Clarks Desert Boot Review: Still Stylish or a Relic of the Past?

Last updated: February 13, 2022

The Clarks Desert Boots have gained their “iconic” status because they have withstood the test of time. They look great when wearing jeans or khakis and are appropriate to wear on your first date or office job.

While suede can be difficult to keep up with, a bit of weekly maintenance will help the boots maintain their sharp appearance. These boots haven’t changed in the past 60 years, which is a testament to their timeless look and quality.

Features:

  • Oakwood Suede
  • Conforms to foot shape
  • Sensitive to the elements and temperature
  • Crepe Sole
  • Perfect for warm weather

Fit & Sizing

The Clarks Desert Boot is available in one width, which can be problematic for narrow or wide feet users. Make sure to buy the boot ½ down from your usual sneaker size to ensure a proper fit.

Width aside, the boots feel comfortable. For instance, the crepe sole is very soft and you’ll sink into the leather each time you walk. You won’t feel protected from the rain and there’s little stability or support. But if you’re someone who wishes they can go outside in slippers, this is the right boot for you.

Leather Quality

The Clarks Desert boot is created out of Oakwood suede.

Here’s a quick refresher on suede: when leather tanneries collect their hides, the top grains are kept and removed from the skin. The split is the section that comes from the underside, this is where the suede comes from and it has a slight wax finish to give the boots some added character.

Not only is the boot’s leather made in Vietnam, but the suede is made in Vietnam as well. Sources state that it comes from the prestigious C.F. Stead, the same place where fabrics have been made for the Taft’s Dragon Boot. However, Clark’s is made of a cheaper material.

The boots are thin and aren’t waterproof, and the boots don’t appear to have structure at all. But, the boots breathe well in warm weather and feels soft against your feet.

Boot Sole

This boot has a Crepe sole. And it’s a cheap form of rubber leather that’s obtained when the coagulated latex is passed through rolls called “crepers” after the material is air-dried. Basically, the sole feels soft, cheap, and informal.

There are a few downsides to this appealing boot. For example, the crepe sole likes to absorb everything it comes in contact with. So don’t be surprised if you see small pebbles and hair on the sole after a long day.

Leather Care

Boot care isn’t too complicated with the Clarks Desert Boots. Clarks suggests brushing the boot with a suede brush to remove most of the dirt and dust. Since Oakwood suede stains easily, you’ll want to use a suede eraser to remove them. (Clarks suggested that a pencil eraser will also do the job).

Most users don’t condition boot suede with oils because it will destroy the nappy finish. Some apply wax suede, but it’s unlikely you’ll need it. As long as you don’t abuse the boots too much, they’ll be a staple in your wardrobe for years to come.

Want to make them waterproof? The Clark’s boot is useless during wet weather. You can try using something like the Kiwi’s Sole Protector which will help the upper sole. But the sole isn’t good in wet weather so it might be a wash.

Comfort

If you’re looking for boots with support, these desert boots will feel different. The fit feels like a perfect blend of a slipper and flip-flop right out the box.

Here is one perk: Clarks Desert Boots have no break-in period. This means that they are ready to go after unboxing them. The more you wear the boots, the more they’ll feel like an extension of your foot because of its crepe sole.

As we stated earlier, the boots are rendered useless in rainy weather. We suggest that you wear them during the summer and late spring to get the most out of them.

Conclusion

Despite its lightness and due to them feeling like slippers, you can feel confident wearing the Clarks Desert Boot. People like to wear them, even if they appear blobby and shapeless at times.

Comfort is the main reason why this boot has become so iconic. While it does stain easily, has thin leather, and is weak, it still feels comfortable. You can’t pair them with anything formal, but they are still comfortable.

These are versatile boots that can be worn to dinner or work. They’re original, understated, cool, and authentic. As an added bonus, you’ll feel that the boots feel like they’re a part of your feet when you wear them often. For those wanting an iconic pair of boots to add to their wardrobe, Clarks Desert Boot will fail to disappoint.