It’s an exciting time to be a sneakerhead. As the sneaker scene has ballooned, the footwear business has strengthened and the classic, clean designs of yesteryear have asserted themselves as wardrobe staples, this has conversely opened up spaces for designers and labels to take more adventurous, almost deconstructivist approaches to what you’re putting on your feet.
Clarks Originals is one such brand, and its striking Trigenic Flex is its shoe. Technically it’s a sneaker, but in the same way that its progenitor, the Wallabee (or moccasin), is a boot. Building on concepts seen in the label’s 1883 Hygienic range, the English brand also drew inspiration from M.C. Escher’s mathematically precise, optically challenging works and interlocking tessellations to make a shoe that takes a giant leap forward in terms of construction and comfort.
Built on asymmetric lasts hand-carved from hornbeam, the Trigenic concept sees premium deconstructed uppers made of three interlocking pieces of leather that have been cut, angled and interlocked to move with the foot. The shoe’s inner bootie has been cut short to, again, allow for maximum movement, yet still providing ample support to the rear two-thirds of the foot. All of this then sits atop the brand’s truly (and visibly) unique three-piece, de-coupled Vibram sole unit that flexes with the foot’s natural movement, while the footbed uses Clarks Originals’ Ortholite technology, with firm vegetable-tanned insoles marrying with an EVA midsole for optimum comfort and a smooth ride. Finally, the overall design nods to Clarks Originals’ celebrated Wallabee, with a moccasin construction resulting in knitted detailing across the upper as well as the knitted heel tab.
While the Trigenic silhouette was first introduced Summer 2014 with the Trigenic Flex and Trigenic Dune, 2016 sees Clarks Originals fully flesh out the collection with an extensive series of colorways for the Trigenic Flex.