Our Story

Sky Soles originated from a recognised need amongst aircrew for specialised aviation footwear.

  • Family is the cornerstone of Sky Soles' foundations. The Clarke families association with footwear began in 1972. Operations that started with Ron Clarke in the footwear retail industry has developed and expanded over the 45 years becoming Ron Clarke & Sons, a family business that now spans three generations. The footwear business now incorporates footwear design, development and wholesaling.

  • In the late 1980's sons Dale and Glenn Clarke joined. Dale and Glenn brought new expertise in fitting, design, sales and marketing into the business. Working with most of Australia and New Zealand's largest footwear companies laid the foundations of Dale and Glenn's design expertise. Developing ranges for worldwide release, frequenting international trade shows and being the brains behind some of Australia's biggest selling shoe styles are just a few achievements of the Clarke brothers.

  • In the new millennium the family business took a significant change in course as Ron retired and the business focused on both the import, export and manufacturing of their own designs and brands.

  • As the next generation of Clarke's, Dale's son Zac commenced a career as a commercial pilot. Practical hands on, day to day work in the aviation industry and consultation with other professionals helped him uncover the need for aviation specialised footwear. From these encounters and conversations with aircrew the new vision of “Sky Soles” was conceived.

    Over the recent years Zac and the team at Ron Clarke & Sons worked closely with colleagues of the aviation industry gauging feedback, ideas and the needs of airline crew.

    Sky Soles are wholly designed in Australia and the Clarke family are proud to have developed a brand that exceeds expectations. With a premium feel and first-class service using the finest materials available Sky Soles focus on quality is paramount.

    All the feedback obtained from the aviation industry has allowed the Ron Clarke & Sons team to design visually attractive footwear with the technology and comfort to last all day and night, even over the longest flights. Sky Soles recognises the needs of its customers and has centred all its processes on servicing the travelling aviation professional. As important as family is to the Clarke's we want Sky Soles to be as important to you and your colleagues. Friendly with a hint of quirkiness is one of our hallmarks. Another feature of our web presence, the Galley Gossip blog is testament to this. We love to communicate with you and will strive to do what we can to make your travelling life easier.

  • " At Sky Soles we are here to support you whilst sharing our love for aviation and footwear.
    Designed by Crew for Crew we are a family that loves flying "

    Zac Clarke

MEET THE CREW

  • Why is quality footwear important to you?

    Growing up with a family footwear business, I have vivid memories of thousands of shoes covering Dad’s car and our family home. Unlike most products in the fashion industry, footwear has a critical role to play in general health which varies by application. The fundamentals of supportive footwear made from quality materials was instilled in me at a young age. I’m a big believer in correct fitting, protection and support which has been carried through to Sky Soles’ designs.

    What is your favourite destination?

    London. A metropolis cultural melting pot with significant history in aviation. I have a love of food and theatre and London has plenty to offer in this department.

    Top 3 travel tips:

    Avoid checking in bags, saves so much time!

    Always carry enough local currency to get you out of a bind.

    Blow up pillows are an amazing invention, worth always carrying.

  • What is your background in Footwear?

    From the age of 14, I worked in footwear retail on a part-time basis after school. After graduating high school I worked full-time for the next 12 months. From my retail background I moved into footwear manufacturing in the design/development department. After gaining an understanding of the processes involved with manufacturing I joined my father Ron in the family business selling footwear around Australia and New Zealand. To this day I continue similar roles albeit with a greater business responsibility. 

    Why is quality footwear important to you?

    Quality footwear is important to me, because you get the perfect fit, feel and wear. Often cheaper alternatives lead to sacrifices in materials and componentry which effect the fit, feel and wear. 

    Top 3 travel tips

    Do not leave your travel documents in the seat pocket in front of you when transiting aircraft on international flights.

    When getting out of the car, always check you have the travel documents on you whilst travelling overseas.

    Always travel with someone else to check you haven’t left documents behind.

  • Why is quality footwear important to you?

