The Original Desert Boot
MARIAN BUCKLEY pays homage to the legendary Clarks Original Desert Boot which is now 60 years old.
It's hard to believe, but the Clark's Desert Boot, undeniably one of the most historically important pieces of footwear on the planet, is sixty years old.
To commemorate this significant birthday, Clarks has released a series of six special edition 60th anniversary styles, one for each decade of the Desert Boot's existence.
The story of how this legendary British design classic came into being has been well documented: Nathan Clark was serving his country in Burma as part of the West African brigade when he created the boot. The design was inspired by the boots worn by off-duty Eighth Army officers - Clark had seen a similar style of shoe made in the Cairo bazaar with rough suede and which had crepe soles.
Clark debuted his design in 1950 in the USA at the Chicago Shoe Fair and so began the unrivalled success of the boot through six decades. One of its earliest successes was in France where it was known as Les Clarks and, you might be surprised to hear, in Japan.
While of course here in the UK the Desert Boot was adopted by members of the most stylish youth subculture which has ever emerged, Modernism.
Through the 1970s, the comfy charm of the boot meant it perfectly complemented the hippy attire of the day, while another Mod revival helped keep its profile high in the 80s and again in the 90s the Desert Boot was a staple in the Britpop movement.
Read on to discover the six special edition boots created specially to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the footwear classic...