Clarks Portland 2 Review

8.9
8.9 score
[Editors rating (8.9)] = (WalkJogRun) score (8.9)/10


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Editor rating: 8.9 / 10
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A great combination of rugged, yet business casual aesthetics and all-day comfort and support, the Clarks Portland 2 is an excellent shoe that you can take from the office to a walk through the city without thinking twice about it. Lightweight and featuring an EVA midsole, this shoe will keep you on your feet and feeling fresh from the moment you put them on, until the moment you take them off at the end of the day.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Matt leather upper
  • Breathable mesh lining
  • EVA midsole
  • Removable OrthoLite insole
Cons

 

  • Runs large
Outsole

Outsole

The Clarks Portland 2 utilized a fairly durable rubber material with abrasion-resistant, non-slip qualities for its outsole. The outsole also makes use of a widely spaced tread pattern, which gives the shoe great traction on a multitude of surfaces, as it firmly grips on to both dry and slippery ground. As it was designed for everyday use, Clarks made sure that the outsole had a good amount of flexibility to it, so as not to restrict the natural bending and movement of the feet, enabling the wearer to move freely in these shoes. Reviewers praised the flexibility of the outsole, since most of them wear the Clarks Portland 2 to work, and the shoe performed well throughout the day, allowing the wearers to bend and move effortlessly. One reviewer used it while he was renovating his house, and said that he was able to squat down easily in this shoe, without any pressure points on his toes or the ball of his feet. He also mentioned that the widely spaced tread pattern did not trap pebbles and small rocks from his driveway.
Midsole

Midsole

One of the best innovative features that this shoe has is its EVA midsole. This type of lightweight cushioning is usually found in running shoes, which is why they are so comfortable to wear casually as well. Designed to provide all day comfort and support, but retain a business casual look, the Clarks Portland 2 is the perfect blend of the two. The midsole has excellent shock-absorption, and cushions the feet with every footfall, for soft landings and stable footing. Due to its lightness, this shoe will not weigh the wearer down, even after a long day of standing or walking in them. This makes them perfect for any workplace where the wearer would need to be on their feet most of the time, as well as travel shoes for colder weather or if the wearer wants to avoid looking like a regular tourist. Reviewers unanimously agreed that the Clarks Portland 2 is one of the most comfortable shoes they ever had, and were especially pleased to have a running shoe’s cushioning in a dress shoe.
Upper

Upper

The upper of the Clarks Portland 2 is made of quality leather, which is very lightweight and has a matte, grainy finish, for a rugged, yet smart look. The different parts of the upper are stitched together, with one long stitch line going from the rear end of the shoe to the toe box, for a unique silhouette. The stitching also makes the upper very durable, so the wearer does not have to worry about the shoe coming apart easily. The upper features a standard lace-up closure, with slightly round laces, which lessen the risk of the laces coming undone mid-wear and provide the wearer with a customizable, secure fit. Since leather is not the most breathable of materials, Clarks included a soft mesh lining, to improve the overall breathability of the shoes and help with staying cool and dry. The Portland 2 has a removable OrthoLite insole, that provides all day support and cushioning for the underfoot, and is great for people with flat feet. It also helps get rid of moisture in the foot chamber. Since the insole is removable, the insertion of custom orthotics is made possible. For additional support and protection, Clarks included extra padding in the collar. The lightweight design of the upper makes them very comfortable to wear all day long, as it will not cause fatigue or sore feet by the end of the day.
Breathability

Breathability

A shoe that is meant to be worn on a daily basis, for longer periods of time needs to have proper ventilation in order to keep the feet dry and healthy. As mentioned above, the Portland 2 is made of leather, which is not that breathable. This is why Clarks made the lining from a soft mesh material, which is very breathable and will not cause any hot spots or blisters. It improves the ventilation inside the foot chamber and helps regulate the temperature, to avoid overheating. The OrthoLite insole helps absorb the excess moisture from the shoe, creating a dry and healthy environment for the feet. Many reviewers wear the shoes either casually or for work, on a daily basis, and are satisfied with their breathability. Although, not as breathable as a running shoe, reviewers found that the Portland 2 did a good job for what it is, which is a business casual shoe. They did not experience any hot spots or got overheated, even after wearing them all day. That said, one reviewer did mention that he got sweaty after a long work day, but was still satisfied with the shoe.
Comfort

Comfort

Comfortable is the perfect word to describe the Clarks Portland 2. The outsole is made of flexible rubber, which follows the natural bending of the feet, allowing the wearer to move freely, without any restrictions. On top of that sits an EVA midsole, that is not only very lightweight but provides a supportive cushioning to the underfoot, much like running shoes. The upper is made of leather, with a soft mesh lining, further enhancing the lightness of the shoe, as well as providing breathability. However, the most comfortable feature of this shoe is the OrthoLite insole, that is both supportive and very comfortable. It has excellent arch and heel support, which improve the overall state of the feet. It is great for people who struggle with plantar fasciitis or heel pain, as it cushions the feet while supporting them at the same time.

