clarks and are always surprised when I tell them where I got them!
This review is for children's shoes at Clarks, rather than the adults.
Clarks is NOT the place you should be going to get your child's shoes when they start taking their cute wobbly first steps. Clarks shoes are too supportive and don't allow for natural strengthening of the muscles and ligaments in the foot. Toddlers don't need their foot arches and ankles supporting at their age - they should be left as free as possible to strengthen naturally by themselves or they become weak, which can lead to back problems in later life. Barefoot is best! Countries where barefoot is normal, such as India, have very few people with back and posture problems.
Of course, there are times your child cannot be barefoot! And for such times there are several brands that offer "barefoot shoes", which have soft flexible soles and wide toe boxes. See Kai Run, Livie & Luca and Rileyroos are a few that spring to mind. So many people grow up thinking Clarks are the best for my child, but really they aren't. I thought that myself with my first two children who always had Clarks shoes as they have such wide feet - it's only since I had my third child that I've discovered barefoot shoes and all the benefits they offer. They also come in so many funky colours and styles, unlike Clarks who often have a poor selection - especially for children with very wide feet.
My daughter had her first pair of shoes - some Clarks cruisers, which she hated and found very difficult to walk in. Children, even toddlers should never have to "get used to" a new pair of shoes. If they walk in their shoes any different to how they walk barefoot, they are not a good fit. I've since bought her a pair of barefoot shoes and she runs around everywhere!
To be fair to Clarks - they have always offered me good customer service in my local store. However, I've had a few issues with other stores giving different measurements with is confusing. Barefoot shoes do not have width fittings - some styles are better suited to wider or narrower feet, but they are all made with wide toe boxes for plenty of wiggle room, allowing their toes to do their natural gripping motion. The reason they don't have width fittings like Clarks, is that Clarks don't take into account the instep of the foot. A child with a very wide but shallow foot, will measure differently to a child with a wide and deep foot - even though the width of their feet might be the same. So they would each get different width shoes in Clarks. Clarks only goes by measurements, rather than how the foot looks and what style would best suit.
I wouldn't shop at Clarks for young children, and don't find the adult styles very fashionable either. I'm going to stick with Emu boots for Autumn/Winter, Birkenstocks for Spring/Summer, and barefoot shoes for my children.
Clarks Shoe Shop is a big High Street name with a Clarks Shoe Shop on almost every High Street in the UK. Clarks also have an online store which sells the same items stocked in the shops.
The familiar Clarks sign is Clarks written in bold green coloured writing with an off white background. Nearly all of Clarks shoes come in a green coloured cardbox shoe box, the green is the same colour as the green in the Clarks sign. Clarks shoe boxes can be recycled. They are also good to use for the Samaratins Christmas Shoe Box Appeal - where you fill a shoe box with treats, hat, scarf and gloves to be sent to children in poorer countries.
Clarks shops sell a range of shoes, boots, sandals, slippers, handbags and shoe cleaning/shoe care products. The always have a summer and winter sale where you get the opportunity of buying discontinued lines at a cheaper price.
Clarks was originally opened around 1820 by two Quaker brothers. It is a big name today in 'shoes for all the family'. Clarks also sell shoes in some European Countries, American and even in the Far East. Today Clarks shoes are usually made in India and China, they used to produce the shoes they sell in the UK but as everyone knows manufacturing is now an all time low in the UK and it is much cheaper to have most things produced in poorer countries where the labour is much cheaper.
Visiting Clarks in my High Street is a very pleasant experience. The shop is clean and tidy and every shoe sold is on display inside the shop. This is great, you can just walk round the shop and have a good look at what's on offer before you try any of the products on.
Clarks sell shoes suitable for every family member. Womens shoes are sold from size 3 to size 9 with many shoes also available in half sizes. Mens shoes are sold in sizes 5 to 13 and children's shoes in every size are available to buy.
Clarks operate a shoe fitting service for children. This hopefully ensures that your child is wearing the right size footwear. Shoes at Clarks are not cheap, children's shoes can cost from £20 upwards, and adult shoes from around £25 upwards. The shoes are marketed as being comfortable and good quality.
