Most helpful critical review
Looks like a Natureveldt
on 12 September 2014
I've worn Clarks Natureveldt shoes for twenty years and loved them. One pair has been resoled twice. They're fit to be repaired again but Clarks don't do that since the factory moved abroad, more's the pity.
I'm grateful to Amazon for supplying this current version at a low price. You won't find them on the high street because Clarks don't market them in Britain. In North America and Europe, yes, but not in the UK. Bizarre!
This pair arrived promptly and were a better colour than expected. The site offered only Brown, which was a rather bright tan colour that I didn't fancy. I decided to order it anyway, for the sake of having a new pair of reliable shoes, and planning something creative to tone them down a bit. I was delighted when the colour that arrived was Ebony, a blackish brown in a semi-matt finish, just what I really wanted. Are Amazon reading my mind now?
I've worn them around for a couple of months now. The fit is okay, with the firm comfortable clasp of the foot that you need in a shoe for walking. There appear to be a couple of reservations, small but fairly important:
The quality of leather is not as good as in my older English-made model. It is noticeably thinner, is not as well finished, and it gets wet too easily. I doubt that it will last for twenty years.
Some people have remarked upon the surprising slipperiness of the new kind of sole. I have fouind this too. Out on a rainy day, it slips on wet metal as if on ice. This could be dangerous. I used my old Natureveldts as walking shoes along country footpaths, in woods, on rough hillsides. I'm not sure that I would trust these new ones, and I don't know if they could stand up to it.
My conclusion is that this is a good-looking shoe that I will be happy to wear around the house and in town, or out for a drive -- which is enough, that was my main purpose for them -- but that I would not regard as fit for walking on rough or wet ground.
It's a nice product, and a fair deal at Amazon's price, but it isn't quite up to the original Natureveldt.