* Prices may differ from that shown
One of the benefits of growing older (and there aren't that many) is that you no longer feel you need to be a slave to fashion and clothes and shoe choices are made for comfort rather than glamour. Back in the late Sixties and early Seventies one of the big fashion trends was for clogs and they were worn by both men and women. It's probably the only time in my life that I've worn something that was both comfortable and fashionable and I've been wearing them ever since. Since retiring, I practically live in clogs and I have about six pairs in various colours and styles, some prettier and more fashionable than others and my latest acquisition is this pair from Clarks, bought for everyday comfort and practicality and to replace my ancient pair of Fly Flots which are now only fit for the garden.
The rather affected style name of Frosted Rose bears absolutely no relation to the shoe whatsoever: they are neither frosted nor anything like a rose. They are, however, well made and comfortable and I anticipate they'll last me for several years growing even more comfortable with each passing year.
The price is £39.99 which is pretty reasonable for an all leather, well made shoe such as this. The clogs are available in Clarks shoe shops up and down the country but can also be bought online either for delivery direct to your home, for an additional P&P payment, or for free of charge delivery for collection from a Clarks shoe shop of your choice.
I have the black pair, as shown in the photograph at the top of the page although this style also comes in a lovely dark beige/camel shade and I'm currently debating whether to buy them as well. The upper is constructed from really good quality leather which is fairly robust but has enough give to mould to your feet for perfect comfort. The upper is made from two larger pieces of leather and one smaller triangular third piece. The main pieces of leather are stitched together down the centre of the shoe forming a decorative ridge and the third piece forms the outer edge. The piece of leather on the inside of the foot has an elasticated insert to ensure perfect fit across the top of the foot and allow a little give when walking.
The inner lining of the upper is cotton except for the top which is in very soft suede as is the foot bed of the clog. The moulded clog sole seems to be made of some kind of extruded man made product, possibly polyurethane with very slight give which means that wearing these clogs feels like wearing a pair of slippers. The heel height is 2¼ inches and the platform along the toe area measures approximately ½ inch.
The sole is finished off with a ridged, anti-slip base.
What at first appears to be merely decorative braiding across the top of the shoe is in fact a strap. The strap is attached by brass rivets and a small amount of elastication on the inside which allows the strap to be moved forwards and back so that the clog can be worn as a sling back. This is especially useful if walking any great distance or for driving. It also means that, if preferred, the strap can be worn stretched over the back of the shoe leaving the upper plain. This is how I tend to wear them. Although when worn as a sling back the clog feels more fitted and secure, in fact they fit so well that there's little chance of walking out of them even if you choose to wear them mule style.
One of the reasons why these clogs fit so well is that Clarks make them in half sizes. That being said, Clarks sizing does seem a little strange. I'm normally a size 4½ to 5 but I've had to go a half size higher to get a perfect fit in these clogs. They are a D width but there is enough give in the leather to make them equally as comfortable to anyone with a slightly wider foot requiring an E width. There's plenty of room in these to fit my feet plus my growing bunions!
I find that a measure of how good a shoe is made is whether it rubs or creates blisters. I wear my clogs without socks or tights and yet from day one all these shoes have done is hug my feet. The lining is soft enough to cushion the toes (even my hammer toe which tends to blister with most new shoes) without any rubbing and the shoes are light enough that I don't feel as though I'm clomping around when I walk.
These are designed as casual footwear so I probably wouldn't wear them on an evening out and personally I wouldn't wear them with a dress or skirt but they're certainly stylish enough to be worn to work under smart trousers and great for everyday wear, especially with jeans or casual trousers and they're so easy to simply slip on and go. The styling of these shoes is such that they provide year round wearability.
I'm probably preaching to the converted with regard to people of my generation who will remember the original fashion for wearing clogs but if you've never worn them before, I can highly recommend this pair. They offer high quality, great comfort and easy styling as well as being light to wear and I guarantee if you buy these it won't be your last pair of clogs once you discover the wonderful comfort they provide.
I've been pondering whether to get the camel pair of these as well as the black I already own and after singing the clogs praises during this review, I've now made up my mind and I'm off to my local Clarks shop!