Clarks and Rockport are top choices if you’re seeking long-lasting footwear made mostly of leather or suede. Both brands are well-known for their formal and casual leather shoes, and both guarantee top-notch quality.
Given their similar shoe lines, most buyers are curious as to who will win the Clarks vs. Rockport debate. We’ll compare the two iconic brands in this post to help you decide between them.
Here’s a preview of what we’ll cover:
- Factors to consider when choosing between Clarks and Rockport shoes
- Our top Clarks footwear recommendation
- Our top Rockport footwear recommendation
- Frequently Asked Questions
Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Clarks and Rockport Shoes
Before buying any shoe, there are a few things to keep in mind. When deciding between Clarks and Rockport, the same principle applies. We compare the performance and attributes of the two brands to help you figure out which one is best for you.
Finding the right size of Clarks has been a bit of a ‘head-scratcher’ for people. Some claim that the lengths and widths are jumbled up, forcing them to go a size down while picking out Clarks boots (specifically), while others say that all ranges of Clarks shoes fit just fine.
It’s safe to say that customers are better off buying the shoes at retail stores where the staff will measure your foot accurately to ensure the perfect fit.
While most Rockport shoes tend to run true to size, others run big, like the Rockport Oxfords. However, if you have wider feet, Rockport’s most popular shoe, the Rockport M7100 Prowalker, may have too narrow a fit. Thus, a slightly wider sizing is ideal for your comfort.
Both brands of footwear tend to have inconsistencies across their vast range of shoes. However, both brands offer sizing options to make sure your feet are nice and snug.
For a lighter shoe, Clarks’ Flex range probably offers the best option. They use lightweight leather for the body and opt for the super flexible synthetic soles at the bottom to achieve a comfortable experience all day.
Clarks are renowned for producing lightweight designs, with designers of their loafers’ line claiming that they are so light you could jog in them.
Although Rockport shoes don’t weigh a tonne, they are considerably heavier than Clarks due to the full-grain leather materials used in their various shoe designs, including loafers.
If lightweight is key when deciding between Clarks and Rockport, the former is a clear winner for an everyday user!
If you spend most days on your feet, comfort is a significant driving factor when buying shoes, how quickly it is to break a new pair of shoes in is a crucial detail.
Clarks are constructed from soft, high-quality leather that feels plush. The shoe collars are padded, making them kind to your ankles. They also accommodate the heels of your feet with a molded, super flexible footbed, and have a rubber outsole that makes it comfortable for standing and walking for long periods.
Additionally, most of Clarks’ shoes come with a mesh liner for added comfort, meaning it takes little to no time to break them in.
Similar to Clarks, Rockports are also designed with padded collars that are ankle-friendly. They are also made with plush inner linings and thick, durable soles for adequate shock absorption to justify the extra shoe weight.
A significant downside to Rockports is the breaking-in period. They tend to have a more extended break-in period than Clarks, so new Rockports may be slightly uncomfortable for about 7-10 days.
Both companies invest heavily in research and development to find the best materials and expertise to make reliable, long-lasting shoes.
Although Rockport shoes may be slightly uncomfortable in their first days of wear, they’re incredibly durable once broken in. But, of course, their longevity depends on the frequency of wear and maintenance of the shoes.
Rockports typically last longer than Clarks, especially after several months of heavy, all-around use. However, the lightweight nature of Clarks footwear makes them attractive to most customers.
Both companies make a wide range of stylish shoes for every occasion.
In some categories, such as loafers, Clarks tend to run cheaper, while in the sneakers selection, Rockport is cheaper. Therefore, the two brands stand at an even score in this section.
Our Top Clarks Recommendations
Clarks is one of the most well-known shoe companies in the world. They have a wide range of outstanding quality footwear to choose from.
The Clarks Stratton Limit Chukka Boot is a handsome boot designed for men. It is a very easy-to-wear, comfortable pair of boots that don’t take long to break in. The shoe comes in dark brown leather, coupled with a sleek and simple design ideal for casual and semi-formal wear.
- Three-eyelet boot in waxed leather with padded collar and suede pull-on loop at heel
- Clarks Plus comfort technology
- Ortholite molded footbed
- Flexible rubber lug sole
For a more feminine design, the Memi Lo is the ultimate suede boot. It has a stylish ankle length that comes in two popular colors: tan and black. The zipper feature and rubber sole make it very easy to wear and comfortable for everyday use.
The Clarks Men Escalade boasts a spacious toe box and lightweight leather material. Their popularity is thanks to their low-profile look that makes them perfect for office use. Their slip-on and elastic gore ensure easy wearability.
The women’s alternative, the Hamble Loafer Black Leather, sells fast due to its affordable price and stylish, sleek premium black leather look. The sole guarantees comfort for women who don’t like high heels.
