The Ultimate Guide to Clarks' Wallabees

As one of our most-loved shoe styles, the Clarks Wallabee is a bit of an icon (if we say so ourselves). Developed in Ireland back in the 1960s, its classic design has proved to be totally timeless, and today Wallabees are more popular than ever.

If you’re curious to find out more about the shoe that’s created such a buzz, you’ve come to the right place. In our ultimate guide to Clarks Wallabees, we’ll answer all your most-asked questions, from sizing to how to clean. Plus, we’ll share plenty of style inspiration so you can flaunt your Wallabees during every occasion.

What are Wallabees?

With its distinctive crepe sole and squared-off toe, the Wallabee is a Clarks original that hits the sweet spot between sneakers and dress shoes. But what makes a Wallabee a Wallabee? Look out for these features:

  • Moccasin-style uppers

  • Crepe rubber soles

  • An ankle boot or low-cut shoe design

  • Suede material (though sometimes leather)

Wallabees were first introduced in the UK before marketing efforts turned to North America. They soon became a part of popular culture, particularly in the Jamaican music scene during the ‘60s and ‘70s. After that, Wallabees became a global sensation. Famously worn by the members of ‘90s hip hop group Wu-Tang Clan, their popularity skyrocketed – and that takes us to the present day!

Since Wallabees were first released as part of our Originals collection, designers have had fun adapting and recreating the classic Wallabee design. We now offer a whole range of men’s Wallabees and women’s Wallabees to suit every preference. While still embodying the classic Wallabee look, we’ve played around with heel height, grip style and color to create some truly unique looks.

Do Clarks' Wallabees run big?

Not exactly! Clarks Wallabees are said to run big because of their roomy square toe, and because of this, some people choose to go 0.5 down a size. However, your shoes will still feel comfortable if you stick with your true size.

Taking care of your Wallabees

How you clean your Wallabees will depend on if they’re leather or suede. Follow our shoe care guide below for best results.

How to clean Clarks' Wallabees

How you clean your Wallabees will depend on if they’re leather or suede. Follow our shoe care guide below for best results.

Cleaning leather Wallabees:

  • Combine two parts water and one part vinegar to make a solution

  • Dip a cloth in the solution and wipe the Wallabee, then wipe again with clean, pure water

  • Let the Wallabees fully dry out, then use Clarks Instant Shine Sponge to moisturize, protect and shine

  • Finally, spritz each Wallabee with Clarks Rain and Stain for lasting protection against the elements.

Cleaning suede Wallabees:

  • Use suede and nubuck foaming cleaner or a solution that is two parts water and one part white vinegar

  • Use a brush or a cloth to wipe lightly with the grain, making sure you go in the direction that the suede naturally sits

  • Wipe your Wallabees with a clean, dry cloth and leave them to dry, then spray Clarks Rain and Stain for future protection.

Shop our Shoe Care Accessories or read more about how to clean shoes.

Are Clarks' Wallabees waterproof?

All our GORE-TEX Wallabees are waterproof. They’re designed with webbing tape and GORE-TEX® technology to ensure protection from the elements.

Clarks suede Wallabees aren’t totally waterproof, however they come with a water-resistant treatment that provides a certain level of protection. Leather Wallabees are slightly more forgiving, however we still recommend that you keep your Wallabees out of the rain.

How to style Clarks' Wallabees

Wondering how to wear your Clarks' Wallabees? Here are some style ideas to boost your imagination:

Wallabees and denim

Wallabees and jeans is a classic pairing that can do no wrong. Blue or black jeans work best as they’ll go with most shades of Wallabee, though you can wear brighter colored jeans if your Wallabees are a neutral shade.

If you want to earn some serious style points, throw on a denim jacket for a fab double denim look that’ll get people talking. Switch up your shades (i.e. blue jeans with a black jacket) or keep your colors consistent for maximum effect.

In the summer, swap your jeans for denim shorts and dress for the weather. Shoe-style Wallabees in a lighter shade are the best option for warmer months, as the last thing you want is sweaty feet!

Wallabees with skirts and dresses

Wallabee shoes for women are just as popular as men’s styles, so don’t be fooled into thinking that Wallabees only work with super masculine outfits! Street style fashion like cargo skirts and jean skirts go great with Wallabees. Pair with a casual tee and a rucksack for effortless glam.

Alternatively, go as feminine as possible and wear your Wallabees with a long, boho-style dress. The contrast between the shoes and the dress will earn you plenty of style points.

Wallabees for work

The beauty of Wallabees is that they work with both casual and formal attire, meaning you pretty much have free reign when it comes to choosing an outfit! It also means they’re super work-appropriate (for most jobs) and will look great as a part of a smart look.

Men should pair their Wallabees with chinos and a button-down shirt for a smart-casual dress code. If your workwear is a little more formal, switch your chinos for suit pants and opt for black or brown Wallabees.

Meanwhile, women wearing Wallabees to work should opt for tailored pants with a cropped blazer. Have fun with your look; switch your pants to a suit skirt or dress down in a pair of black jeans if your work’s dress code allows it. If you usually wear heels to work, Wallabees with a high wedge sole will elevate your height and have the bonus of being much more comfortable to wear.

What socks to wear with Wallabees

Most people don’t like to have their socks on show when wearing Wallabees. This won’t be a problem in the winter as you’ll likely be wearing pants that cover your socks. However, if you wear your Wallabees with bare legs in the warmer months, you might want to consider getting a few pairs of no-show socks.

Now you’ve discovered all there is to know about this iconic Clarks Original, explore our full collection of men’s shoes and women’s shoes, or browse another of our classic styles: the Desert Boot.