Let’s Talk About Clarks Bushacre 2 & The Desert Boot
Here’s the deal: chukka and desert boots aren’t going anywhere. Seriously. They were trendy a few years ago, they’re still in full vogue now.
And why wouldn’t they remain relevant? Comfortable, (somewhat) easy to maintain, and quick to adapt to both weather conditions or personal style.
Clarks is the king here, with their Bushacre chukkas and the famous Desert Boot.
So, what gives? Which is one is better – and most importantly, where exactly is the difference between these two?
No joke, one of my friends had a pair of Desert Boots and thought they’re Bushacres. His reaction when he found out:
Honestly, it’s easy to mistake these if you don’t know what to look for. Summed up in short, here are the main differences:
Bushacres have a classic rubber sole. They’re way better suited for rain/snow/harsher weather conditions. Looking at you, Seattleites.
Desert Boots have a crepe sole. Light and bouncy, but gets dirty easier and fares awfully in wet climate.
Desert Boots aren’t lined. Also, their leather is a tad thicker than Bushacres.
In most cases, I’d recommend you grabbing a pair of Desert Boots.
Here’s a pair of CDBs and Bushacres standing next to each other (darker pair is CDBs). Photo courtesy of Reddit user /u/gregolde:
Not sure if you can see it properly, but you can definitely see that the Desert Boot leather is a bit thicker.
Alright, let’s expand on these beauties a little bit, shall we? I know I gave my vote for the CDBs, but in the name of objectivity I’m going in deep with the comparisons.
Clarks Bushacre vs Desert Boot:
Round 1: The Soles
The most important part of a shoe for me is the sole. I’ve walked miles upon miles across the world with Kate, and there’s nothing more foot-wrecking than the wrong sole.
As I mentioned before, the two Clarks feature two very different sole types.
Bushacres come with the smoother, standard rubber you’ll see in many other quality shoes.
It’s heavier, but it also adapts to weather changes without any problems.
Desert Boots are the crepe sole type. Lightweight, flexible and downright better if you’re walking a lot. For people like me who enjoy a stroll around the city, they’re a top choice.
They’re also very quiet and soft, two very important things you want to see in a good sole.
Here’s the catch though: should it rain, they turn into a slippery hell. And they get dirty way, way easier than Bushacres. Like pretty disgusting levels of dirty if you’re in a city with skies grumpier than normal.
If you live in sunnier areas with somewhat clean streets, go for the Desert Boots. In all other cases, Bushacre soles are simply the better choice.
- Bushacre 2 91% 91%
- Desert Boots 80% 80%
Round 2: Construction & Leather
Bushacre won the soles competition, but the overall sturdiness award goes to Desert Boots.
As I mentioned, Bushacre chukkas are lined. This makes their leather even thinner than it looks, unlike CDBs thicker material.
Don’t get me wrong. The difference isn’t staggering, but it’s there. Some people measured the lining to be around 1/4″ – that’s not an amount to neglect fully. It’s not a catastrophic difference, but it does matter.
No rocket science: this means Desert Boots should last you a bit longer. In line with our expectations, though. After all, CDBs also have a significantly higher price tag.
- Bushacre 2 83% 83%
- Desert Boots 95% 95%
Round 3: Aesthetics
Both shoes come in various colors. Obviously, beeswax (just like the guy above’s choice) is the unspoken Clarks standard.
If you’re into the classic chukka style, Desert Boots’ crepe sole helps for better aesthetics. Beeswax is all about the contrast – between the shoe itself, and the soles.
CDBs crepe soles are slightly lighter, which amplifies this exact contrast.
Obviously, this wouldn’t matter that much if you shoot for another color. I dig the Rust Suede a lot, but that’s because I’ve always been fond of this pattern:
So, while both models look very stylish and can suit various wardrobe preferences…I do feel Desert Boots get a slight edge due to their shoe <-> sole contrast.
If you got the beeswax, remember that there are some color variations among batches.
- Bushacre 2 81% 81%
- Desert Boots 95% 95%
A Quick Tip
We’re dealing with shoes here. And shoes either run small, or run large. If you bought them online, it’d be a hassle to return them, right?
As a rule of thumb, both Bushacres and Desert Boots run a bit large.
Size down a little – usually 1/2 or 1 size less compared to other boots or shoes you wear.
Also, as they’re made of leather, both models will require some time so your feet get used to them. You might consider getting some insoles, or simply walking only a few hours in them for the first few weeks.
How to care for beeswax Clarks
(Both Desert Boots & Bushacres)
Long story short – mink oil. That’s the best way, in my opinion. I use mink oil on most of my leather shoes and their aesthetics remain on point for a ridiculous amount of time.
Red Wing’s mink oil is pretty great and it’s made locally in the US. Great quality all around.
Obviously, gently going over them with a cloth from time to time is also recommended. Just make sure it’s a soft one and you don’t apply too much force.
You know, instead of me writing about it, there’s this awesome guide on full Clarks beeswax maintenance here. Watch it 🙂