The High Street shops all offer a home delivery service so if the shoe you want is not in stock in your size you can have it delivered to your house for a cost of around £3.50.
All in all I like Clarks shoes, the size 5 fits me well and I usually find the shoes comfortable. The leather the shoes are made from is soft and supple and most of the shoes have padded insoles for extra comfort. The only thing I dislike is often when I buy heeled shoes I find the rubber on the heel wears away really quickly and often the soles are the same. When I take them to the cobblers, also on my High Street, the materials he renews them with seems to last much longer than the original heel and sole material. For the cost of the shoes really the heel and sole should last a lot longer than it actually does.
Despite this it is good to have a High Street shop that sells only footwear and a few handbags, great fitting service if you have children and lots of choice for adults. Service is my High Street shop is very good, it is never hurried and always with a smile.
I hope Clarks shoe shops last another 200 years, I just wish they would start using Uk manufacturers again!
When I was young if I ever need a pair of new shoes we would always go to our local Clarks shoe shop, most of the time leaving with a new pair of Magic Steps shoes. Clarks Shoe shop is renowned for its high quality shoes for all the family and dates back to 1825, it is a shop found on most high streets as well as online. I think for me as a child the best part of visiting the Clarks Shoe shop was the lollipop you got after choosing your new shoes.
The History of Clark
Clarks was founded in 1825 by the Quaker Brothers Cyrus and James Clark, originally their business made sheepskin rugs and slippers, not the wide range of various shoes that can be found in Clarks shops nowadays, over the years Clarks has expanded and is now a global shoe brand operating in Europe, the United States and the Far East. Originally most of the Clarks factories were in the Somerset area, however after a while due to low productivity most of the manufacturing was moved to abroad, however the designing of Clarks shoes continued to be done in England. Most of the manufacturing is now done in countries such as India, Cambodia, China and Brazil.
Clarks Most Iconic Design
Clarks most famous design was the Playdeck Sandal made between 1950 and 1990, this sandal was made for men, woman and children. They came in a variety of colours, although they were worn by a few men and boys most Playdeck Sandals were worn by woman or girls, young girls wore them for school as part of their uniform. The Playdeck was reintroduced in the 2010 Spring collection as the Kestral Sore, almost identical to the originals.
Clarks Shoe shops can be found in most high streets now, the shops are always very well set out, all the shoes are situated on stands with lighting making it very easy to browse around the shelves, there is no rummaging around shelves trying to see the shoes which have been shoved at the back, or trying to find a matching pair. Whilst I do not often shop in Clarks on a regular basis any more, every time I have been in, the staff have always been very helpful and in no way pushy. As I have mentioned previously my parents use to buy my shoes from Clarks when I was younger, the staff always seem extremely good with the children and make buying a new pair of shoes fun. Clarks sell a much larger range of shoes now compared to what they used to produce back in 1825, including sports wear, walking, hiking and even waterproof shoes. This wide choice of shoes comes in choices again for men, woman and children.
Woman - Woman's shoes range from a size 3 to a size 9, including options for wide fitting in some ranges. One thing I personally like is that they do half sizes which I find is particularly handy as I sometimes one size is too small but the next size up it too big and I need something in between so having half sizes can be useful, it is a shame that more shops do not offer this.
Children - Clarks produce shoes for ages 0 to 12 years old. They also provide shoes for babies just starting to crawl as well as babies first step shoes, so whatever stage your child is at there is something suitable.
Men - In the men's selection there are shoes in size ranges 5 to 13, as with the woman's shoes there are also half sizes available to give a little more flexibility.
Clarks shoes are very well made and are extremely durable whilst at the same time being fashionable and classy looking. This is particularly useful if you buy children's shoes from Clarks as children's shoes do have a bit of a hard time, however Clarks shoes will live up to the test. My mum found that I would grow out of my shoes before they wore out. It is the same for adult shoes, they too are very hardwearing and you will probably get fed up with them before they start to fall apart or show any significant signs of wear and tear.
