We live in times where a first generation X-Box is, unironically, called historical. But, when we say Clarks is a historical company, we mean that in the truest sense of the word. The original business partnership between Cyrus Clark and, his cousin, James, dates back to 1821. For perspective, that would be the same year that Napoleon died.
It seems peculiar that a company started by Quaker businessmen during the Georgian era would be known for its pop culture associations rather than, say, its old-fashioned quality, workmanship, but the youthful associations of some iconic Clarks styles remain a driving force behind the brand to this day.
The most famous Clarks shoe of all, the Desert Boot is an adaptation of a locally produced style of boot in Cairo that was popular amongst British officers stationed there during World War II. The design, a suede, ankle length silhouette with a crepe sole, is simple but instantly recognizable.
They were instant favorites with wild but sharply dressed subcultures like Jamaican Rude Boys (just wearing Clarks in Jamaica was enough to provoke a police response) and English Mods.
It isn’t difficult to see why. The Desert Boot encapsulates the appeal of the smart-casual sensibility. They are youthful without being juvenile, comfortable without being untidy, and sharp without being stuffy. You don’t even have to make it through a dancehall rumble to get a pair.
If a size is not listed, it is sold out.