    I believe it is very important to invest in your health and wellbeing. When you consider that to be mobile and active you need to walk and without healthy feet to do such a simple thing as walk to the shop to get your bread, milk and the paper becomes a challenge. Thus, by purchasing the appropriate footwear this will allow you to do such simple tasks as the above mentioned. Whether it be your children’s school shoes, the runners for your exercise or the work appropriate footwear by purchasing the appropriate quality footwear your feet and the health and wellbeing of your body will benefit.

    What is your favourite destination?

    I have different destinations for different reasons…When I holiday with my family we love Palm Cove which is 20 minutes north of Cairns airport. The atmosphere is casual resort living. As the area is predominantly holiday makers the locals make you feel very welcome and understand the importance of our patronage at the establishments. Whether it's the morning coffee purchase, that ice cream in the afternoon or the family pizza in the evening the staff make you feel important and welcomed. Plus, the weather is warm.

    What do you like to do in your spare time?

    I invest my spare time in trying to keep fit whether it’s with a running group, going to my gym or just kicking a footy with my son or playing basketball with my daughter.

  • Why is quality footwear important to you?

    A great pair of shoes isn't just about style. Shoes are the most important part of an outfit. They are the support of our body. No matter our professional activity, we need footwear that can provide good quality, excellent support on a daily basis protecting our knees and ankles from injury.

    What is your favourite destination?

    London. Is an amazing and exciting capital of diverse cultures. There are great museums, theatre, concerts and restaurants. There is always something new to do and discover.

    Top 3 travel tips:

    Always have an extra USB charger.

    Make extra copies of your passport and important documents.

    Carry a basic first aid kit. Accidents happen so be prepared.

  • What is your background in Footwear?

    I have been involved in the footwear industry for 10 years now. I currently work across all aspects of footwear wholesaling, from customer service to shipping to product development. I travel overseas regularly throughout the year to assist in seasonal range building, which I absolutely love. Working with Sky Soles is the first time I've dealt with the combination of wholesale and retail - should be an exciting mix!

    Why is quality footwear important to you?

    Quality leather footwear is important to me because I neither want, nor have time for, sore achy feet. I lead a busy active lifestyle, I need my footwear to offer both comfort and style – how lucky am I to work where I do!

    Top 3 travel tips/h2>

    No matter your age or gender we all need to have the following in the top pocket of our carry on:  1) Tissues 2) Chap-stick 3) Pens (Mints & Hand-sanitiser are high on the list too!)

  • What is your role at Sky Soles?

    Customer service via phone and email.

    If you could travel anywhere in a pair of Sky Soles, where would it be?

    Probably Art Basel Miami, every second person is in a pair of Gucci mules.

    What is your favourite Sky Soles style and why?

    Probably the Gold Coast style, because I am partial to a flat mule and they look like a style I could actually incorporate into my everyday wardrobe.

    What is your favourite country you have travelled to and why?

    Favourite country would probably be India, it’s quite testing as you are perpetually on your toes but the diversity of landscape is incredible and the Classical Hindustani performances are unforgettable.

  • What is your background in Footwear?

    There’s no disputing that footwear runs in my blood. My grandfather became an apprentice shoe repairer at age 14. Five years later he opened his own repair store which over the years expanded and adapted to the shifting consumer trend from repairs to sales. Rauert’s Shoex still runs today, now managed by my father. The store is located in Warrnambool, Victoria, at the end of Australia’s Great Ocean Road. Be sure to drop by the store if you’re ever in the area.

    Why is quality branding and design important to business, and how is this reflected through Sky Soles?

    Good design is essential for quality products. That’s a broad statement, but you can see it’s true from the construction of a shoe through to the packaging in which the product arrives at the customer’s door. All design work undertaken at Sky Soles is done to the highest standard to deliver industry leading footwear products and customer experiences.

    What’s the most memorable thing you’ve seen out an aircraft window?

    I’ve always loved looking out the window at the aircraft’s wings when landing, watching the control surfaces move about at the pilot’s command. The ability of flight surely is an engineering marvel.

  • How has social media affected retailing?