For me this is the area where Clarks lets itself down a little as the shoes are quite expensive with adult shoes ranging from £40 upwards and children's shoes start at £28 upwards. Whilst the pricing is not too bad for the adult shoes I really think that nowadays the children's shoes are a little too expensive, especially as they grow out of them so quickly. Whilst I know you are paying for the quality of Clarks shoes, personally I feel that the children's shoes could be a little bit cheaper.
Overall the times that I have used Clarks shoe shops I have been very impressed with both the quality and the range of shoes they have to choose from. My local Clarks is only a small branch and tends to have a smaller range of shoes to choose from, however if you go to a larger branch they have a much larger selection to choose from. I would definitely recommend Clarks shoe shops due to the variety of shoes for all the family as well as the high quality shoes they produce. If I had one criticism with Clarks it would be the price, personally I nowadays I would only shop in Clarks if I wanted shoes for a certain or special occasion, I tend not to buy my work shoes from Clarks. However I would recommend Clarks shoes.
When I was in my teens, I always thought of Clarks as that dowdy place your Mum took you for school shoes when you were wee. It is not until I am now in my late 20's that I have begun to view them in a more realistic light.
Being in a job which requires me to stand all day, my feet get really sore and most flat pumps you get on the highstreet offer no support at all. I decided to try Clarks and found that they do some really comfy shoes and now they are my first port of call whenever I need new work shoes.
The shoes in here have really comfortable and squeeshy insoles which feel fantastic on your feet. While I will be the first to admit they are perhaps not the most fashionable looking shoes out there, I would rather that than have aching feet. The shoes are moulded to the shape of the foot to offer support and most have a heel height of no more than 2". You can find the odd pair of higher heeled shoes but they tend to be a bit "comfortable" looking if you know what I mean! I'm still young enough that I like high fashion shoes and Clarks don't really have that type of thing.
One thing I must say is that they are not cheap. I am usually around £40 to buy just a plain black pair of pumps for work but they last a long time and so they are worth the money.
I don't think I would buy anything in here to wear outside of work as I just don't think they look nice enough for someone my age. But for a lady who is not fashion led and likes comfort then it's definately worth checking out.
I've been dreading the 'school shoe shopping trip' ever since the schools broke for summer holidays in July, but today I decided I must bite the bullet and face the scrum to get my daughter kitted out for the new term.
I visited Clarks in Eldon Square Newcastle, and low and behold, there was the predicited riot. There was what seemed like hundreds of children and parents all squished into the kids section and my heart nearly stopped. I thought that I'd waste the best part of the morning waiting to be measured, then find that there would be nothing in my daughter's size!
Wrong! There were 6 assistants on the kids section alone, I was very impressed, they handled the situation extremely well. Anyone who know's Clarks, know's that they give out 'deli' style numbered tickets to stop any confusion over who is next to be served. We were number 79, and the number being served when we entered was number 66. I expected quite a wait. The assistand who gave me the ticket also gave my daughter a mini pack of Top Trump cards which was a great idea. It kept us well entertained until it was our turn. It took all of around 20 - 25 minutes until it was our turn.
The assistant from whom we received the ticket and cards also carried a clip board, this she used to make a note of who was seated were, again very professional and highly organised.
It got to our turn and the assistant wasted no time in introducing herself, and getting acquainted with my daughter. Again impressed due to the level of din being created all around. I think I lost count of the times the young lady got hit on the head by stray shoes/bags/toys, and she took it all in her stride.
She measured my daughter with a machine to get the right size, length and width fitting. We directed her to the boots my daughter chose (yes boots, I had expected shoes, but I'm not 'with it' in terms of what's fashion eh). She had both syles in the correct size, another win for Clarks. So my daugher got her first choice. The assistant checked and doulble checked that they fitted correctly and we happily paid (£46 for boots and a black polish) and my child is now the proud owner of new school foot wear.
I'm impressed with the service from Clarks today. Great system in place to avoid the mad back to school chaos, very friendly, helpful and knowledgeable assistants, and plenty of choice. Well done Clarks, happy child, and happy and relaxed parent. Amazing!
