Product Type: Clarks Hunter Original
Newest Review: ... trainers which luckily fitted well and have now become the rain shoes Once back home I decided to email Clarks and explain the situati... more
Quality footwear that could save you money in the long run
Clarks Shoes & Sandals
Member Name: pmcds
Clarks Shoes & Sandals
Advantages: Quality; range'; comfort; staff
Disadvantages: Initial cost, but they last a lot longer
While I've rarely used Clarks for myself, it was on meeting my wife that the shop kind of entered my life. Sure, I'd been dragged there by my mum on plenty of occasions, being told that the quality of shoe you wear is important, and throughout school it had been Clarks shoes and no other, but as a student on a budget, and even afterwards, I'd always resorted to Shoe Zone where I could get a pair of shoes or trainers or boots for around the £10 mark. It made sense to me.
My wife worked in Clarks when she was younger, just a Saturday job, as did her younger brother (he actually fitted our son's first ever pair of shoes!) and she does the same as my mum used to, in terms of saying how important shoes are and that quality is better value in the long run. The difference is that now I agree, having seen just what a small boy can do to a pair of shoes!
Will is now 7, and whenever we need to get him a pair of school shoes, we have nearly always gone to Clarks. For a pair of run around trainers, though, he does have a pair of white velcro trainers that he took a particular liking too from Shoe Zone. He left his school shoes in the car one day, and thus spent the best part of a week wearing these trainers to school instead. The results were quite amazing. After just a week, the fronts had not just scuffed, but had broken through a couple of layers. The sides were frayed, and the shape had nearly completely gone from them. In complete contrast, a pair of Clarks shoes usually last him until he has grown out of them as opposed to them deteriorating. The maths is simple: Clarks shoes may cost more, but they last longer, and over the course of a school year, I could easily see Shoe Zone getting more of my money than Clarks would.
I also find the same is the case for my work shoes. Having used Clarks since Will's first ever pair that my brother in law fitted for him, I have occasionally treated myself to a pair of shoes for work from there. While I always used to make do with a Shoe Zone £10 pair of black shoes, I do find that walking in them constantly would hurt a bit. The same goes for casual trainers/shoes, and once more the quality shines through. The quality certainly wins me over.
It may cost more in the initial stages, but ultimately the amount of money you could spend on shoes is likely to be less if you use somewhere reputable like Clarks. The shoes are just of a better quality design, and therefore last longer. It's also better for your body if you have the right amount of support on the bottom of your foot.
What I also like is the range of styles that the store offers. I can't say I'm a fan of a lot of them, but there's certainly a good variety. I know some people bemoan the kids' selections, but we've never had an issue with them, and it's always been a toss up between two or three pairs: plenty of options. We've also got Will's sandals from there when he was a toddler, the Doodles being the better ones, we found. Again, the quality and comfort were the most important things, and they lasted easily long enough and he outgrew them rather than them deteriorating. Now, we tend to get him flip flops from one of the millions of surf stores near us: the benefits of living on the North Devon coast mean that there's no shortage of quality options.
The other thing I think it's important to note is the quality of the staff. I believe without good staff then you'd quite easily get the wrong shoes or the wrong size. A couple of times we really haven't been sure, and thanks to some expert advice, we've made the right decision with the various shoes and sandals we have bought from there. With a worse service, we possibly wouldn't regards Clarks so highly.
Ultimately then, Clarks' shoes and sandals, and indeed any other type of footwear that we've tried, have served us well. I'd happily recommend them to anyone, and while I'm not saying you should totally discount other shops, whether it be a budget shoe store such as Shoe Zone or whether it be a specific sports store or even a market stall, we definitely prefer Clarks to anywhere else. It may cost a bit more, but in the long run you're probably saving yourself some money. Recommended.
Summary: Reliable shoes from a reliable store: highly recommended