Clarks Bushacre vs. Desert Boots


Clarks’ Desert boot was originally based on a traditional boot found at Cairo’s famous bazaar during the 1940s.

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Which Clarks Bushacre or Desert boots are best?

Whether you’re looking to purchase your first pair of Clarks boots or wanting to try out a new style, choosing the right pair isn’t always clear-cut. Though there are numerous models available, the Bushacre boot and Desert boot are two of Clarks’ most popular choices, and for good reason.

The Desert is a footwear classic, showcasing Clarks’ signature style and comfort. The Bushacre, while very similar in design, focuses more on overall durability. Before choosing a boot, you’ll want to take into account the pros and cons of each style so you can make an informed decision.

What to know before you buy Clarks Bushacre boots

Clarks Bushacre boot

Clarks Bushacre boot is a relatively recent addition to their footwear catalog. Released in 2005, this style of boot took the aesthetic of the Desert boot and added a more durable sole.

The timeless chukka silhouette features two eyelets for lacing and sports a full leather upper, giving these boots a high-end appearance and feel at a reasonable cost. At full price, a pair of Bushacres retails for $100.

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Bushacre boot pros

  • Sole: The first thing you’ll notice about the Bushacre boot is the durable synthetic rubber sole. It is designed to provide better traction on wet surfaces while also showing minimal wear, and is great for many different weather and terrain conditions.
  • Price: As these are a fair bit less expensive than the similar-looking Desert boot, buyers can enjoy the classic and versatile style without shelling out as much cash.
  • Soft lining: The interior leather lining feels soft on the foot and won’t cause irritation around the ankles, which can oftentimes be an issue for boot-wearers.
  • Quality leather: The Clarks Bushacre boot features a 100 percent leather upper, providing high durability and water resistance, especially since it’s paired with stitch-down construction.
  • Options: The recognizable beeswax brown color is the most popular, but the Bushacre is available in a wide array of colors, and even in suede.

Bushacre boot cons

  • Comfort: While the Bushacre’s rubber sole deserves high marks for its durability, it does reduce the overall comfort of the boot. This may not be noticeable during shorter wearings, but the harder material and the lack of a shank combine to make the Bushacre less comfortable for those on their feet for long periods of time.
  • Break-in time: Most leather boots require an initial period of limited wear in order for the leather to soften and form to your feet.

What to know before you buy Clarks Desert boots

Clark Desert boot

An icon for more than 70 years, the Clark Desert boot has earned its reputation for being both a stylish and functional leather boot. If you’re looking for one of the most comfortable boot options available, the Desert boot is a serious contender.

The spongy crepe sole is easily recognizable, making the Desert boot a standout option that goes well with both casual and dressier outfits. The Desert boot comes with an MSRP of $150, making it a bit more expensive than the Bushacre, but still relatively affordable.

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Desert boot pros

  • Classic style: The Clarks Desert boot looks just as natural in a formal setting as it does exploring the outdoors.
  • Comfortable: When compared to the Bushacre, the Desert boot excels in regards to comfort. The soft crepe sole, which is sustainably sourced, provides a thick cushion to minimize harsh impacts, reduce pressure and keep your feet feeling happy and healthy. 
  • High-quality leather: Just like the Bushacre boot, the Desert boot is made from quality leather with sturdy stitching that offers natural water resistance and protection for use all year long.
  • Options: You can choose from a variety of leather and suede options in multiple colors. 

Desert boot cons

  • Sole: The main downside of the Desert boot is the crepe sole’s lack of durability. Being soft rubber means it will wear down faster when worn on hard surfaces. It also tends to show dirt and discoloration more readily than the harder Bushacre sole.
  • Price: Though the difference in cost between the two models isn’t huge, it won’t be justified for some shoppers.
  • Break-in time: As with the Bushacre, the leather used in the Desert boots requires time to adjust to the wearer’s feet.

What are the best boot accessories to buy?

Obenauf's Heavy Duty LP Leather Conditioner

Obenauf’s Heavy Duty LP Leather Conditioner

After some time, your boots may begin to look worn or faded and may begin to lose their ability to effectively repel water. This leather conditioner uses natural oils from beeswax and plants to form a protective and nourishing coating that will help extend their lifespan. Note that this product is not for use on suede and may slightly darken the leather.

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Gainwell Stainless-Steel Shoehorn

Gainwell Stainless-Steel Shoehorn

A decent shoehorn can make it simple to slide on your boots without creasing or stretching the leather. This ultimately can help keep your boots in pristine condition and extend their lifespan. Shoehorns are also a convenient time-saver when you’re in a rush to get your boots on and head out the door. This stainless-steel model is compact and features a firm leather grip.

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Rochester 6" Shine Brush

Rochester 6″ Shine Brush

Having a good boot brush is a must for cleaning, polishing, and restoring the beautiful appearance of the leather. This 6-inch model uses fine horsehair to prevent any scratches or damage, and its sturdy wooden handle makes for a comfortable grip.

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Should you get the Clarks Bushacre boot or the Desert boot?

When it comes down to it, the choice between the two similar styles ultimately depends upon whether a buyer values superior durability or more consistent comfort. The Desert boot is more comfortable by a fair margin, but for those concerned about the lifespan of their footwear, the Bushacre may represent a better option. No matter which Clarks boots you ultimately choose, you can expect a high-quality, stylish pair to elevate your style.


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Matthew Young writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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