Renowned for fusing comfort, quality craftsmanship and timeless style, Clarks is one of the most established and beloved shoe brands worldwide. Founded in 1825 in Street, Somerset, England, the company has spent nearly two centuries constantly evolving and innovating to remain relevant while staying true to its heritage.
From footwear fashions to orthopedic breakthroughs, Clarks has left an indelible imprint on shoe culture.
A Family Legacy Born in Somerset
In 1825, brothers Cyrus and James Clark began making sheepskin slippers in the village of Street in rural Southwest England. Using a unique slipper sewing machine they created, their business expanded beyond local sales.
In the late 1800s, the founders’ descendants opened the first Clarks factory for mass production. New technologies drove innovations like the iconic Clarks Desert Boot featuring crepe soles. Behind it all was the Clark family’s Quaker spirit emphasizing ethics and quality.
Clarks has pioneered numerous shoemaking and foot health innovations over nearly 200 years in business. In the 1950s, Clarks was the first to use pioneering foot gauge technology to study ergonomics and design appropriate shoe fits.
Notable innovations include:
- Actiflex soles promoting natural foot flexion
- Cushion Soft technology for cloud-like comfort
- Ortholite insoles with EPA-certified foam
- Flex3 outsoles designed to move naturally with feet
Clarks remains dedicated to foot-first comfort through biomechanics research and high-tech materials.
Fashion Forward with Timeless Appeal
While pushing technical boundaries, Clarks also brings its heritage style into the modern era relevant for today’s trends. The iconic Desert Boot has been reimagined countless ways while remaining recognizably Clarks.
Collaborations with designers, edgy store concepts, and adoption by subcultures like mods, punks and skinheads have kept Clarks both current and timelessly fashionable across eras.
Today the global brand offers shoes, boots, sandals and accessories for women, men and children spanning formal, casual and athletic categories. While production has shifted overseas, Clarks maintains its humanistic ideals and quality standards – ensuring comfort, material integrity and construction excellence in every pair.
Nearly 200 years since Cyrus and James Clark began stitching slippers, the company remains dedicated to the craft, innovation and pioneering spirit passed down across six generations. Through evolutions and revolutions, Clarks retains its identity and integrity.