Clarks Arla Jane Review

9.6
9.6 score
[Editors rating (9.6)] = (WalkJogRun) score (9.6)/10


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Editor rating: 9.6 / 10
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Few brands have a reputation for reliability as great as Clarks, so they’re one to watch. Dating back 200 years ago, Clarks had humble beginnings making innovative slippers from mere scraps of sheepskin. Cyrus and James Clark began their journey with creativity and the Clarks brand continues their tradition. The invention of Cloudsteppers has brought forth a whole fleet of weightless, soft, and supportive shoes and the Arla Jane is a welcome addition to the Cloudsteppers family. This simple sandal is comfortable but still totally cute. With the Arla Jane’s crisscrossing upper, the Arla Jane guarantees secure steps and cool feet.  

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • 3mm Ortholite Footbed
  • Unique Upper Design
  • Soft Materials
  • Very Supportive
Cons
  • No Half Sizes
  • Runs Small
Breathability

Breathability

Most open toe shoes will be relatively cool to wear. The woven upper is made of textile on this Cloudstepper and it makes for a relatively breezy shoe for warm weather. For an open sandal, the way that the Arla Jane is designed is pretty smart. More than just a thong sandal, it puts detail into the upper without causing bulk. It has dual straps coming away from the thong. The straps are situated in a way where they intersect and knot to create a stunning visual element, but the woven nature keeps air flowing in and out of the shoe. The soft fabric feels almost like silk. Luckily though, it isn’t, so you won’t have to worry about cursed stains or the material sticking to your skin and getting hot. This Arla Jane stays where it needs to on the foot but doesn’t compromise for temperature regulation. If you don’t like the look of nearly bare feet but can’t get past the stuffiness of a closed sandal, something with a soft, strappy, cloth as the upper could be the best choice for you. The material breathes well and the style itself encourages a lot of air circulation as well.
Comfort

Comfort

Cloudsteppers have become a really popular line for the Clarks brand. From boat shoes to flip-flops, the incredibly lightweight shoe options are a customer favorite. Part of what makes them so wonderful is that the majority of them don’t only have a foam outsole and a substantial midsole, but they also add in a removable insert, thicker than most orthopedic inserts, to add more cushion to your step. The nature of this Arla Jane is strictly casual, though, and the open style means that you can’t have the same kind of removable footbed. Clarks compensates with a thick midsole and outsole combination that perfectly align with the curves of your foot. It isn’t the base alone that makes them such a standout in comfort, either. While the sandal does have a thong to be worn between your first and second toe, they are engineered in a way that won’t strain or rub. The dual straps that stem from the woven intersection in the middle make the pulling against the thong strap not as intense. It disperses the pull over two straps which creates much less uncomfortable overall wear.
Durability

Durability

Sandals so often tend to only last a season or two. Not due to their specificity to warm weather, but more so because they are less expensive, lower-quality, and they rely heavily on current summer trend, so the style can go out very quickly. The basic look of this textile and foam sandal is classic, so that there is longevity in even just how it looks. Even more than that though, the thong piece that goes between the toes is less strained due to the substantial upper and distribution of force. The midsole is resilient to pressure and springs back wonderfully. It won’t crack or tear either. Due to its thickness, it is unlikely that you will have any breaking of the base, nor will the top become detached while walking or otherwise. Also, the upper is extremely resilient and is made from a very strong textile fabric that isn’t going to fray over time. This is definitely a sandal that will get a lot of wear out of it. This Arla Jane won’t fall victim to some of the inevitable failures that standard flip-flops do.
Fit

Fit

There are a couple of issues with fit for the Clarks Arla Jane. One obvious one is that it is a full size only shoe. While this is the case with many flip-flops and slippers from multiple brands, it can make fitting it to your foot properly very difficult. Many are between sizes, and with an open shoe, it can be really hard to make do with a too big or too small pick. The wrong size will be immediately noticeable, either from toes hanging over or too much space in the heel. Clarks also is infamous for narrow shoes that tend to run pretty small. Their sizing is inconsistent when it is converted into different countries measurements as well, so it can be pretty hard to know just what size you need to buy in the first place. For people with wide feet, Clarks may just be a no-go entirely. Many people with wide feet, even someone who is able to find Clarks in wides beyond their third-party sellers, will not be able to fit into any Clarks at all. Their shoes are not accommodating for many people’s feet and this could lead to being more disappointed than anything else when shopping for Clarks. While the soft material of the upper has quite a bit of giving that makes this shoe more likely to work than a more structured option, the base itself is still pretty narrow and can create issues.
Flexibility