Clarks is one of my first shops if I am looking for a good long lasting pair of shoes. I normally purchase my work shoes from Clarks. I think Clarks has the reputation of being either for kids or for older people. But I think that actually their shoes are really great. They sell work shoes, going out shoes, trainers and pumps. Clarks also sell mens and kids shoes.
I own one pair of fancy going out shoes and these were from clarks. They are a pair of black satin peep toe shoes. I have had these for around 6 years and they still look great! Sure there are shoes which are aimed at older shoppers but most of their shoes are suitable for all shoppers. They are really comfortable and really well made. At the moment they have lots of pumps and sandal type shoes for summer.
I really like their work shoes as they are really hard wearing. The heel is normally wooden which I prefer as the cobbles in Edinburgh are really bad for getting heels caught in them and ripping off the leather, resulting in your shoes looking really old and battered. But with their wooden heels Clarks shoes do not have this problem.
Clarks are a little more expensive than say Barratts but it is worth it as they will last you a long time. You will probably need to get them re heeled which isn't an unreasonable expectation. But the sole and general make up of the shoe should do you well.
If you haven't been to Clarks in a while or you haven't been at all I would suggest you have a look, you just might be surprised!
When you think of Clarks, tell me what you think. For me, it invokes childhood memories of Magic Steps, getting a key and some stickers with your shoes was just the most exciting experience. It reminds me of going in to senior school and being ridiculed because of my sensible shoes, it reminds me of comfortable, durable, long lasting slippers which you never want to part with. It reminds me of the fact I don't have bunions or other foot health problems from wearing ill fitting 5 inch heels when I was 12.
Recently I was at a Credit Risk seminar and we were talking about marketing. Trying to achieve a balance between marketing and risk we discussed this simple grid, one of the categories in the grid was low risk and low marketing - because the segment were low risk they had the option to shop around, were more financially aware and were unlikely to be profitable anyway as they would pay their balance in full. These people would not be very responsive to targeted marketing campaigns. The seminar leader said she wanted us in groups to characterise the segments with names - car names, shop names, animals, etc. We settled on shoe brands (all girl group) this low risk, low marketing segment was unanimously voted 'Clarks'.
I think this is the image, and these are the memories, most people have of Clarks, but over recent years it has attempted to change significantly; ploughing money in to obtaining multi-page adverts in Marie Clare, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Red and numerous other glossies. In fact the store has even had some celebrity endorsements from under 30s too! Cool TV advertising and cheeky tunes like 'We love to Boogie' by T-Rex have shown that Clarks is trying to step up it's game and appeal to not only the 'Comfy Casuals' but the 'Fashion Seekers' too.
Clarks began in Street, Somerset back in 1825. James Clark, worked in the Tannery there and whilst making sheepskin rugs, he noticed a load of off-cuts. He had a thought, he decided to make slippers with the left overs and Clarks was born. The Head Office remains in Street, but now Clarks is a global shoe brand, with stores throughout Europe, the United States and the Far East.Clarks branded shoes can also be found in Brantano, Schuh and various other high street stores / mail order catalogues.
The stores carry an amazing range of stock including Mens, Womens and Childrens shoes, bags, leather accessories. It doesn't stop there though, because each range is then broken down in to hundreds of sub ranges; it would be pretty difficult to list them all here, but I have listed a couple of my favourites below. Summer stock comes in to the store around February / March time when the January sales are tailing off and the Winter ranges come in to stock end of Summer ready for the Autumn / Winter trading period. At the beginning of October the store goes Slipper mad, ready for Christmas presents.
The most noteable trading change in Clarks year is the Back to School period. This begins at the start of the Kids Summer hols and runs until they return for their Autumn term. During this time the stores are absolutely manic and waiting time can be over an hour to have your childrens shoes fitted. It's a stressful time and most stores have a ticket system where you take a ticket and are fitted when your number comes up. Some stores will even tell you that there is an hour wait, take a ticket go shopping and come back in an hour and your number will be about up. It is during this period that the towns with separate Kids stores (like in my town!) are really beneficial for those without children! However, I will say that staff, managers and the organisation go above and beyond the call of duty during Back to School, there is full if not over staffing, there can be no staff holidays and breaks are scheduled during the quieter periods. They have only the most competent staff working and specialists on the Tills, Fitting, even Bagging (can you imagine being announced the bagging specialist?!)