    The world of retail has opened up on a global level through social media. Consumers now have the choice of purchasing Footwear, shoes, makeup, home goods from anywhere in the world through a click of a button on their phones in the comfort of their home. Making a purchase has never been this easy. The pressure is on retailers to get it right the first time, as the consumers now have the power to share their experience on social media. At Sky Soles we endeavour to get it right the first time, every time. 

    What is your favourite destination?

    Africa is pretty hard to top. 

    Share with us an interesting fact about your role/team/work area

    I met Karl Stefanovic through a hashtag!! I was running the social media for a local pub and the TODAY show was broadcasting in Bendigo. I did a few posts leading up to the TODAY shows visit to Bendigo, got creative with some hashtags and the producer of TODAY picked up on it and decided to bring the whole cast along to the pub!

  • CAREER BACKGROUND

    Commencing my first flight at 12 years old, I have always loved flying aircraft. At 19 years of age I piloted my first commercial flight on the Airbus A320. I presently operate throughout Australia, Asia and the South Pacific, including New Zealand with over 4,300 hours commercial flight time.

    My experience in the aviation industry as a pilot, combined with my passion for footwear has formed the foundation of Sky Soles.

    THE IMPORTANCE OF QUALITY FOOTWEAR

    Growing up with a family footwear business, I have vivid memories of thousands of shoes covering Dad’s car and our family home. Unlike most products in the fashion industry, footwear has a critical role to play in general health which varies by application. The fundamentals of supportive footwear, made from quality materials was instilled in me at a young age. I’m a big believer in correct fitting, protection and support which has been carried through to Sky Soles’ designs.

  • CAREER BACKGROUND

    At the age of 14 I began working in footwear retail after school on a part-time basis. From my background in retail, I later moved into the design/development department of footwear manufacturing.

    With this gained understanding of the manufacturing processes I joined the family business, working alongside my father Ron selling footwear across Australia and New Zealand. To this day I continue similar roles albeit with a greater business responsibility.

    THE IMPORTANCE OF QUALITY FOOTWEAR

    Quality footwear is important to me, because you get the perfect fit, feel and wear. Often cheaper alternatives lead to sacrifices in materials and componentry which effects the fit, feel and wear.

  • CAREER BACKGROUND

    Growing up in a shoe family, I have always been immersed in the footwear industry. As a young adult, I began my working career in Real Estate sales and marketing.

    When an opportunity arose to join the family business I was able to bring my significant sales and marketing background with me. This experience has provided a valuable dimension that has contributed to the growth of the family business.

    THE IMPORTANCE OF QUALITY FOOTWEAR

    I believe it is very important to invest in your health and wellbeing. Without healthy feet to perform simple activities such as walking to the shop to get your bread, milk and newspaper life becomes a challenge. Purchasing appropriate footwear looks after your health and wellbeing, whether that be your children’s school shoes, the runners for your exercise or the work appropriate footwear.

  • CAREER BACKGROUND

    As a footwear global sales director since 2012, I am experienced in selling and developing technical shoes specifically designed for the aviation industry. In the previous eight years I have worked for: Skypro, Purplewear FZE (Zarutti brand) and Airline Shoes. Having grown frustrated with access to material science and consistent build quality in past companies, I have finally found a permanent partner in Sky Soles that offers world class quality and innovation.

    I have trained, coached and mentored sales
    and marketing staff in several organizations. In these roles I have worked directly with suppliers and B2B clients such as: TAP Portugal, Eastern Airways, Air Baltic, Lufthansa, Condor, SAS, Tarom, Air Greenland and Emirates among others through tenders and roadshows.

    I am a frequent business traveller identifying new potential customers and new market opportunities around the globe. I plan, manage and execute trade shows and conferences worldwide

    THE IMPORTANCE OF QUALITY FOOTWEAR

    A great pair of shoes isn’t just about style. Shoes are the most important part of an outfit. They are the support of our body. No matter our professional activity, we need footwear that can provide good quality, excellent support on a daily basis protecting our knees and ankles from injury.