Flexibility

This shoe is all cloth and foam. What that means for the Arla Jane is that it is extremely flexible and can keep up with you while in motion. There won’t be resistance when walking or moving and their won’t be rubbing or chafing from being active in the Arla Jane. Though the foam midsole and outsole are flexible, light, and durable, the sandal itself has a relatively thick platform to it, so it won’t have all the mobility of a very thin soled sandal. This may seem like a negative but it really isn’t at all. When you consider how flexible the material is, you want a base to be able to hold its own. The sole won’t bend under the foot while walking or trip you, a common problem with backless sandals. Not only that, but one of the biggest annoyances with thong-style sandals is that you can hear them coming from a mile away. The thin plastic sole tends to slap against your heel and the pavement to make quite a pronounced sound with every step. The thick midsole and outsole on the Arla Jane by Clarks won’t only absorb the shock from the pavement, but it will muffle most of the sound too.
Midsole

Midsole

Sandals so rarely have substantial midsoles, in fact, sandals don’t often have midsoles at all. Many warm weather shoes are simply uppers tacked onto a thin outsole and that is it. While this is fine in terms of a beach or pool shoe at home or on vacation, it is not going to be comfortable to wear while walking or even standing. The midsole on the Arla Jane is made of thick foam with a great deal of energy return. The shoe is going to cradle your foot and support every curve. Without this midsole, the shoe be would just a cute, on-trend thong sandal. The inclusion of the thick midsole makes it a much more wearable and functional sandal. It won’t cause pain from wearing it all day either.
Stability

Stability

Like any other sandal, this has very little to it to help stabilize you. If you are in need of a sandal that will support the ankle and help stabilize your steps, this will be much better than a flat option, but it won’t be enough for serious stability issues for a couple of reasons. One is that the footbed, although contoured, isn’t set into the shoe. Your foot will sit fully on top of the base of the Clarks Arla Jane. It won’t set into a heel cup designed to hold your foot in a place where it needs to be. There is a minimal heel-to-drop which helps to some extent because it doesn’t force your foot to strike the ground in an area it wouldn’t normally. That means the sandal isn’t fighting against your natural walking motion, but actually working with it. Despite this, it just isn’t the best choice for a sandal with stability. The very flexible, the open upper is not going to do justice to a foot that needs real heavy guidance and control in the shoe it is wearing. A clog for the summer or a fully closed slide option with an open-toe is a way to incorporate warm weather footwear into a more stable style for those who need it.
Style

Style

Reviewers absolutely loved this new Clarks style. If you didn’t know already, Clarks puts out different styles within the same family often. So there are multiple Arla shoes made by Clarks, and they differ in the upper and style of the overall shoe. The base is shared on all of the Arlas, and most customers have fallen in love with this Cloudstepper already, but when they debuted the Arla Jane reviewers went wild for the detail. There are two supporting straps coming from the thong piece in between the toes, not only does this have a practical application but it also is interesting to look at and amps up the casual appeal of this sandal. Woven patterns are very in right now, and this one stands out. Thick straps come together in a knotted pattern that joins in a tied diamond shape at the top of the toes. It is sleek but still sporty. This is a great summer sandal or a closet staple for anyone in warm weather all year round.
Support

Support

Due to having such a thick midsole, this shoe offers tons of support for those who need it. Sandals are often dead-ends when it comes to actually provide arch support and ball of foot comfort. Posture is greatly affected by a too flat or floppy sandal and, unfortunately, sandals that are neither are few and far between. There is no comparison from the average sandal to an intensely cushioned thong sandal such as this one. The footbed is contoured to your foot for maximized support while taking minimal space to accomplish it. An Ortholite footbed sits atop the wonderful midsole, with extra-soft cushioned technology all the way through. Even the textile upper is cushioned, and the thong will feel padded between your toes, and will greatly help you to avoid discomfort. The form of the Clarks Arla Jane is similar to a slight wedge, so you can get a bit of height without compromising support. You can see on the TPU outsole the waves that lift and comfort your foot when wearing this Arla Jane, proving it is there for more than just aesthetics.
Weight

Weight

The Arla Jane is in the Cloudsteppers family, so obviously, it's going to be light as a cloud. What helps it to maintain its weightless quality is EVA in the midsole. EVA is a type of foam that can be compression or injected, molded. This isn’t heavy like rubber would be on the outsole, so it is able to give you that one-inch platform without weighing you down. The footbed is made from Ortholite on the Arla Jane. This Clark actually has three millimeters of Ortholite foam. Ortholite foam is light and breezy, it is breathable and aids in regulating temperature so it's perfect for warmer weather. The ultra-smooth upper finishes off this convenient thong option. For Clarks, a brand with some pretty heavy shoes with durable materials and strong construction, Cloudsteppers are a nice addition to their family when a wearer is looking for lighter fare. The Arla Jane is an adorable sandal to welcome brighter skies into your life.
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

Clarks lovers are not hard to find, for those who know the brand, there are a million reasons to love their classic designs. This Arla Jane switches up their classic style for something a bit more carefree and casual. You can effortlessly wear these all over town with continuous comfort and support. Walking tall has never been more accessible for even the shortest of wearers. Sweet platforms and contoured support are the last few details that create the icing on the cake of this Clarks Arla Jane.