Clarks Bushacre 2 Review
If you like the classic silhouette of the Clarks Originals Desert Boot, but need something more durable and formal-looking, try giving the Clarks Bushacre 2 a chance. Featuring all the beloved characteristics of the Desert Boots, but amplified, and a lot more affordable, the Bushacre 2 will become your new everyday casual shoe, that will look good in any social setting and will earn a ton of compliments.
Editor's Pros & Cons
- Smooth leather upper
- Rubber outsole
- Classic silhouette
- Attractive colors
- Sizing runs big
- Soles lack durability
- Little to no support
At first glance, the Clarks Bushacre 2 could easily be mistaken for their Originals Desert Boots, due to the striking similarity in the design of the two Chukka Boots. However, upon closer inspection, one can see the subtle differences, which make for a not so subtle outcome. Namely, the sole of the Bushacre 2 is not made of the same crepe material as the Desert Boots, but from a dense rubber, that still retains its flexibility, but will not get dirty as easily as the crepe, and will last longer. This type of rubber outsole also holds up much better when exposed to water, than its predecessor, the Desert Boot. However, one must remember to waterproof them before going into any puddles, as these boots are still not meant for winter or rainy weather. The traction is also improved in the Bushacre 2, as rubber is naturally more grippy and less likely to slip and slide on wet surfaces. Nonetheless, this does not mean that the Bushacre 2 can take a heavy-duty walk, like some sturdier boots, as it was meant to be worn casually. Unlike with the Desert Boots, the wearer is safe from feeling every little pebble and stone they step on, as the rubber sole is much denser than the softer crepe. Although not offering that much in terms of support, the Bushacre 2 is still quite comfortable to wear on a day-to-day basis and many reviewers like the rubber sole better than the crepe, when it comes to all day comfort.
Another difference between the Desert Boots and the Bushacre 2 is the leather used in the manufacturing of the upper. While the Desert Boots feature a suede upper, the Bushacre 2 comes with a smooth, soft leather upper. However, Clarks made the Bushacre 2 available in suede as well, though the dark brown leather Bushacre 2 is the most popular choice by far. The leather being more durable and water-resistant, people tend to opt for the Bushacre 2, rather than the Desert Boots. Special care and additional waterproofing is still necessary, but the Bushacre 2 holds up much better than its suede counterpart. The lining in this boot is made of soft suede which is fused to the leather upper, making it more structured. Breathability is still somewhat of an issue, but the loose-fitting leather does let some air into the foot chamber. The Bushacre 2 has a lightly padded footbed for additional comfort, however, the boot itself is still pretty flat inside. Most reviewers did not mind this enough to turn them away from the boots, as they can just put some insoles into them for cushioning. The lacing system consists of 4 eyelets, two on each side, and thin, flat laces. Some reviewers were not a fan of the laces, as they appeared too long and low quality compared to the boots themselves, which looked like they were made of high quality materials. A handful of customers noticed that the upper scuffs easily, showing every little mark, however, they did not mind this, as it adds to the character of the boots, giving them a more lived-in look right from the start.
When it comes to breathability, the Bushacre 2 performs similarly to the Desert Boots, as it does not have a very breathable lining. However, in the case of the Bushacre 2, a soft suede lining has been fused to the leather upper, making it more structured and durable. The wide fit, which is loose at the ankles, lets some air into the foot chamber, but wearing cotton socks with the boots is recommended, for moisture-absorption and breathability, as well as additional cushioning. Reviewers would not advise wearing these boots all day or in hot summer weather, but they are perfectly suited for spring and fall, some even got away with wearing them during winter.
While the sole of the Bushacre 2 is made of denser rubber than the crepe sole of its counterpart, it is still quite a bit flexible, following the natural movement of the feet for a non-restricted ride. The smooth leather upper, although tougher than the suede upper of the Desert Boots, once it is broken in, which should not take more than a couple of days, it softens and conforms to the shape of the feet, providing great comfort for the wearer. Likewise, its lightweight construction will not tire your feet out that easily. Reviewers wear their Bushacre 2 as an everyday casual boot, that they can just throw on and be comfortable in while running errands, going out with friends or a night out downtown. For additional comfort, wearers can opt for some padded insoles.
