Clarks Originals are all about the Plantation crepe soles. The shoe we are giving away this week, the Wallabee, is well-known due to its distinct look and comfort. A large part of that image is due to the shoe’s plantation crepe soles.
Plantation crepe is a durable but lightweight, natural rubber. It is intended to provide a softer foot strike and be more comfortable than a traditional sole because each step you take will be cushioned. Shoes with plantation crepe soles can also be much quieter than other shoes. The rubber’s crinkly texture that creates traction so that you don’t slip.
Crepe soles seem to be a love-it or hate-it feature for shoes. The most common complaint is that the soft rubber picks up residue and “black gunk”. Some people find that their Wallabee shoes look even better once worn-in.
However, some people don’t like the gunk. It can be controlled, though, if you care for your shoes. The easiest way to prevent a lot of build-up is to routinely clean your shoes. You can find out how to do this on eHow, but the interesting step is to (after cleaning) take a rubber eraser, such as an art gum eraser, and gently rub it across the bottom of the shoe. Make sure to let them air-dry in a shady place to avoid discoloration or cracked leather. Clarks also pairs with mail-order company Resole America, who will rebuild your plantation crepe soles and return your shoes in about a week.
Whether you like them worn or pristine, thanks to the plantation crepe sole, you know that you’ll be comfortable in your Clarks Wallabees.