Country road fall colors scenery near Burnstown, Ontario, Canada. Photo taken yesterday!
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Galetta, Ontario, Canada. Just south of Ottawa.

And where are they going next? We leave November 1st for a six week trip to Romania and Moldova.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Clarks Shoe Museum

A shoe museum? Yep. When it pours with rain all day long you have to look for indoor things to do. And actually, this free shoe museum in Street, Somerset is worth a stop.

The Clarks shoe company is a huge worldwide company and most of you will have heard the name. The small town of Street, Somerset is where they got their start back in 1825 and their world headquarters is still located in this town of 11,000 people. Even though manufacturing is no longer done here (at one point they employed 1,400 people in the town) the company still has a big presence with it's headquarters and distribution centre.

The most expensive pair of shoes Clarks ever made. There were only 37 pairs made of alligator skin and 25 pairs ended up in the Japanese market. No idea what year it was, but they sold for £1,500.

Ruth, pointing up at the world's largest all leather boot. Made for the jolly green giant?

These shoes were from the 17th century.

Did women have skinny feet in the 1800's?

Clarks mens shoes in the early 1900's.

Ruth and Helen looking at the displays.

The Clarks were teetotallers back in the 1800's and the town of Street had a drinking problem. They started their own AA club for employees!

Did anybody else have a pair of these comfy Clarks Wallabees? I know I had a pair! This shoe popularized the Clarks brand in the US and Canada back in the early 1970's. They sold for $22.99 when they started North American distribution in 1967.

And of course every guy had a pair of these late 1970's boots!

There is no longer a factory, but there is a factory outlet!

A few interesting facts...the Clarks Show Company is a privately held company, still 81% owned by the Clark family. It is Britain's 33rd largest company. It did sales of £1.1B with profits of £125M in the year 2010. Not a single shoe is currently made in the UK.


  1. I've owned various incarnations of Clark shoes over the years. Even a couple pair that were similar to the ones in the 1900s photo. Some things don't really go out of style. All of them were comfortable.

  2. I enjoy visiting museums but not sure I will ever be in a shoe museum.

  3. I had a pair of dark tan Wallabees. I wore them out. I also had a pair of simple, flat sandals that were very comfortable. I wish they still made that style.

  4. Another interesting tour again, good for a rainy day. Oh yes had the boots and a couple pair of Wallabyees too.

  5. Don't ever remember wearing a Clark's shoe. But, unlike Paul and Marsha, a shoe museum would be the kind of place I would love to visit.

  6. I think my bride has created the Clark's fortune all by herself! And no, I did not have a pair of those boots in the 70's, I did have a little self respect back in those days... ;c)

  7. butterbean carpenterJuly 19, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    Howdy R&K,

    Never thought about a shoe museum, but have been to a cowboy boot museum... Never even heard of Clark's shoes; of course Sears & Roebuck probably didn't carry them!!! Interesting place though..Thanks, for the tour!!

  8. Calvin and BrendaJuly 19, 2012 at 9:52 PM

    Well that looked pretty interesting, definitely had some Clarks go through our household when I was younger, and I believe I have some Clarks at the office right now. :)

  9. I still wear clarks em....


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