The Bushacre 2 is quite the durable shoe, even more durable than the Desert Boot, yet it costs less. The main feature that the Bushacre 2 beats the Desert Boots in, is its outsole. The outsole of the Bushacre 2 is made of a dense rubber material, as opposed to the crepe sole of the Desert Boots. This rubber outsole is not only more durable, but it holds up much better when it comes in contact with water. Still, as all leather boots, it needs additional waterproofing, but some reviewers said that they were able to wear them during winter as well. However, there is not tread pattern on the outsole, so it is advised to wear them with caution when it is slippery outside. The leather upper has a sturdier construction, thanks to the soft suede lining, and is stitched to the sole for added durability. It does get scuffed fairly easily, although, customers seem to like this characteristic of the shoe, as it gives a more rugged, lived-in look. One thing reviewers complained about were the low quality laces, that tore not long after purchasing the boots, as well as a handful of customers, who said that the sole separated from the upper after only a few wears. This, however, could be attributed to a factory defect, as most customers had their Bushacre 2 boots for years without any issues. Much like the Desert Boots, the sole of the Bushacre 2 can be replaced when it wears down.
The Bushacre 2 comes in many sizes, however, when it comes to widths, it is on the narrow to medium end of the spectrum. This is bad news for anyone with wider feet, as these boots will be too tight for them. Another thing worth mentioning is, that sizes for Clarks shoes tend to run bigger, as is the case with their Bushacre 2 Chukka Boots. Reviewers recommend sizing down at least half a size, sometimes even a full size, to get the best fit. This seems to solve most people’s problem with sizing, however, a handful of customers complained about the shoes fitting loose on their heels, even after sizing down, or the leather upper digging into their skin too much, causing discomfort.
Even though the Bushacre 2 features a rubber sole and genuine leather upper, it is still quite a flexible shoe. The rubber outsole retained its flexibility, and although not as flexible as the crepe sole of its predecessor, it provides the wearer with an easy, non-restricted stride. The leather upper softens with each wear, and as it gets broken in, it starts molding to the shape of the feet, following their natural bending. Reviewers were generally satisfied with the performance of their Bushacre 2 boots, as they could move as freely as if they were wearing bedroom slippers.
Stylewise, the Bushacre 2 looks very similar to the Clarks Originals Desert Boots, as it features the same design. However, the materials used to make the Bushacre 2 are more sophisticated and durable, like the dense rubber outsole and the smooth leather upper. The rubber outsole does not get dirty as easily as the crepe one, and is easy to clean if it does. Together with the leather upper, it gives a dressier look, than the Desert Boots, which are meant specifically for casual wear. It can be dressed down with jeans or chinos, and it can be dressed up with khakis and a button down shirt, for a more business casual look. Some reviewers even said, that they got away with pairing them with suits as well, as the darker rubber sole gave a more formal look to the shoe. The Bushacre 2 comes in a variety of colors and finishes, so everybody can find the one that suits them best.
Still not the most supportive of shoes, the Bushacre 2 does offer a bit more than its counterpart. The rubber outsole is more grippy than the crepe one, and provides good traction for the wearer. While a few reviewers ventured wearing them in the rain, and some even in snow, it is most suitable for dry weather, as the sole can be quite prone to slipping on wet surfaces. The upper, lined with soft suede, offers more structure to the wearer, and is stitched down to the sole for enhanced durability. However, the four eyelets do not secure the feet down inside the shoe, and the ankles are pretty loose. The Bushacre 2 also lacks underfoot cushioning, which bothered quite a few customers. This can be fixed by inserting some padded insoles, however, the sizing should be adjusted, to avoid the shoes being too tight.
The Bushacre 2 is quite a lightweight shoe, even with its dense rubber outsole and leather upper. The lack of padding and insole also contributes to the overall weight of the shoe, which is light on the feet, and will not cause fatigue or sore feet after use.
The Clarks Bushacre 2 is an excellent successor to their already notorious Desert Boots. Featuring the same well-known silhouette of Chukka Boots, but with a sturdier construction, the Bushacre 2 will become your staple ankle boot for the warmer months. Replacing the crepe sole for a denser rubber sole makes these boots not only more durable, but gives them better traction on wet surfaces, as well as better water-resistance. The upper is made of smooth leather, which looks more sophisticated than its suede predecessor, making the Bushacre 2 perfect for more formal settings as well. The upper also features a soft suede lining, making it sturdier and more structured. While these boots are more suitable for the warmer months, with proper care and waterproofing, they can be worn during winter too. One thing to note is, that the Bushacre 2 does not have a ton of support, so additional insoles might need to be inserted in the shoe, to achieve maximum comfort. Sizing is on the bigger side, meaning, that going down a half or a full size is recommended, for the perfect fit. All things considered, the Clarks Bushacre 2 is an excellent casual Chukka Boot, featuring the classic Desert Boot style, but more durable, and for the fraction of the price.