Clarks: The History of This Classic Shoe Brand

Posted by Orthotics Direct on 2021 Feb 8th

Founded almost two centuries ago, Clarks remains a fashion staple in shoes for men and women alike. With a history of innovation, quality craftsmanship and outstanding design, this trusted brand is one of the more comfortable types of shoes a smart shopper can buy today. In this post, we’ll look at this iconic company’s history and discover why their shoes are so successful with orthotic solutions.

History of the brand

The Clarks company was founded in 1825 by two Quaker brothers – Cyrus and James Clark in Somerset, England. The story is that they began by making rugs from sheepskins, and James used some of the offcuts from the rugs to produce slippers. These, known as named the ‘Brown Petersburgh,’ became the first Clarks shoes.

The brothers went on to develop more shoe designs and win design awards at the Great Exhibition. The real innovation came when James’ son Willam Clark mechanized the manufacturing process and invested in a singer sewing machine to speed up productions. This large-scale production brought Clark shoes to the stylish masses in London.

Innovation continued to be a part of Clarks’ reputation: In 1883, they launched their Hygienic range of shoes designed to fit the shape of a foot and, in the early 1900s, moved into women’s footwear. In the 1940s, the company created a way of measuring children’s feet to fit children’s shoes correctly.

In 1950, Nathan Clark designed the first desert boot, inspired by the bazaars’ boots in Cairo worn by British Army Officers. They were a massive hit and have become a staple iconic Clark look. They’ve moved into new materials and new technology, and in the following decades, the company saw colossal expansion to become a global brand.

Classic styles of Clarks for both men and women

Clarks is known for its classic styles that don’t go out of style. For example, the Beatnik generation adopted Clarks’ classic Desert boot. Mods in the ’60s-’80s and the Britpop movement in the ’90s also adopted this classic shoe style. Clarks shoes are often the first pair of school shoes for children and take you through to adult brogues and heels - shoes for a lifetime.

Why Clarks works excellent with orthotic solutions

Clarks has been making comfortable shoes for men and comfortable shoes for women for almost 200 years. They’ve also pioneered many of the shoemaking innovations we take for granted today. Their products are built with quality materials and made to be stylish and comfortable. They have also introduced new technologies, such as the Active Air cushioning and Active Air Vent that absorb impact as you walk.

They also have a line that is designed to work with orthotics. The shoes are lightweight and flexible and follow the natural curve of a foot for maximum comfort.

Four Clarks Styles We Recommend

UnDamson Adele

The UnDamson Adele is a women’s work shoe that is easy to slip on and comfortable to wear with a 5cm heel. These women’s orthotic shoes are crafted from leather and have a durable leather sole for excellent traction. They are a timeless addition to your work wardrobe with a flexible feel for long-lasting comfort.

UnRamble Lace

The UnRamble Lace is a shoe you can wear all day long. They are a smart combination of an EVA and rubber sole that gives you durability and flexibility. They have a moisture-wicking Ortholite footbed to keep your feet feeling cool and comfortable. They are crafted from leather for a smart, timeless look.

UnDamson Vibe

The UnDamson Vibe is a classic mary jane style made from leather with an adjustable fit fastening. A small and smart 5 cm block heel gives you height without sacrificing comfort, and the rubber sole gives you excellent traction as you walk. This is a classic work shoe for a reason.

UnKenneth Way

The UnKenneth Way is a comfortable lace-up dress shoe. It features a unique Air Circulation System for comfort with hidden vents to keep your feet cool and dry. The full-grain leather upper makes it one of the most stylish orthotic shoes for men, and the rubber and EVA outsole gives it long-lasting durability without extra weight.


Visit the Orthotics Direct site to shop our line of comfortable and stylish Clarks shoes. All of the styles we carry can combine with our custom orthotic inserts. Our combination package ensures that your orthotics will fit your shoe perfectly, and you’ll enjoy great shoes and custom orthotics along with significant savings.