As promised here are a few of my favourite ranges/purchases: Leather Handbags:- beautifully crafted soft leather bags with the most luxurious linings and so classic yet fashionable. I got a brown leather fringed baguette about 5 years ago, with an emerald green lining, it still literally looks good as new. Boot Shapers:- you're really harrassed and you're spending £90 on a pair of boots and the sales assistant starts trying to sell you Boot Shapers, Leather Care, etc. They could be selling you a cure for cancer and you would still say no. But the Boot Shapers come specifically recommended from me, they are basically a bit of plastic which expands to keep the shape of the leg of your boots. The shoe trees do the same for your shoes and I have a few of each, they are both fantastic products and well worth spending the extra money on. Ooo, and I have loads of the rain guard, leather protector and nubuck cleaners. I sound like I am a sales assistants dream customer but I am paying X number of pounds for good quality leather goods I want to be able to protect it, look after it and maintain for years to come. Boots:- I am really unfortunate in that I have the biggest calves in the world - in fact an Ex called them 'Cankles' calves that couldn't be separately identified from my ankles. Nice. Anyway, I cannot get boots to fit my legs from the high street, aside from Clarks and Evans. I have some gorgeous boots from Clarks, one pair are mid calf length, suede and a tan colour; I could wear them for hours without them hurting me.
Up and coming purchases have got to include the Damask Rose Mocassins as advertised in several glossies and billboards. They are £39.99 and I am going to get them in Black for work and White for holiday evenings, and their Slap Stick Gladiator Sandals which are just quite frankly to die for! As well as having gorgeous ranges including Ks (wide fitting name derived from the K in Clarks), Originals (for both men and women, retro), Clarks also have great stuff for Kids, infact this is what they are renowned for. From their Doodles (playing out shoes) to their Bootleg (back to school range for older kids) and not forgetting their 'Back to College' range for kids who are not really kids anymore, Clarks has a range to suit everyone.
Their returns policy is 28 days with receipt in an unworn condition for unsuitable / unwanted items for an exchange or refund via original payment method however, I have had excellent experience of exceptions to this policy. I bought a pair of kitten heel tweed shoes a while ago (when tweed was in, honest) and I wore the heel down, just through wearing them almost every day for about 6 weeks (absolutely loved them). I took them back to Clarks because it had worn down so quickly and they no longer had them in stock. They refunded me without question. Once I took a pair of shoes back to them after about 15 months, I didn't have the receipt for the shoes but they originally cost £120, so there was no way I was going to stand for a fault after that period of time (I'd even maintained them properly with my shoe cares purchases). Rather than refund or exchange (no receipt, old style) they VERY kindly sent the shoes off for repair for me. I would say they have by far the best customer service I have received from a high street store in a long while.
Clarks really only has a rush on for back to school. Throughout the rest of the year the store is steady and you can usually find tidy, clean relaxed atmospheres awaiting you. I love the new store layouts, white and black, it makes the store have a much more contemporary feel. As well as the Kids fitting service (for which the member of staff undergoes extensive training and has to have at least 50 fits checked, these fitters can be identified by a special badge) the store offers a First Shoes Experience. When they fit the first right sized pair of shoes for your child, they take a polaroid picture of the child in the shoes and they give you it in a little keepsake card to cherish. They offer specialised foothealth information packs and advice. They no longer measure adult feet but you can measure your own on their measuring devices and you can obtain guidance about checking your own fit. They will also order in shoes for you if they don't have them in stock.
