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Wait a minute, Clarks Wallabees just became the shoe of the year

best clarks wallabees
The enduring appeal of Clarks WallabeesClarks

When we mention the brand Clarks, for many of you guys and gals, the household name might conjure up memories of classic school shoes and sturdy footwear your parents were always forcing you to choose over the flimsy ballet flats you all really wanted.

That being said, one of Clarks’ most famous designs, the Wallabee, is still as relevant as ever in 2024. And it has a whole host of new fans – including the cool-girls of Instagram and our favourite celebrities.

SHOP CLARKS HERE

Yep, this suede shoe (hailed by the brand as “the king of casual footwear”) has transformed from a menswear classic to a new ‘It girl’ staple. The iconic design has also been given a new streetwear edge thanks to the likes of FKA Twigs, Raheem Sterling and Jorja Smith (who recently collabed with Clarks Originals) all choosing to style theirs according to new Gen Z fashion codes.

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First crafted in Somerset in 1968, Clarks’ Wallabee design uses just two pieces of supple suede to create the instantly recognisable silhouette and still features the trademark crepe sole we all know and love.

Clarks as a brand was famously beloved in Jamaica throughout the ‘60s and ‘70s for its durable shoes and lightweight soles, leading to the Wallabee style quickly becoming the shoe of the emerging and pioneering music scenes of the era.

It didn’t take long for the rest of the world to take note either, and as Jamaican influences spread globally, New York’s hip hop scene (most prominently the band Wu-Tang Clan) became enamoured with the lace-up boot. While across the pond in the UK, the suede style became ubiquitous with the Britpop movement and was seen on everyone from The Verve to Blur and Oasis during the decade.

Yep, the practical footwear from Clarks that was previously sold on being all about comfort, officially had a whole new target customer.

Fast forward to 2024, and with fashion trends taking a real y2k, ‘90s turn (need we remind you of the cargo pants, baby tees and belly chains we’ve all been obsessing over lately) it’s no surprise really, that Clarks Wallabees are having another revival.

Plus, boat shoes are totally back, baby. This year really is the time to start dressing like your dad or grandad, and there’s no better place to begin than in the footwear department. Blisters and sore arches will be a thing of the past, my friends.

So, how are the fashion set styling these practical pumps for 2024, we hear you all ask.

Well, we can confirm that there is no need to over-complicate things. Sure, you can lean into the indie sleaze trend with battered cargos or low-slung denim and band tees, but the beauty of Clarks Wallabees is that they have a cute preppy side too them, too.

We’ll be wearing our Wallabees with floral mini dresses and frilly socks (you can always tone down the girlish connotations with an oversized denim jacket) this season, and with the jean du jour of the season: The Horseshoe shape and a fitted white tee to really showcase the shoe’s iconic silhouette.

And while, Clarks has stayed true to classic shades with its collection of Wallabees online, there are a few quirky prints and statement designs out there (we’re talking cow print and zigzags, people).

Just dipping your toe into the Wallabee trend? We suggest you opt for a plainer suede to start with. We love the all-black boot that can be worn with literally anything and think Clarks’ gorgeous Maple suede is perf for the spring/summer months ahead.

If you’re already a true Clarks Wallabee fan (like us), there’s also new designs to shop online now – including Nubuck leather designs, pretty loafer silhouettes, Mary Jane inspired T-bar styles and Wallabees with platform soles (aka a petite gals dream).

And the best part? These babies really just get better with wear – they were designed to last, after all. Just make sure you use a handy suede protector to ensure they withstand any April showers.

Clarks is celebrating the iconic shoe on April 26 with a dedicated Wallabee Day, shop the full collection at clarks.com now

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