The sports-inspired Donaway Lace Navy Nubuck is a unisex pair of sneakers meant for casual wear. It’s soft and flexible with smooth leather lining that ensures your feet are comfortable. The added arc support offers much-needed heel reinforcement.
The Craft Cup Lace White Rose women’s sneakers provide breathable leather linings with adequate shock absorption with a foam footbed to make this pair ultra-comfortable for everyday wear. Perhaps its most unique feature is its white rose suede upper, a pleasant twist to the shoe’s design.
- They are incredibly comfortable, thanks to the soft lining.
- They are very lightweight, thus ideal for long wear.
- They take little to no time to break in.
- There are numerous shoe designs for men and women.
- They are not as durable as Rockports.
Our Top Rockport Recommendations
Like Clarks, Rockport offers a wide variety of quality pairs of shoes. Although the brand gained popularity for its boots, their loafers and sneakers are equally good.
Their most popular boots, the Rockport Rugged Bucks Waterproof Boots are widely known for their durability. Perhaps the most identifiable feature is the seamless stitching seen throughout the shoe that adds to its stylish aesthetic.
Thanks to its waterproof insole and gusseted tongue, the boot ensures the wearer remains dry while trekking.
The stylish women’s Cobb Hill Gratasha V-cut Boot has a V-cut cut on its side and a premium footbed with the right amount of cushioning, made with microfibre for a breathable feel. The leather upper contributes to its comfort and durability.
Rockport Style Leader 2 Bike Toe Slip-On Loafer features full gleaming leather and a square toe, designed with a microbial lining that makes it fit like a glove. Ample padding in these loafers keep odors at bay, while the full-grain leather exterior makes cleaning easier.
The Perpetua Penny Loafers’ sleek feminine design and faux crocodile texture give the shoe a modern and singular look. Its Rockport truTECH® cushioning offers shock absorption at the heel and forefoot, while a steel shank maintains the shoe’s shape and the textile lining provides a breathable environment for the wearers foot.
Men’s XCS Birchfield Sport Trekker’s rugged look and its breathable lining, made with 100% recycled material, justifies the shoe’s popularity. The midsole allows for added flexibility and lightweight impact absorption. For extra traction, long-wearing rubber outsoles do the trick.
The women’s Total Motion Sport Sneaker has a breathable textile lining and a rubber outsole that offers excellent impact absorption, flexibility, and durability. Its most notable feature is the removable flatbed to allow for customizable support.
- They are more durable than Clarks.
- They are made using heavy material, hence ideal for hiking.
- They offer great arch support.
- They are challenging to break in, hence can be uncomfortable for the first few wears.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Clean Leather Shoes?
You’ll need a solution of soap, warm water, and a soft cloth to wipe the shoe exterior. You should then follow up with a leather conditioner, which should sit for about 15 minutes before buffing the shoes with a soft cloth.
- Powerful Leather Conditioner: One treatment lasts six months or longer. Leather Honey penetrates deep to protect new leather and rejuvenate dry leather and old leather. Ultra-moisturizing conditioner repairs old or worn leather, prevents and hides scratches and cracking and brings back color to faded leather.
- Restore All Types of Leather: Soften & moisturize leather furniture, car seats, shoes & belts. Great for all colors of leather, including white. Use on leather upholstery, boots, purses, saddles & tack, as well as exotic leather. Not for use on suede, faux leather or vinyl.
- Non-sticky, Odorless, Water Repellant Formula: Protect your leather all year long from snow & rain. Our time-tested, non-toxic formula is water-repellant, non-sticky and fragrance-free, and contains no silicone, solvents or animal products.
- Safe for You, Safe for Leather: Made with non-toxic, high-quality ingredients that make your leather last longer. Free of PFAS forever chemicals and safe for people, pets & your leather. Provides 6 months of leather protection – leather is forever with Leather Honey.
- American Made and Trusted Since 1968: Our premium leather care formulas have had a cult following among leather experts, retailers and high-end car and furniture makers and enthusiasts for over 50 years.
Once done, let the shoes dry in the open air but not in direct sunlight.
How Long Do Clarks and Rockports Last?
Although both companies have heavily invested in quality materials, their shoes’ lifespan largely depends on the frequency and type of wear.
Can I Throw In Suede or Leather Shoes Into the Washing Machine?
No, using a washing machine will damage the structure and durability of your shoes. The only shoes you can throw in the washer-dryer are canvas sneakers.
The Clarks vs. Rockport debate boils down to preference as both brands are interchangeable in their strengths and weaknesses.
For example, Clarks’ loafers are lighter than Rockport loafers but not as durable. On the other hand, the durability and sturdiness of the Rockport Rugged Bucks Waterproof Boot make it slightly uncomfortable to break in compared to the Chukka boot by Clarks.
Both brands are meticulous in their engineering, shoe design, down to the materials they choose for their shoes. Therefore, it’s the factors you consider most critical to you that will help you choose between Clarks and Rockport.