A few customers said that the shoes might need some breaking in, but they should be comfortable after a couple of days of wearing them around the house, while others commented that they were comfortable right out of the box. Many reviewers wear their Portland 2 for work, oftentimes standing for long hours, or walking long distances during vacation, and did not experience any foot pain or fatigue while wearing them. Some reviewers even said that the Portland shoe provided twice as much comfort than some other comfort shoe brands, like Ecco, and for the fraction of the price.
Durability

Durability

The Clarks Portland 2 is a durable enough shoe for what it was made, with a sturdy rubber outsole and a leather upper. Most reviewers did not have any problems with their Portland 2, some even had them for years before they needed to repurchase them. However, there were some disappointed customers. While the leather is durable, some people said that they crease easily at the toe box and are prone to premature scuffing, which they thought was because Clarks moved the manufacture of their shoes from England to other countries, decreasing the quality of their materials. One customer even received the shoe with visible clumps of glue on the upper. Nevertheless, most of the complaints were about the soles either wearing out rather quickly or separating from the upper. Others, however, thought that the quality was great for the price.
Fit

Fit

Clarks made sure to be inclusive with their sizing, so the Clarks Portland 2 comes in many sizes and widths from narrow to extra wide with a roomy toe box for a natural toe splay. While some reviewers said that the shoe is true to size, the majority commented that it runs at least half a size bigger and advised sizing down at least half a size when buying this shoe, to get the best fit.
Style

Style

Stylewise, the Clarks Portland 2 is a good blend of a dress shoe and a casual shoe, with its Oxford-like appearance. It features a grainy leather upper with a matte finish, which lends the shoe its rugged, but stylish look. It is waterproof as well, making them perfect for those colder months. The Portland 2 is a great everyday shoe, which can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion, and it is excellent for work or traveling. It comes in black and brown, two base colors, which can easily be paired with jeans and a sweater, and looks just as great with khakis and a button down shirt.
Support

Support

The Clarks Portland 2 has tons of support to offer to its wearer. The outsole is made of durable, grippy rubber, which grabs firmly onto the ground, whether it is dry or wet and eliminates the risk of slipping. The midsole features a lightweight EVA foam, with excellent shock-absorption and supportive cushioning. This type of foam is typically used in running shoes and provides all day comfort for the wearer, while keeping the feet stable. The upper is made of quality leather and has a standard lacing system, for a structured, supported fit that is easily adjustable. The collar has sufficient padding to keep the ankles cushioned and locked in place in order to avoid injuries. It also hugs the ankles in a way that does not create discomfort or blisters. Inside the shoe, Clarks included a removable OrthoLite insole, for added arch and heel support, as well as cushioning. This insole is excellent for conditions such as plantar fasciitis, heel pain, or flat feet. People with normal arches will also find this shoe supportive enough. However, if you need even more support, the option of adding your custom orthotics is made possible as well, although reviewers seemed to be pleased with the shoe’s support on its own.
Weight

Weight

The Clarks Portland 2 was designed to perform similarly as a running shoe and to provide the wearer with all day comfort without fatigue, while looking like a dress shoe. It was designed to be worn on a daily basis for a prolonged period of time, which meant that it needed to be lightweight enough, to not cause any discomfort to the wearer, yet contain all the necessary elements that make a shoe of that type. Everything from its rubber outsole, EVA midsole and leather upper is fairly lightweight, and Clarks even exchanged their leather lining with a mesh one, to minimize the weight of the shoe, as well as enhance breathability. According to reviewers, they were able to wear the shoes for 8+ hours at a time, without their feet feeling tired or sore.
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

The Clarks Portland 2 is an excellent versatile shoe, that can be worn casually, as well as in an office setting. Thanks to its non-slip, abrasion-resistant rubber outsole, this shoe will provide a secure grip on any surface, whether it is sunny outside or if it is raining. It features an EVA midsole, otherwise found in running shoes, that delivers excellent shock-absorption and a supportive cushioning to the wearer. The upper is made of quality leather, with a matte, grainy finish, giving the shoe a rugged look. Together with the lace-up closure, it creates a customizable fit. The toe box, as well as the foot chamber, are quite roomy, so it is advised to buy at least a half size smaller than your usual size, to achieve the perfect fit.

The lining is made of soft mesh, to facilitate a good air flow inside the foot chamber and help regulate the temperature to avoid overheating. Clarks also included a removable OrthoLite insole for added support, which the wearer can choose to keep or replace with custom orthotics. The collar has a decent amount of padding for cushioned and supported ankles. While some reviewers were disappointed with the durability of the soles, others found the Clarks Portland 2 durable and comfortable for the fraction of the price.