When it comes to chukka boots, the leading brand, Clarks, has styles such as the Bushacre and the classic Desert boot. Although the two look similar, there are key distinctions that set them apart—these will also tell you whether or not the footwear fits your lifestyle.
Our guide will take a closer look at Clarks Bushacre vs Desert boots to help you make the best decision on which will suit you.
Comparison article includes:
- Differences between Clarks Bushacre and Desert boots.
- Clarks Bushacre 2 Chukka Boot.
- Clarks Originals Men’s Desert Boot.
- Can Clarks boots be resoled?
- Why are they called desert boots?
Difference Between Clarks Bushacre and Desert Boots
Clarks was founded in 1825. However, it wasn’t until 1950 when the designer (and founder), Nathan Clark, created the iconic Desert boot.
This boot has become a staple piece for men around the globe with the classic chukka-boot design. Over the years, the Desert boot has been remade in different colors and styles.
In comparison, the Bushacre, is a recent release, in 2005. The inspiration is taken from the style of the Desert boot but paired with a more durable sole. It was designed to suit a classic look while providing you with a reliable grip wherever you go.
You can see more about Clarks Original Desert Boot history here.
With both styles so similar—what are the real differences?
- The Bushacre boot is made of flexible leather that can keep you comfortable throughout the day. Furthermore, it’s also available in suede for more classic attire.
- The Bushacre is fitted with synthetic lining instead of leather.
- The Desert boot is available in leather and suede, whichever you prefer. One question that’s often asked is whether the boot is made of genuine leather or synthetic—Clarks claim to use only real leather.
- Genuine leather will last longer and is more durable than synthetic. Furthermore, real leather has a better appearance and will give the boot a more classic look.
- Leather requires a “breaking-in” phase. This period can be hard on sensitive feet. You can assist the process by using a leather conditioner or a shoe stretcher. Learn everything you need to know in our article on how to stretch leather boots.
- The Bushacre boot features a rubber sole that provides you with a dependable grip, even in wet, slippery conditions. Rubber soles are also more weather-proof and a good choice for wet climates.
- The Desert boot, on the other hand, is fitted with a crepe sole. These types of soles are comfortable to wear for long periods at a time and they also deliver excellent traction on dry ground. However, they can be slippery in wet conditions.
- The Bushacre boot features a stitch-down construction that’s strong and can withstand years of use and abuse. Furthermore, the stitching does provide the Bushacre boot with the ability to keep out rain and snow.
- These boots aren’t meant to be water-resistant. To avoid damp socks, you shouldn’t wear them out in unusually wet weather.
- The Desert boot was designed to be worn regularly and is known for its long lifespan. Similar to the Bushacre, this boot also features a stitch-down construction. Depending on the material, it does offer a certain degree of waterproofing.
- You can treat leather and suede boots with a water-repellent spray to add protection from the elements. This is a particularly good idea if you plan on wearing them during the winter.
- We recommend choosing leather over suede if you want a more durable, weather-proof boot. However, if you live in drier areas and want something stylish, suede is an excellent choice since they do go better with formal settings.
- Clarks boots aren’t hiking shoes. They’re more suited for daily-use or fashion. The soft suede or leather can damage easily along the sole.
- The Bushacre boot includes a cushioned insole and a comfortable lining. Although this boot doesn’t feature any next-level technology for comfort, the lining and insole will keep your feet feeling good throughout the day.
- The Desert boot incorporates a leather lining that makes them highly breathable. This would prevent your feet from overheating and sweating, even if you were to wear them for lengthy periods.
- The Desert boot also features a shock-absorbing foam footbed that keeps the shoes feeling new even after months of use. This feature makes it a better comfort choice compared to the Bushacre.
- The Bushacre boot is known to run slightly on the bigger side. Users have found that it’s best to choose a size down from your regular size.