The winning service for me, though, is the 'Odd Shoe Scheme', basically, if you have one foot significantly larger (up to a half a size) different to the other, then they will sell you one shoe from one pair and one shoe from another for a surcharge of 25% for kids and 50% for adults (non-returnable, unless faulty). Certainly cheaper than buying two pairs of shoes and more importantly, better than being in uncomfortable shoes. There was a lot of controversy surrounding this in recent years as Clarks just throw the opposite shoes away, however, I know that for a short period of time they were donating them to charities. Clarks are also part of a couple of schemes to help poor and developing areas to create jobs and work in their leather suppliers, or to hand stitch their shoes; originally when the schemes started, Clarks actually housed and educated their employees too. Clarks is also very specific and ethical about the sources of the leather used and will not use any leather from deforested areas; they follow the same rules and regulations as the likes of Adidas, Nike, etc.
On the high street there really isn't any comparable well fitting, well made, superb customer service offered. You have Brantano and Charles Clinkard which are probably the closest, but to be honest no brand is as well-known and loved as Clarks. For these standards, you pay the price; a pair of knee high womens boots could cost up to around £120, shoes up to £50, sandals up to £40. It is expensive and that's why I expect them to last a long time. At least with Clarks you get Leather, buying designer shoes from Schuh, Foot Asylum you spend more and get less for your money. I also love the fact that they always have deals on with a tenner off boots or sandals for example. And, their sales are fabulous, get there early and you will grab bargains with more than 50% off!
Overall, I like being in a pair of Clarks, they are comfortable and 'good' for your feet; shopping there is an absolute pleasure. Paying the little extra and buying shoe care items is all worth it as they last you ten times longer than cheap and nasty alternatives. I only wish they still did Magic Steps...
Clarks is one of the few high street shops that sells easily available footwear on the high street that come in with half sizes. I find this very important especially when I need to buy comfortable footwear that is also good quality made. I can't just go on the internet and buy walking shoes when I don't know how they are going to fit me, so I must try different sizes and models in a shop until I make my mind up which is not that difficult but it helps a lot.
When it comes to the availability of the Clarks stores I am always surprised about the fact that they are situate in even the smallest town's high street.
Over the years I have owned numerous good quality pairs of should from Clarks which have been very comfortable. Price wise a pair of sandals costs around £40, I do not find this to be much at all, in fact it pays off on the long run.
There are also some things I do not like about Clarks:
I do not like the fact that some of their footwear looks cheaply made. I mean sure, they sell some superb quality items but some look like overpriced rubbish, made of thick uncomfortable leather and at times also badly glued, and is not just a pair or two is the entire line of them I have noticed.
In some years they simply make ugly footwear, perhaps they are trying to hard to keep in with the trend. So when I see a pretty pair of shoes I got to grab them fast because they can go out of season and are never to be seen again. At times I need 4 months to have some spare money in order to spend them on a pair of shoes, you can't imagine how frustrating is when they are gone.
Then is the sale: some of the items sold in the spring are half price in the autumn. As far as I am concerned that really devalues a product in my eyes but on the positive side I can get those £50 pretty sandals for £25, I much prefer to wait every year.
Then there's the fact that not all of their footwear comes with half sizes sadly. They seem to have selected models less and less now days with the half sizes. This can also be frustrating because at times I just need that half of a size to get that right fit on my desired shoes.
Overall I could not do without Clarks, I don't live near a big decent city in order to have access to more quality brands,. If not Clarks then who?
My daughters feet grow at a horrendous rate, coupled with an ability to walk en pointe like ballerinas thus rapidly wearing thorough the toes and a very hairy dog whose hair attaches itself to the velcro fasteners its no wonder they go through a pair of shoes every three months. Mind you without the addition of the dog hair the soles would still be worn through as they walk miles each and every day. I've tried many brands of shoes from the cheapest of supermarket chic to the too pretty to be practical Lellie Kelly and just about everything in between and like a boomerang I keep returning to Clarks who have the most helpful sales assistants (excluding the Saturday staff) and will exchange shoes without question when there's a problem with fit which happens frequently when one daughters left foot is two width sizes narrower than her right.
Like every parent though I hate shoe shopping. First there's the requirement that school shoes are black which is great if you have an average sized child but try finding black school shoes for a tiny three year old to start nursery in. Then you can get any colour apart from black. Then there's the practicality side of things. Who on earth came up with the idea of putting hinged flaps on the inside of shoes with a viewing window in the heel so that children can customise their shoes. The supplied dolls, whilst hideously ugly, at least ensure that the flap sits flat in the base of the shoe but you'd be amazed how many children you can spot limping across the school playground in a morning having crammed their prize conker in there.
