Gransnet forums


shoes, warning to all

(74 Posts)
KittyKat1234 Tue 01-Jun-21 11:04:34

I have had Clarks shoes for over 60 years and a pair that is around 15 years old started to disolve into a goo mess (the soles) when I complained (only worn 4 or 5 times) they said they used a type of chemical that caused this years ago and offered me a £10 voucher. They will not disclose if this substance is dangerous to the respiritory system and seeing the mess they created over their container and on my furniture when I took them out I was really frightened and wonder if this is the cause of my breathing difficulties (they were housed in the bedroom wardrobe) which is really bad at night. Has anyone else had similar issues? The shoes otherwise, look brand new and when you pay £70 you do not expect your shoes to melt.

MayBee70 Tue 01-Jun-21 11:15:08

Yes, I had some sandals that, due to the weather here didn’t get worn much. I always hang on to shoes as I find it difficult to get comfortable shoes for my mutant feet. But when I tried them on recently the black soles started to disintegrate.

Tizliz Tue 01-Jun-21 11:28:53

I had a pair of Hotter shoes that crumbled, they replaced them straight away even though they were at least 10 years old

silverdragon Tue 01-Jun-21 11:32:55

If soles aren't used they become brittle over time and will just fall apart.

KittyKat1234 - if you're concerned re your breathing and any links with the shoes, write to head office asking for more details.

25Avalon Tue 01-Jun-21 11:42:00

Years ago I had a pair of Clark’s nature trekkers I think they were called. On holiday on IOW we took a boat trip to thread the Needles. Just before we got back dh remarked on the mouldy old sandwich I was stood on! Only it wasn’t but the sole of one shoe totally disintegrating. I hope to hop 1/4 mile on tarmac to the car park which was very painful. Laugh about it now. I did notice the other pair, which I’d saved for best, going the same way.

felice Tue 01-Jun-21 13:13:03

I bought expensive Chefs shoes, after 5 years of not daily wear, I was cooking for an event at my Church and the soles just crumbled, it is good I was not in a commercial kitchen.
I complained and was told it happens when people wear them.
Duh. They came from a chefs shop and my previous same brand pair had lasted 20+ years of daily use, the inner soles were starting to go, so I decided on a new pair.
Not very nice.

Maggiemaybe Tue 01-Jun-21 13:42:21

The soles of my Nike trainers came off when we walked round Uluru. Apparently it’s quite common for European glue to dissolve in the heat (I knew what it felt like). smile

I’d a pair of Hotters that I hardly wore, Tizliz. When I looked at them recently, the lining was crumbling away. I didn’t think to complain, as they were fairly old. I’ll know next time.

annodomini Tue 01-Jun-21 14:09:13

Having read this thread, I went to have a look at two pairs of Hotters that I haven't used lately. One pair - trainers - are about 8 years old and wearing well; the others - slip-ons - are, I think, about 3 years old and also wearing well. The Hotter sandals I am wearing have been worn for at least 5 summers and showing no sign of falling apart.

mrswoo Tue 01-Jun-21 15:02:11

Not quite the same thing - but I had a pair of Sketchers trainers where the soles became slippery. I was wearing them one day when it had been raining, the pavement was damp, and I skidded quite badly. I never wore them again as in my opinion they were really unsafe.

Auntieflo Tue 01-Jun-21 16:49:35

I think all the soles of shoes should not be made of that composite material that disintegrates if not worn regularly.
I have had Clarks and Van Dal shoes that have done that.

Liz46 Tue 01-Jun-21 17:37:38

Watching with interest as I have lung problems.

Several years ago the soles on a pair of sandals disintegrated. They were a good quality make but I can't remember which one now.

The soles of a pair of Hotter soles have also have also gone and I have been using them for gardening.

Cabbie21 Tue 01-Jun-21 18:23:25

I had a pair of Hush Puppies which disintegrated.

railman Wed 02-Jun-21 11:01:09


If soles aren't used they become brittle over time and will just fall apart.

KittyKat1234 - if you're concerned re your breathing and any links with the shoes, write to head office asking for more details.

Yes - I fully agree with Silverdragon.

I would add, get to the 'Press Officer' too - but not the one that deals with customer complaints. We had a problem with a kettle a year or two back - I won't name names - which we bought from one of the usual shops, and the switch failed just outside the guarantee.

I contacted the Press Officer, told them I thought the design was bad, and managed to get through to a technical support team.

They took on board some of my observations, and a week or so later a brand new kettle arrived! - They were based in Europe.