- The Desert boot also runs big. Wearers have found that it’s best to choose half a size to a full size smaller. They also tend to stretch readily when used regularly, which will make them feel larger. To work out how to get the best fit read our Clarks Desert boots sizing guide.
Now that we know the differences between Clarks Bushacre vs Desert boots, we’ll show you our favorites.
Clarks Men's Bushacre 2, Beeswax,10 M US
- The finish or polish on these boots show marks which are not scratches.
- The finish or polish on these boots show marks which are not scratches.
If you mention Bushacre 2 to a Clarks-fan, they’re sure to think of the classic Beeswax color. The Beeswax is a deep brown color with a slightly distressed look in specific areas. This gives it an attractive contour around the lining and laces.
They’re available in a range of stylish colors, such as Wine, Dark Olive, Chocolate and Waxy Black. Furthermore, there are also a number of suede options available in different shades.
The boot features a 4.5-inch shaft and from the arch to the heel measures approximately 1-inch tall. This gives you a nice lift without being uncomfortable.
They’re made of genuine leather that’s flexible and breathable. As we mentioned in the comparisons above, the Bushacre doesn’t feature much insole-support, so they aren’t meant to be used as work boots.
The Clarks Originals Desert Boot is the classic chukka style that simply goes with every outfit. This particular boot is in Beeswax color, which is dark brown with light accents.
There are many colors available to suit your taste—some of our favorites include Tan, Green, Midnight Blue and Navy Tumble.
Although the original Desert boot is made of genuine leather, it’s also available in suede and combos between the two.
The shaft is slightly shorter than the Bushacre—measuring at 4.25 inches from the arch. The heel counter is suede-lined to bring you more stability.
Overall, users have been satisfied with their Desert boots; however, they do have a “breaking-in” period that might be tough on sensitive feet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Clarks Boots Good for Walking?
Clarks boots are excellent—once they’re broken-in. The cushioned insole in the Bushacre paired with the relatively flat heel makes them comfortable to walk in.
In addition, the shock-absorbing insole in the Desert boot further improves your comfort level by reducing pressure on certain areas of your foot.
Why Are They Called Desert Boots?
Many brands make desert boot-style footwear. However, it was first designed by Clarks. Nathan Clark was stationed in Burma along with the British Army during World War II, he was inspired by the shoes off-duty officers wore.
They were wearing suede boots that were specially made to be lightweight while providing exceptional traction on sand. These boots were made in a bazaar in Cairo, which prompted the name “Desert.”
What Do You Wear With Clarks Desert Boots?
These boots are classic chukkas and will suit a range of styles. You can pair them classically with denim trousers and a button-down shirt or smarten up with a blazer or cashmere sweater.
For more ideas on how to style your Clarks Desert Boots, watch this video.
Are Clarks Desert Boots Suitable for Winter Weather?
No, unfortunately, they’re not suitable. The crepe sole can become extremely slippery in wet or snowy weather, which can be a hazard. Furthermore, the suede material isn’t weather-proof and you can quickly end up with cold and soggy socks.
Can Clarks Boots be Resoled?
It is possible to resole Clarks Desert Boots—in fact, many choose to replace them with more durable materials such as leather. By being able to resole the boots, you can effectively extend the lifespan of the pair.
If you’re interested, here’s how one man successfully resoled his Clarks Desert Boots.
Boots Made for Walking
Now you know the key differences between Clarks Bushacre vs Desert boots. Which one is the best choice depends on your preferences, style and needs.
The Bushacre boot can be worn in light rain. However, the Desert boot should be used in dry weather. The crepe sole of the Desert boot isn’t suitable for wet conditions, whereas the rubber sole on the Bushacre is slightly more durable.
Keep in mind, these aren’t work or hiking boots. They’re designed for everyday use, whether it’s casual or a special occasion.
We hope you found our Clarks Bushacre vs Desert boots guide informative. What do you think of the Bushacre and Desert boots? Share your opinions in the comments.