When I discovered Clarks Desert Boots for the first time I fell in love immediately. Once I tried them on and walked around for a few minutes, I knew I would be owning multiple pairs of these shoes for the rest of the foreseeable future. The thing I really like the most about the Desert Boots are the lack of support and the crepe soles. The suede pair I own are extremely soft and floppy and feel like I’m barely wearing shoes. Compare that with the mushy, soft rubber soles and you have a recipe for walking on comfort like I’ve never experienced before.
The thing is, the reasons I love Clarks Desert Boots so much are the very same reasons some people can’t stand them. I’d say it’s about 50/50 with no one in the gray…you either love the wide open, floppy, lack of support and squishy crepe soles, or you hate them. I’ve even heard people complain about crepe soles wearing out rather quickly because the sole is so soft, or them being terribly slippery in the rain. Mine seem to work great in the rain, and I’ve been wearing my Desert Boots fairly heavily for over a year and they’re still going strong. Once I read that a guy never ever wore his Desert Boots in the rain because they soaked up water and got his socks wet. While I find this a bit extreme and have never experienced anything close to this, I do understand that some people need support and harder soles.
If you happen to fall into this category, you might want to look into getting a pair of Clarks Bushacre boots, Bushacre II, or Bushacre lows. The Bushacre and Bushacre II’s are nearly identical to Clarks Desert Boots with one huge difference: the sole. Instead of using natural plantation crepe soles, the Bushacre boots use synthetic rubber. This results in a MUCH harder sole. You are definitely not walking on a cushion of cloud like crepe with these shoes. I discovered them at a Clarks outlet store and scored a pair for around $50. Brand new at retailers you’re looking at $100+ for them.
The Bushacre boots took a bit longer to break in than the Desert Boots because of their stiffer soles and the type of leather I chose, Beeswax Leather. The Beeswax Leather was much stiffer than the suede I chose for my Desert Boots. If you’re looking for more support but love the style of Desert Boots, look into getting them in a type of leather rather than suede. The suede literally provides no support what so ever. Bushacres are also available in a Low version, which is more like an oxford but looks fairly similar to the rest. If you like the soft, support lacking suede but want a harder sole than crepes, you can also get Bushacres in suede. Your options are literally endless when combining the different soles and leather upper types that Clark offers.