A Brisbane Kids Review of Clarks Shoes

clarks shoes

Proudly Sponsored by Nuffnang and Clarks Australia

My 5 year old Tom is boisterous, cheeky and unintentionally destructive. Like most 5 year olds, he has an excessive amount of energy that he will be burning off at school next year when he begins prep. I am excited for him, sympathetic for the teachers and sad for me, not to mention slightly stressed about the organization required to get him there. I already have one child in school and still find it challenging 3 years into life as a school mum, so I have a plan to get everything organised this year to ensure we start off on the right foot.

January is when I begin this process. After tackling the booklists, the next job on my back-to-school to-do list is shopping for school shoes. It’s not as much about buying them, as anticipating the cost for the budget. I am one of those mothers that will search for cheaper options on everything but shoes. Put simply, I am happy to pay more for school shoes to ensure they fit better, last longer and feel great.

It was with this in mind that I jumped at the opportunity when I was asked by Clarks Australia to research their school shoes and head along for a fitting with Tom.

This is what I know about Clarks Shoes and shoes in general

  • History would tell us they are school-proof. In all my anecdotal discussions about Clarks shoes, I have heard continuous reference to their durability and quality.
  • Clarks have been around since I was a child and, in my opinion, have always been considered the best school shoe you can buy.
  • While they have a reputation for quality, I also assume them to be in the upper pricing range in line with that quality.

This is what I didn’t know about Clarks Shoes

  • Clarks have been around for almost 200 years! It was 1825 when the first Clarks shoe was made (except they called it a slipper back then). In total, they have been looking after kids’ feet for over 170 years!
  • They have a range of shoes with both velcro and traditional tie-up laces (and buckles for girls). While completing my teaching practicum in a preparatory classroom, I quickly learnt the value of velcro for little hands and they are now my preference for school shoes.
  • Clarks aren’t just practical, they are cool too- according to my 5 year old, they look like they make you run fast. Let’s face it- if you can’t impress a 5 year old, then you should probably just give up.
  • They offer whole and half sizes and a wide range of widths, in addition to insoles that extend the life of the shoe.
  • Clarks have different types of shoes for different wear preferences. There is even one with anti-microbial features! Perfect Fit (184 sizes not kidding): Daytona Style

Machine Washable (anti-microbial):  Cross Hype Style

Mighty Tuff (scuff resistant): Sawyer & Sian Styles

This is how a Clarks shoe is fitted differently than other shoes

The fitting of a Clarks shoe follows a 10 point checklist. This is what it looks like-

  1. WALK – Make sure there is no gape or slip
  2. IN STEP BAR – Check that any velcro straps are firm
  3. LENGTH – Just enough, but not too much
  4. TOPLINES – Must fit neatly against the heel
  5. LACING GAP – Room to flex and move
  6. ARCH – Keep foot supported
  7. WIDTH – Make sure there’s enough room
  8. DEPTH – Check that it’s adequate
  9. HEEL GRIP – Ensure there’s no slip
  10. BACK – Fit snuggly around heel

I appreciate the thoroughness of this check. Improperly fitted shoes can cause health problems and adversely affect walking development, so shoe quality is important to me.  I like to know that my child is going to be supported and comfortable in the shoes he will be wearing for 7 hours a day; sitting, climbing, jumping, dodging and everything else kids do.

clarks shoes being fitted

This is how you get the best wear out of Clarks Shoes

  • The first thing you do is shop as close to the school year as you can. It also means you avoid the Christmas and Boxing Day rush!
  • You get a pair of inner soles with your Clarks school shoes, which means you can accommodate growing feet by choosing a shoe with just a little more room for growth. I LOVE this idea! It also means that, for lots of kids that might have one foot growing more quickly than the other, it allows them to wear 2 shoes of the same size that fit perfectly. Tom has one foot much bigger than the other and this feature is a big win for us.
  • You buy the shoe that is right for the child. Clarks would say that at Tom’s age he will most likely prefer trainers with his feet still becoming stable and to help support his increased activity at school.
  • Protect the shoe. When I buy my kids good quality shoes I waterproof them straight away even though some of their shoes are machine washable which you have to love.

school shoe fitting

My thoughts on buying Clarks shoes for your school child

Clarks shoes are definitely not the cheapest shoe brand on the market, but for their quality I am pretty happy with the pricing that begins at $59.95, with the formal school shoes starting at $94.95 (according the Clarks website 2014). If I had to choose between hunting for cheaper stationery and generic school shorts to afford better shoes, or to buy cheaper school shoes, I’d always choose the former. In our family, we treat shoes as a major investment in our children’s schooling, so we generally begin budgeting several months prior for all their school needs, with the shoes forming a significant part of that budget.

I also need to know that the school shoes will last, and I have confidence in Clarks for that. They are comfortable, breathable and they will soften with wear, like you would expect from a good quality shoe. Their extended wear capability and initial quality fitting means that what seems like a big investment is simply a solid one, because the shoes last through growth and wear and tear, rather than having to be replaced. In my opinion, if you want good quality, long lasting school shoes, then Clarks should definitely be the first option on your list when you shop for your school shoes this year.

To find out more about Clarks Shoes and to find a stockist near you head to the Clarks Website

Clarks Australia Giveaway

Win a pair of Clarks School Shoes!

Tell us in the comments field below, ‘Why do you want your children to wear Clarks?’

Competition closes on the 22 January 2015 at 5:00pm AEDST Terms and Conditions



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32 responses to “A Brisbane Kids Review of Clarks Shoes”

  1. Kat Simmonds says:

    I always buy my son clarks shoes, as they lasted almost to the end of the year, he finds them comfortable and they always fit nicely. He never gets any sore feet from them either.

