A nostalgic Magic Step back in time // The Clarks shoes every girl wanted (and I had them)

May 16, 2012

It was the 1980s and I was the first girl in my class to get Clarks Magic Steps shoes. The ones with the key in the sole. They are perhaps responsible for many things:

  1. The start of my shoe obsession.
  2. My flexibility. I always had my foot up in the air showing off the soles.
  3. Not really feeling Clarks ever since. I mean how can they top that collection? Mary Portas is giving it a shot.
  4. An even deeper love for David Bowie thanks to the Labyrinth-esque television advert

Mine were black patent with a double strap. On the sole there was a bubble picture window which would change when you turned the key (which I inevitably lost immediately). I also had the same pair in white for my First Communion which I destroyed on my bicycle and were to date the only pair of white shoes I’ve ever allowed myself to own.

My younger sister has no idea what I’m talking about. These never made the hand me down as I wore them to death then dissected them with a screw driver (don’t try this at home kids).


Since then I’ve loved the Liberty x Nike collections (especially last years collection that was inspired by print designs by famous children’s illustrators), Mui Mui’s blinged up sparkly sneakers, The stuffed teddy and winged trainers from Adidas x Jeremy Scott.

Seems you are never too old for ‘special’ shoes.

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  • Reply Sophie May 16, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    I was always jealous of any girl that had these at school. My shoes were always from M&S…no magic keys in their footwear!

    • Reply Natalie May 19, 2012 at 2:42 pm

      I didn’t have them ether. My mum actually painted my old red Mary Jane shoes white, as a really crap compromise. Scarred for life by that.

  • Reply Pearl May 21, 2012 at 7:59 am

    I had a pair of these and loved them. I even thought they would make me a better dancer. A real classic.

    • Reply Natalie May 26, 2012 at 1:36 pm

      I kind of want an adult pair now… Clarks have got a real missed opp, right there 😉

  • Reply Samantha January 3, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    Hi! – Smashing article, not seen that image before 🙂 – I make (to order) little magic steps shoes set in pendants 🙂 See the picture attached or Loserluxe on facebook…
    I still LOVE them, best childhood invention… the 80’s fueled my imagination to this day x

    • Reply Natalie January 19, 2013 at 1:01 pm

      Arrrrrggghhhhhhh! So cute – WANT ONE.

  • Reply Louisa January 17, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    I had TOTALLY FORGOTTEN the bubble/picture until I read this! Mine were black with a single strap and I was enamoured of the advert. I had the stickers all over my bedroom door too. And I still have the key! 😀

    • Reply Natalie January 19, 2013 at 1:02 pm

      You still have the key? That’s mighty impressive. I’m STILL miffed I never had a pair. ARE YOU LISTENING MUM????

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