- MANUFACTURER: CLARKS
- MODEL NAME: BRISTOW RACE
- STYLE: CASUAL AND DRIVING SHOES
- SHIPPING WEIGHT: 3 POUNDS
- SIZES: 7-13 D (M) US
- HALF SIZES: YES
- COLORS: NAVY, COGNAC, TAN
- OUTER MATERIAL: LEATHER
- SOLE: SYNTHETIC
- ALSO: BREATHABLE LEATHER, NON MARKING SOLE, ORTHOLITE FOOT BED, LIGHTWEIGHT
- FIT AS EXPECTED: 70%
- PRICE GUIDE: $90
- OUR RATING: 4 STARS OUT OF FIVE
OUR FIRST IMPRESSIONS
Simple. Classy. Comfort.
If we had to pick three words to describe these Clarks Men’s Bristow Race Slip-On Loafers, then we would go with those.
These are a smart casual pair of shoes, which seem as if they belong to the driving range of slip on loafers that manufacturers Clarks produce.
The driving shoe – or moccasin as they are sometimes referred to – is a mainstay of the respectable man’s wardrobe, especially if on occasion he is forced to transport himself in the Aston Martin.
For those tiresome situations when you have given Jeeves the day off, a pair of driving shoes is just the ticket.
The aim of the driving shoe, as well as rendering you dapper at all times, is to provide comfort and a firm gripping heel, for not slipping on the pedals.
The only thing is, here at Best Walking Shoe Reviews, there is spot of confusion as to whether these are actually intended as a driving shoe.
Since these shoes are not currently available on Clarks’ own website at the time of writing, it is tricky to know for sure.
However, the addition of the word “race” in their title gives us the impression that they are intended to be worn behind the wheel of a car.
These Clarks Men’s Bristow Race Slip-On Loafers follow the same basic design of all slip on driving loafers.
They are made from quality leather, with a simple stitching surrounding the upper and a little embossed line along the heel.
Flat, without a significant heel, these are a straightforward style, which aren’t going to tax your feet.
With a non-marking rubber outsole, these don’t have the same usual grips that driving shoes have. That means they are relatively ordinary on the reverse, without the extra heel grips on the edge.
However, we don’t think that this takes them out of the category of driving shoes. It just makes them a simpler number than some of the other ones we have reviewed.
The sole is still as good and flexible as a driving shoe needs to be, in order to properly press down on those pedals.
Furthermore, the leather upper is good and flexible, as well. And comfortable, to boot.
In fact, comfort is the prime quality that we take from these Clarks Men’s Bristow Race Slip-On Loafers.
Perhaps they don’t have the required soles on them to scale Ben Nevis, but they are a comfortable pair of loafers.
Color wise, there are at least three shades to choose from – navy, cognac and tan. There may be some more besides, but if they are, they’re something of an endangered species.
At the present time of writing, the only ones we can see on sale are the navy shade.
As a simple loafer, we don’t expect flashing LEDs or fluorescent colors, so we will settle with the navy, tan and cognac that they come in.
At the moment the sizes on offer are rather limited, but they range from a 7 to a 13.
Half sizes? You wouldn’t expect anything less from Clarks.
But, as far as we can tell, these only come in a standard width.
And do they fit as expected?
Yes, we are pleased to say that they do – on the whole. Seventy percent of customers have found the right size, first time.
For the few that didn’t get it right the first time, it is possible that they ran a little too large – but equally, the other half of respondents reckoned they were too small – so take your pick!
Generally, though, the size fit just fine for most, so we wouldn’t anticipate trouble on the size or fitting score.
Well, seeing as manufacturer Clarks is a byword for comfort, we would be more than a little disappointed if these did not live up to our expectations.
But, judging by the reviews that these loafers have received, there is nothing to worry about on that score.
These slip on loafers, slip on nicely and are a comfy pair of shoes, straight from the get go.
Yes, one or two people have remarked that they take some breaking in, but this is not the majority experience, we have found.
The comfort has been and remains the outstanding experience of customers with regards to these Clarks Men’s Bristow Race Slip-On Loafers.
Ah, well, here’s the thing.
When you purchase a pair of loafers – whether specifically as driving shoes, or not – the clue is in the word ‘loafers’.
In other words, these are shoes principally for loafing in.
Not scaling the north face of the Eiger, not touring the Urals in, or in short, not doing anything that could be remotely described as athletic.
Likewise, we wouldn’t really be expecting them to withstand a lot of snow, rainy puddles or mud.
Whereas the odd mild rainstorm should pose no problem, these are not a pair of shoes which were designed with heavy weather in mind.
So, this is something you should consider, when you decide how, when and where to wear them.
SHOULD I BUY THESE CLARKS MEN’S BRISTOW RACE SLIP-ON LOAFERS?
Like all Clarks shoes, these Clarks Men’s Bristow Race Slip-On Loafers are where style meets comfort and then makes a happy threesome with quality.
As a smart casual style, these could fit in at the office, as long as absolute formality is not required.
Yes, you could wear them out for drinks with friend, combined with some chinos or a smart pair of jeans.
No, we wouldn’t don them for a jog around the block with our favorite hoodie, though.
And as for driving?
Yes, we think this would probably come down on these Clarks Men’s Bristow Race Slip-On Loafer’s résumé as their principal occupation. And one that they excel at.
So, should you buy them, if you are in the market for a quality men’s loafer – yes, absolutely!