Clarks Pure Tone Shoes (Updated)
In my quest for more neutral, versatile pieces, I found myself a nice pair of comfortable loafers from Clarks. These slip-ons come in a nice Nude Leather with a small 2cm stacked heel. Visually, these shoes look like leather Toms. The color of the leather actually matches my own skintone pretty well, so they're a true nude for me. They go with most every outfit. I even picked them as one of my 2 pairs of shoes for the Spring 10x10.
The sole features Clarks' Cushion Plus technology. Here is how their website describes it:
"anatomically targeted dual density cushioning reduces strain on the ball of the foot, supporting the biomechanics of walking - the foot’s natural gait - and providing lasting comfort"
I don't know about all of that, but I can tell you they are more comfortable than your average flat. I stay away from flats usually because of the lack of support, but I'm able to wear these a whole day without issues. I've been wearing these about 2-3x a week for the last month and a half. If I don't wear sock liners, after about 6 hours the sides of my pinky toes start to rub. With liners, I can usually go about 8-10 hours before discomfort sets in.
They look pretty well made, except for a few spots on the sides where the leather meets the sole that don't look completely finished. This doesn't bother me too much, but for $110, I wish the seams were a bit more polished. Since having them, they've endured sudden rain, long mall trips, scuffing, and scratches. They've held up as good leather shoes should - the creases are settling in and there is is some scuffing that rubs out. When the first few raindrops came down on them, I was alarmed because when I went to wipe the water drops off the leather, my hands turned weirdly purple, and the leather looked stained. I'm not sure what the purple was from, but it hasn't happened since then and the leather didn't stain. It dried evenly.
I love throwing these loafers on - they are now a solid, no-nonsense, go-to shoe. I'm sure I'll be wearing these for years to come. They seriously go with every outfit and instantly make me feel just that much more put together. I love the look of these so much that I want some similar-looking mules for the summer! A pair to let the heels breathe, ya know. I've got my eyes on the Nisolo Mariella Mules.
UPDATE: Here are my loafers after a couple of months, lived-in creases, scuff, liners, and all:
ANOTHER UPDATE: The inside soles of my shoes have started lifting. I showed them to a sales associate and she recommended returning them, saying that they were defective. I've been in contact with Clarks customer service trying to work this out - it seems they want me to return them for inspection and if they deem them officially defective, send me a replacement pair. I'll keep this post updated.
UPDATE AS OF 9/24/18: After weeks of going back and forth with their customer service, they did not deem my shoes as defective. Unfortunately, part of the Return Authorization agreement was that once shoes are sent for inspection, they become property of Clarks and cannot be returned. So I can’t even get them back and have a cobbler repair them. I received a 30% off coupon in lieu of a replacement. I appreciate this process exists, but am pretty disappointed with customer service. It sometimes took weeks, almost a month, and multiple follow-up emails to get a reply. I guess I’m back in the market for a neutral flat shoe!