Then there's the whole tailored fit thing. The child in question stands on the super high tech scanning machine which provides you with the perfect size, the assistant duly disappears into the tardis like stock room and reappears with a selection of the most expensive shoes in the shop all of which fit like a glove. After a trial lap of the store you prepare to part with anything up to £50 per pair at which point the sales assistant then attempts to sell you shoe cream at £8 a tube. Its shoes polish but not as you know it. Incidentally I've found a black marker pen works just as well to cover the scuffs.
And so 45 minutes later, unless it happens to be a Saturday during a school holiday in which case you need to be dressed like an American footballer just to reach the ticket machine to secure your place in the scrum and should pack a picnic and prepare for a very long wait, you emerge from the store victorious clutching a pair of perfectly fitted shoes only for the little darling to disappear to school and return later the same day with the afore mentioned shoes on the wrong feet or wearing someone else's shoes which are a completely different size whilst remaining oblivious to this fact. It really makes you wonder what all the fuss is about.
Clarks also stock a vast array of trainers, football boots and bags in addition to footwear for adults. The on-line site usually carries a much better range than the high street shops but tends to have fewer sale items.
If you're lucky enough to be able to visit a Clarks Outlet store you'll find the prices are half that of the high street, although the items are usually from the previous seasons and both the size and choice are very limited.
C. and J. Clark Ltd, better known as Clarks, is a British shoe manufacturer and retailer based in Street, Somerset, England. For the year ended 31 January 2008 the company made a profit of £111 million on sales of £1,053 million, making it the 35th largest private company in the UK.
Clarks started in 1825 as a business making sheepskin rugs and slippers, using out-workers in the village, now it has expanded to become a global shoe brand, with operations in Europe, the United States and the Far East.
The stores are generally clean & well organised but newest designs are often displayed at the front. There are always a lot of room to walk up and down when trying a pair of shoes, and plenty of full-length mirrors so the buyer can see how they look. There is also plenty of comfortable seating.
They have quite a range of boots, sandals & shoes for men, women & children. Their shoes are absolutely high in quality. Most shoes are made with real leather and they are very durable. They are comfortable, last long and quite easy to match with clothes. They have a lot of work-appropritate shoes. However, being a young girl, I used to find their shoes not very fashionable-looking. Over the past few years, I think their designs have improved a lot. Still on the either professional or comfort looking side, but they are becoming quite fashionable-looking as well. Recently, I always find something I really love whenever I pop into the shop (which is a bad thing for my bank account).
Shoes sold by Clarks are a little bit more expensive compared to some other manufacturers' products. But with such high quality, they are worth spending a little bit higher. Leather shoes are usually quite pricey anyway, even a pair of real leather ones in New Look can cost up to 60£ already. And if you compare with like Kurt Geiger or Dune similar ones, the ones at Clarks are usually at least 35-30% cheaper. And the quality is more or less similar. They are very suitable for everyday use, I walk a lot and the shoes still look good after a few months. Normally they will last me for a few years.
There are many sizes available and you can just easily find some that fit & give you the comfortable feeling at the same time. I like that they have different fits (Standard, Wide & Extra Wide) for most of their shoes and they come in half sizes. I wear a 5.5 and having wide feet is a pain to find shoes that fit and have the look. They have introduced more "cushion" range recently as well, that means extra comfort and happier feet (yay).
Clarks are extremely popular for kids' shoes, especially for school kids. I don't have kids yet so I can't say about their fitting service and such for kids.
Clarks often have big sales (up to 50% or even 75% in the winter) and it's worth visiting. You can easily find good shoes at affordable prices. The Bicester outlet store is amazing, you can sometimes find current season stock for half price.
Overall, if you want very stylish and skyhigh sparkling heels, find other places. If you want to find something comfortable, that will last long, especially for work or something formal, go to Clarks & explore yourself.