You know that old joke that begins, “A celebrity, a designer, and an editor walked into a shoe store … ?” No? Okay, fine, neither do I. But if I were to write one, the punch line might be a nod to Clarks Desert Boots — a timeless shoe for men and women endorsed by more than one Strategist editor, Chris Black, designer Andy Spade, and actress Frieda Pinto. Chris has called them “super-wearable and eternally cool,” Andy has been “wearing them since high school,” and Frieda (who has collaborated with the brand), told us she feels like she “can walk a million miles in them.” Coincidentally — I swear — my fellow senior editor Peter Martin also happens to be wearing a pair today.
As the owner of two pairs of Clarks (some desert boots and some very similar-looking Bushacre chukkas), I can attest to all of the positive endorsements above — even the bit about wearing them in high school, because Clarks were one of the few brands my private parochial one permitted us to wear with our school-issued uniforms. I have written before about how when I find clothing or shoes I like, I tend to keep buying that style (a shopping habit I picked up after learning that many people I consider stylish do the same). Clarks Desert Boots are no exception — until doing some light research for this piece, I actually thought I had two pairs before I discovered my Bushacres are technically not the same (they apparently have a slightly different sole). Reasons I like Clarks Desert Boots: they look good with any pant, whether black or blue jeans, chinos, or — for the right occasion — even something a bit dressier. They also look good at any age: it’s been two decades since I first discovered the shoes in high school, and my love for how they look has never wavered. A lot of that has to do with their simple design of just two eyelets, tonal stitching (no trendy contrasting colorways), and a toe that’s rounded, not square. Clarks Desert Boots are also, as Frieda suggested, quite comfortable. They’re less bulky and heavy than any other boots I own, while still looking unmistakably like a boot — though not one I’d advise wearing in truly inclement weather.
What I also can attest to is that (presumably) for these reasons, I rarely see Clarks desert boots on sale. Occasionally, you might find a discount on one of — as Andy puts it — the “funky-colored” pairs, but not often will retailers mark down one of the brand’s neutral, goes-with-practically-everything styles like this pair in oak suede. And at 40 percent off, the normally $130 boots have now gone from borderline splurge-worthy to bonafide deal.
The pair shown is for men, but Zappos is also offering women’s desert boots in oak suede at 27 percent off right now, bringing their price down from three-digits ($130) to two ($95).
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