The Making of Clarks Originals Desert Boots
Originally designed by Nathan Clarks in 1949 for off-duty British army officers, the famous desert boots quickly became a favorite footwear of men and later, women - from soldiers to salespeople - in search of exceptional comfort, quality, artwork and personality.
At its core lies recognisable simplicity and ingenuity of style and functionality. You may be able to guess the typical materials used to put together the Clarks Originals desert boots. But wouldn’t it be fascinating to get a sneak peek of the step-by-step creation process of this signature Clarks boots?
Good news for all curious desert boots fans! You are in for an exciting exploration of your iconic Clarks pair.
Recently, on the Instagram account of Clarks Originals, research archivist Tim walks us through the journey of creating the 65-year-old well-loved Clarks desert boots.
We know you’re burning with curiosity, so here goes the boot-making process exclusively brought to you by Clarks Originals.
- Cutting. You will need press knives, leather, and the shoemaker’s cutting skills to make various cut-outs for the boot upper parts.
- Closing. As soon as the boot’s upper cut-outs are ready, they need to be fitted, stitched together, and brought to a close for lasting.
- Toe last. Next, you will need a lasting machine, where you would pull the upper over the toe of the last so as to create the toe shape of the Desert Boot.
- Seat & Waist Last. To finalize the lasting process, wheel in the upper tight (using a wheel with a polished edge) to the feather edge of the last.
- Stitching. The upper and insole runner go through a large machine for stitching to ensure it is secure.
- Sole lay. This next step involves a sponge, a solvent, and a machine. Apply the solvent using a sponge to the crepe runner (bottom of the lasted shoe) to partially dissolve the crepe’s surface. Afterwards, feed the soles through the machine. Then position the sole at the bottom of the crepe runner, press them together until they stick.
- Edge trimming. Now, it’s time to feed the the boots to a trimming machine for any excess in the lasting margin, runner, or sole.
- Edge scour. In this part, use a high-speed sanding wheel to take off the excess material at the edge of the sole and heel to achieve a great finish.
- Socking. Foam insoles are fitted in the shoes for maximum comfort and natural cushioning to absorb shock and lessen foot fatigue.
- Final pass. The pair goes to quality assurance department for a final check before packaging and dispatch.
- Lace, tag and fill. Once the boots have passed the final check, Clarks Originals laces and tags are then packed into boxes ready for delivery or display.
Do you know the best-kept secret of Clarks desert boots? Their construction has remained unchanged since 1950. With that level of commitment to quality and consistency, no wonder they have mastered the craft of desert boot-making. And when you truly think this through, it’s impossible to look at your Clarks desert boots the same way again.