  2. Mum of 3 says:

    would be good to start my daughters first year of school in a pair of clarks school shoes.

  3. Bronwen Scruton says:

    I had Clarks at school, after begging mum to buy me some cause all the cool kids had them, and i’d love my kids to have them too. Good for their feet, good for my wallet long term, and they look very smart.

  4. Michelle Worling says:

    My son has flat feet and needs to have special orthotic inserts. We have always used Clarks for the support it provides him as he wears them everywhere.

  5. Tracey Sinnott says:

    My son has fibula hemimelia so buying shoes is a very difficult chore. At 4.5 years old he really needs a stable shoe to run jump and do all the things little boys do. We buy 2 pairs of shoes to make one pair as his feet are 2 sizes apart in length and the width is also a large issue. I can’t wait until we can get him into clarks shoes.

  6. elle h says:

    My son is also starting prep this year and I would love to win him a great pair of shoes so he can put his best foot forward on this journey he’s about to embark upon!

  7. Danie says:

    Give them the best start and best fit. Clark’s are a great investment and important choice!

  8. Nalena says:

    My mum always had us in Clark’s shoes. I know first hand how durable and comfortable they are. Can’t wait to buy my son his first pair of school shoes as he starts prep this year!

  9. threeplusone says:

    We have triplets starting Prep and their brother starting Grade 1. Our triplet son will be wearing his older brothers’ Clarks next year as they are still in excellent condition however it would be nice for him to have a new pair!

  10. Tracy McGrouther says:

    because I would like my son to look as happy as Tom 🙂

  11. Libby says:

    Would love the best for my eldest starting prep in like 3 weeks eek!

  12. Melissa Callon says:

    I completely forgot about Clarks until your review…I remember getting them as a child. I think i need to do the same for my daughter who starts prep this year.

  13. Bee says:

    I agree with the article, I know that the Clarks school shoes will last, and I have confidence in Clarks for that. They are comfortable, breathable and they will soften with wear, like you would expect from a good quality shoe. Cool Shoes for Skool!!

  14. Kerryanne Bourke says:

    not only are they comfortable but they provide support in all the right places, unsore feet=better learning!

  15. rachem says:

    My preppie destroyed clarks in one term last year – I’d love to try and have them again to prove last year’s experience wrong!

  16. Deanne Ennis says:

    I want my children to have the right foot support and comfort all day long…and clarks shoes provide this and more….just read the article to find out 🙂

  17. kathryn vassallo says:

    I always had problems with my feet at school & I would love to save my daughter from some of that. And Clark shoes always look much smarter than daggy runners!

  18. N Agnew says:

    My prep in 2014 destroyed every pair of new shoes he had within the term, that was both the cheap & expensive kind, it didnt seem to matter! Would be very interested to see Iif Clark shoes are as good as you say!

  19. Lisa says:

    Miss 6 started prep last year, we choose the Clark’s Velcro shoes, there were great and only just started to come apart in the last 4 weeks (around the little toe seam, which is weird, but anyway!!) the inner soles were great except would bring home half of the sandpit each day Lol!!! We will be buying the same shoes again this year as I can’t fault them.

  20. Ali K says:

    Top quality, comfy shoes mean months of endless fun
    For my two little boys who are always on the run.
    I wore Clarks when I was small, and you know the rule of thumb –
    They may deny it, but secretly, all kids want to be like mum! 😉

  21. Michelle Johansson says:

    I love Clarks! They are the only school shoe that I have had for my kids that they out grow before the break! And the velcro is definitely a plus for prepies.

  22. SeanSImon says:

    My twins have worn Clark’s since they started school – they have always lasted well until they have outgrown them. They have even lasted through soccer games every, single break, every single day!

  23. brook says:

    My son started prep last year and we purchased $125 non clarks shoe which didnt make out the year! This year i’m eyeing off a gorgeous pair if clarks that look fantastic and look like they’ll last!

  24. Katie Longhurst says:

    I wore Clarks shoes when I went to school, so I’ll be looking to get a pair for my girl who starts prep this year!

  25. Susan Impey says:

    My lil preppie last year went through 3 pairs of school shoes before the end of first semester…I can vouch for quality being a priority! I think Clarks would be a fantastic option for her and it would be interesting to see if they could withstand the destruction of Cyclone Amelia! I also think it is really important to have the right support for growing feet which I always had from Clarks growing up.

  26. Louisa says:

    My active lil man starts prep in 2015 and I bought him some target cheapy shoes. Despite their obvious differences to Clark’s he tried them on once, said “they hurt” and hasn’t worn them again… I’m worried about his feet in them on his first day 🙁

  27. Gezza Hunt says:

    My kids have always worn Clarks. DD grew out of a pair that were bought at the beginning of T4 2013 over Christmas holidays. DS started prep 2014 and wore that pair of shoes for the whole year! So Clarks lasted 5 terms! I’m impressed and am going back for more.

  28. Sarah B says:

    Only Clarks fits my Year 5 Cinderella’s feet.
    From Kindy to Year 12 Clarks always and forever will be.
    I (mum) even own my own pair of Mary Jane!
    We love our Clarks shoes.
    Sarah & Elise

  29. Libby Butler says:

    Clarks offer support for active, growing feet, as well as meeting the school dress code and they look cool to boot! My daughter was so excited to wear her first pair of school shoes and I know they will keep making her happy all year long. I wouldn’t choose any other school shoes.

  30. Amanda Casalanguida says:

    We’ve always bought Clarks for our going-into Grade 3’er. They definitely last the entire school year. And let’s be face it… if I was buying shoes for myself…. I’d drop $100 in a heartbeat!

  31. amandagorton says:

    I trust Clarks, the 10 point check-list is more thorough than sifting flour through a sieve!

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