Today Clarks shoes produces almost 35 million pairs of shoes year. But despite its international success, the company had humble beginnings. Founded in 1825 by Cyrus and James Clark in the small English village of Street in Somerset, Clarks shoes began as nothing more than a local sheepskin slipper business. The small business endured, however, and by the mid 1900’s Clarks was an international success.
One of Clarks’ most recognized and popular shoes is the Clark’s Wallabee. This shoe was first designed by Lance Clark in 1965 as the world’s first “comfort shoe”, and it is experiencing a resurgence in popularity today. The Wallabee is a soft shoe made from suede or leather that is stitched like a moccasin. The traditional Wallabees were slip-ons but today you can find Clark’s Wallabees in several different styles including oxfords, hiking shoes and boots.
The shoes are extraordinarily comfortable; some versions of the Wallabees even have soft sheepskin lining (shearling) that will keep your feet feeling snug and warm. But though Wallabees may be so comfortable you feel like you are wearing slippers, they are built solidly enough to endure all kinds of daily wear and tear. With solid stitching and a flexible yet firm crepe bottom, Clark’s Wallabees are shoes that are designed to last. You can think of them as a long-term investment to your footwear collection.
Clark’s Wallabees is a particularly good choice of footwear for people who suffer from foot injuries or foot deformities. They have been known to help people who are suffering from heel pain (plantar fasciitis) or arthritic toes, or who are convalescing after foot surgery. The smooth, soft interior of the Wallabee ensures that it will not rub or irritate the delicate skin of your feet. When you wear Wallabees, you won’t have to worry about blisters, hot spots or calluses – which makes these shoes a potentially great choice for diabetics or other people who need to be mindful of minor injuries on their feet. The other important feature of Clark’s Wallabees (as far as the health of your feet is concerned!) is the shoe’s wide toe box. Clark’s Wallabees should give your toes plenty of room to spread out (as they would do naturally if you were going barefoot). This helps to prevent toe injuries and deformities such as hammertoe, clawtoe, bunions and ingrown toenails. The breathable leather or suede material of the shoe should also help to keep feet cool and dry.