You should get a fuller explanation from the head office if they are serious about the quality and safety of their shoes. Definitely push the safety aspect.

I hope it works and your breathing improves.

CleoPanda Wed 02-Jun-21 11:03:21

I walked a mile to the post office one day, wearing my 10 year old, hardly worn trainers. On my way home, I noticed an unevenness and thought I’d got something stuck to the sole of my shoe. A quarter of one sole had crumbled away. By the time I got home, I was limping as the whole sole had disintegrated, leaving a black crumbly trail behind me.
I read up online and discovered it was a certain glue and composite combination that was used by many brands, especially those manufactured overseas. Clarks had a particular problem.
Hopefully, no longer used in the manufacture?

Teddy123 Wed 02-Jun-21 11:04:02

Happened to a pair of posh going out shoes from Russell & Bromley. Barely worn as very high wedges. Straight in the bin!

I bought some of those silica gel packets that you find in new bags, shoes etc. I now put a couple of them in all my shoes & bags. I'm sure it protects them from deterioration.

elleks Wed 02-Jun-21 11:05:19


Yes, I had some sandals that, due to the weather here didn’t get worn much. I always hang on to shoes as I find it difficult to get comfortable shoes for my mutant feet. But when I tried them on recently the black soles started to disintegrate.

I used to love Clarks Springers sandals, but gave up after every single pair had soles that disintegrated. I had 2 pairs go during one holiday once. Hotter sandals seem a lot more durable.

CleoPanda Wed 02-Jun-21 11:11:09

PS. Meant to add that they looked fine when I put them on, there was no indication that anything was wrong. It must have been the pressure from walking the first mile that started the process.

MTDancer Wed 02-Jun-21 11:15:26

I had a pair of brasher walking boots that were about two years old but little worn.
Recently went on a walk around the lakes and both soles just disintegrated. Had to try and tie them on to get back to the car.
I emailed them and had absolutely no response

4allweknow Wed 02-Jun-21 11:16:34

I'm amazed at how many folk are regularly still wearing 8, 10 year old shoes. The shoes I wear on a regular basis only last about 3 - 4 years and they are good makes eg Ecco, Hotter,Gabor. I just wear the soles, heels, insoles out. How do you make them last so long. I have very recently purchased a pair of Skechers lace up casual shoes to wear this summer and there is no way I am expecting them to last any longer than about 3 summers. Very comfy but not made with high quality's materials.

Imposs Wed 02-Jun-21 11:24:00

Happened to me too with a pair of Ecco shoes. I had worn them once or twice and when I wen5 to wear them a third time the soles disintegrated.
I wrote to Ecco who were not in the least interested.
We will not be buying Ecco again even though we had both purchased Ecco for years.
I have Italian shoes that have been in my wardrobe for 30+ years - all leather and still perfect!
Sustainability !

JanaNana Wed 02-Jun-21 11:25:15

Both me and my husband have experienced problems with Clark's shoes in the past. I have had two pairs of sandals, the bottom of the heel on one just crumbled. The second pair one of the soles came unglued. My husband's on his pair the sole came adrift on the first wearing. We used to buy the Clark's shoes regularly from the shopping village in Street. I think the problems started when they stopped making them in the UK and possibly using different components to previously. Now buy our shoes mainly from a company called Moshulu not had any problems with these.

Roni Wed 02-Jun-21 11:33:42

I had Skechers Walking Shoes for which I had paid £65 about
4 years ago. Used them first time last winter. After about 2 weeks of use noticed sole foam was coming off. Used them for another week & it got worse. Had to throw them away.

Missiseff Wed 02-Jun-21 11:38:48

You've had shoes for 15 years? Wow!

railman Wed 02-Jun-21 11:41:27

Now I know I'm showing my age - 30+ years ago, I bought a pair of Barker's and rather like Trigger in Only Fools, they've had about 8 new soles and heels - and I still wear them.

I know the construction and 'build quality' of men's and women's shoes is quite different, but I would never buy a pair of Skechers. Whilst the head office in California, I assume they are made for a price in either China or Vietnam, or the Philippines. I wonder how much the workers get paid compared to Skechers VP of EMEA (Europe, Middle East & Africa)?

Polarbear2 Wed 02-Jun-21 11:47:38

It’s a known issue when you keep shoes unworn for many years. My DD worked at Clark’s and said lots of old guys came in who had saved shoes for years only to find they fell apart. A guy I worked with had his shoes disintegrate while he was sat at his desk. Caused much hilarity in the office. His wife had to drive down with some replacement shoes. 😂😂