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Clark Street Casual Shoes
Clark Street Casual Shoes

Clark Street Casual Shoes

A casual split-toe shoe, built on the 108 last, based on the Lasalle design. Includes a hard...

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A casual split-toe shoe, built on the 108 last, based on the Lasalle design. Includes a hard rubber Dainite sole and a foam insole.

Latest reviews

Pros: -excellent design and versatile, mostly true to size, comfortable
Cons: -runs large and loose in the heel, somewhat heavy

I am yet to miss with Allen Edmonds dress shoes. Every single one I've purchased has fit perfectly and presented no problems. Allen Edmonds casual shoes on the other hand, have been problematic. I'm yet to experience one without having some kind of issue. To be clear, this review is only covering my experience with the natural chromexcel color.

I will start off with the positives. Meant to be a casual version of the Lasalle, the Clark Street is a beautifully-designed casual shoe. The light-brown / olive green natural chromexcel leather offers the perfect casual look for a Friday, while also having just hint of dressiness and shine. While not a suit shoe, it can be worn with dressier slacks and chinos, as well as with jeans. The orange / brown Dainite sole plays a key part in the shoes modern design as well as the bold orange laces. The shoe also comes with a pair of yellow laces if you want to keep these shoes more formal. From a design standpoint, the shoe offers the perfect look for someone looking for something slightly modern while keeping a classic style. Not only that, but this shoe is extremely versatile and is the only Allen Edmonds shoe I have that can be worn with white socks!

Built on the 108 last, this handsome split-toe includes a variety of benefits for fit. The first is that the leather itself is much more sturdy than it looks in the pictures. While being thick, it is not hard or painful on the feet in any way. The foam insole provides great comfort, while more firm than the Poron and does not have the "squishy" feeling that the Wilbert does. The Dainite sole is the best rubber sole I have experienced, as it is very firm and provides about the same level of support that the single oak leather sole provides. The shoe also fits true-to-size in the arch and in the toe area, feeling nearly identical to the Lasalle.

Now, what could be wrong with this shoe you ask? Well, there's really only one main problem. The Clark is not true-to-size in the heel and opening area. It is at least a half-size larger than all my other shoes in my usual 8D size. I also own the Carlyle and Lasalle, and this shoe is definitely not the same size in the heel and ankle area. Because of this, there is some heel-slippage with this shoe if you wear thin dress socks. Even with the laces tied very snug, the slippage will continue. I was fortunately able to improve this problem by wearing thicker socks. Unfortunately, thick socks are not what one wants to wear in the summer, as this shoe is better suited for that time of year.

You can see the generous space in the heel even with my thicker socks on.

Another problem is that the leather itself is much more smooth-feeling than any other Allen Edmonds shoe. I suspect the slippage is not only due to the size, but might actually be an issue with this smooth leather upper. To test this, I wore my Clark's without socks and there was no slippage at all. The leather does not grip the socks like my other shoes do. As a result, I've had to experiment with various socks to see which ones create some friction in the shoes.

Another thing worth mentioning is that the original price for these was $325.00 USD. I don't really see this as a $325 shoe, although it definitely is a $200-250 shoe. Lastly, I need to mention that this shoe is quite a bit heavier than it looks. The weight is about the same as the Wilbert. While I do not find this shoe heavy, others certainly will.

I considered returning these for 1/2 size smaller, but the pair I purchased did fit me snug in the arch and toe area. Going down a half-size would most likely make these shoes painful and might require stretching if I went that route. I hope that in time the slip will go away with wear. It's not a major annoyance, but it is noticeable enough that I don't like it. Like the Wilbert shoe, the Clark has a similar problem with the heel. But at least the Clark in my usual size is not too narrow like the Wilbert was for me.

I absolutely love the design and I highly recommend giving the shoe a try if it appeals to you. I might even suggest going down a half-size from your usual size, although this might make the shoe too narrow in the arch and toe area. I was fortunate to be able to purchase the last one in my size, but there are a few still available. Hopefully in the future, Allen Edmonds will consider bringing these back while fixing the heel problem.

Please bring this back, Allen Edmonds.

Edit: I just wanted to update this review and say that I ended up having them replace the Dainite soles. I cannot recommend Dainite for regular shoes or dress shoes, as it seems to work best with boots. Also, in order to obtain a better fit, I learned new ways to tie the laces as well as the use to tongue pads. I have resisted using these as I generally don't like them, but it helps with the heel problem.
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