What is it about Australian animals lending out their name to the shoe industry: Dingo boots, KangaRoos shoes, and Wallabees? What’s wrong with the Eagle (Nikes), the Grizzly Bear (combat boots), or the Flamingo (platform heels)?
Wallabees were brown suede shoes with a beige, crepe-style squishy sole. These shoes were so ugly they were cool. Like old pioneer moccasins, or bush shoes, these kickers took you back to the frontier days of Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone. While you might not have been killing bears when you were only three, in your Wallabees, you looked like you could.
Clarks, the folks who brought us the desert boot the decade before, were the masterminds behind this 70’s earth-shoe for kids. They kicked off their popularity among the flower children hippies, but became the absolute rage for the average adolescent. They went perfect with the mud brown cords and beige turtleneck that every kid seemed to be wearing.
Tons of Wallabee knock-offs came out, and any shoe with a brown suede top and a gummy, eraser-style sole came to be known as a wallabee. But any Aussie-phile knew better than to mess with anything but the real thing.
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