Tuesday 15 February 2011

I put some new shoes on and everybody's smiling.

If you want to to make instant friends with any English girl in her mid to late twenties, you just need to utter these three words: 'Clarks Magic Shoes.'

The response may hurt your eardrums, but in no time you'll be squealing away about the Clarks Magic Princess Shoes that had a REAL KEY IN THE SOLE. Don't remember?

In addition to that fabulous piece of advertising, the shoes had a little bubble in the sole with a key in them (THE ONE SHE STEPS ON THE ACTUAL ONE) and came with a little silver brooch and stickers that I got in lots of trouble for sticking onto my wooden bed.

I have unusually wide feet, and normally had to get my shoes at the specialist shoe shop in my town for kids with weird feet (oddly, though, I don't know anyone who DIDN'T have to go to Footsteps. Is there such thing as a normal foot?) but for some reason, the Princess Shoes fit me! I had black patent ones, and still remember wearing them to school and my friend Julia going 'OH MY GOD YOU HAVE PRINCESS SHOES!'

Fiona made me remember these magic shoes again although Katie also posted about them, using the brilliant reasoning that they're to blame for our generation's shoe obsession.

I was struck by the injustice and madness that they do not exist any more. WHY do they not exist any more? Can you think of a little girl who would not ADORE these shoes? They wouldn't even need to change the ad campaign!




Because, I don't know about you, but I would totally wear these shoes. My black patent Mary-Janes are my most-worn footwear (hideously scuffed, but oh so comfy). And I can think of LOADS of fashion-conscious ladies who would snap them up. The media coverage would be phenomenal. They would be an instant, huge-selling cult item. As someone who spends her days working in marketing, I think that not maximising on this opportunity is madness.

So let's start a campaign. BRING BACK THE PRINCESS SHOES, CLARKS.

Blog about this! Hashtag #trustyourmagicshoes and @ the hell out of @clarksshoes. WE NEED OUR PRINCESS SHOES.

(Photos found here)


  1. I remember them so well, my sister had a pair but I never did. Don't think I've ever really got over that...

    Penny x

  2. Despite my Mum being a Clarks obsessive, I wasn't allowed any Magic Shoes on account of them being "a gimmick" (the horror, how could my mother imply such a thing?)

    I would glad welcome their return in adult sizes to go with my adult size overdraft, I mean bank account. I will have that magic key, I will, I will....

  3. My mum shared the gimmick opinion but I think I wore her down in the end.

    I wouldn't say they were the sole cause (boom boom!) of my shoe obsession though - I think there are several hundred years of folk tales and cultural significance that make us think that shoes are Good Things. Princess Shoes definitely helped though. And yes, I would muchly like a grown-up pair.

  4. Hell yes!!
    Do you know the sad thing, they gave these out for free in a campaign at my school when they were first released. But my feet were too slim and long to fit. Gutted does not come into it. Me and about two other girls were the only ones who didn't get them. So Clarkes if you are reading this, please get moving on this. There is still time for me to wear the key shoes.


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    I JUST remember these, although I don't remember the ad campaign. I was given a second hand pair of my cousin's that she'd outgrown. I adored them. I would definitely buy them if they came out in grown up sizes. I really, REALLY hope Clarks bring them back.

  7. I had a pair of these! And i'm sure it spurred my obsession with shoes. 10 years later I was galloping about in a giant pair of New Rocks with springs in the sole!

  8. I've been banging on about this for AGES and ages! Absolutely agree, LOVE your idea to actually ask Clarks! If they had adult sized ones, I'd be there in a shot!

    I wrote about them here!

  9. Oh my God I LOVED my princess shoes SO MUCH. Why oh why did they ever stop making them?!

  10. Haha I had them in blue, red and black for school! I had some patent ones with pink flowers too. I found one of the keys when I moved house about 5 years ago, put it somewhere safe and forgot where it is :(

  11. I had black patent ones. I think I was about 4 or 5. I loved them so!

  12. Fabulous!

    As an expert on primary school fashionistas, I can tell you that the 2011 in-crowd are wearing Mary Janes with DOLLS hidden in the heel. The heel has a clear bubble through which you can see the doll, and then you can lift up the insole and take the doll out to play with. Not quite as magical as the princess shoes, but seriously cool.

  13. Oh wow, I remember these so well - flashback to my childhood! I really wanted these but like so many other "faddish" crazes I missed out:(

  14. woah there flashback! they also used to give out little magazines and posters, right?!

  15. Start a petition and demand that Clarks bring them back and in adult sizes! I'd sign and I'd soo wear them! I really wanted a pair as a kid but we couldn't afford it. So I drew a key on the bottom of my cheap replicas...wasn't the same though.

  16. i remember a pilgrimage to clarks every new school year!

  17. i wasn't allowed them, and remember being deeply envious of my friends who had them!

  18. I never had these as I had very fat feet... at one point I had the same shoes as my brother. Can you think of anything more traumatising for a 15 year old girl who had to wear boys shoes?! Luckily I have made up for it since ;)

    Maria xxx

  19. I loved my magic shoes and remember me and my sister sticking all our stickers to our plastic play chairs! I also managed to get the whole family locked out cause I said I had 'the key' I blame my parents though, they shouldn't have believed a 5 year old had the actual house key!

  20. I feel awful you guys - I had these but i lost the key after about five minutes :-( Damnit, the magic world was there, but just out of my reach!
    I know if I got a new pair the same thing would happen all over again...

  21. I am so jealous of everyone who had these shoes! I longed for them as a child but because I had stupid narrow feet I never got them :(

    I would love for them to bring them back for adults so I could live out my childhood dreams!

  22. what a cool idea to bring it back in our size! =)

    join my STila Giveaway!!!

  23. omg... I REMEMBER! Jees those were exciting times. I also remember when Clarks got all technical and installed those foot-measuring machines instead of the good ol' planks of wood they used to use. I genuinely thought those scanner things were magic.

    Totally behind the reincarnation of princess shoes...for adults!


  24. I still have the silver flower-shaped medallion with 'magic steps' in pink letters...

    I do remember having an argument with the clarks lady when I was 11, as she was trying to convince me that bootlegs were 'really trendy' and I insisted that I wanted girly shoes and that bootleg shoes were chunky and ugly and for boys. Mary Janes should be everywhere. They are wonderful.

  25. I always wanted them! Envious! I'm 32 this year and by god I still pine over that 'proper little princess' ad. What an ad, what a shoe!

    Come on Clarks... now I can pay for my own I can be a proper little princess!


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