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. 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


ZacFounder

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.


DaleDesigner

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.


GlennDesigner

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.


JoyceOffice Manager

What is your background in Footwear?

My footwear background goes back to when I started work at Williams the Shoe Man in Malvern as a 15 year old and I have worked in shoes ever since. After meeting my husband in the footwear world we have always joked that footwear is a part of our DNA as we have three daughters who have also grown up with their Father designing shoes at the dining room table at midnight. Once you’ve been involved in it, it never really leaves you, it can be a very interesting and exciting world. I have worked for many different shoe company’s over the years including Wittners, Ecco, Banks in NZ, Myer, Colliers of Balwyn, as I said shoes are really in the blood!

Why is quality footwear important to you?

The main reason is that I have a very narrow long foot which is an "A" fitting, therefore I have no choice but to buy more expensive shoes as I cant get my fitting otherwise, however, I think I would anyway as I believe the old saying you get what you pay for! To have comfortable feet with no aches and pains you have to pay for good quality leather, padding and fit (and style)!

What is your favourite destination?

It is a little hard to answer this question as I have been fortunate enough to trave to many different countries, however, after travelling to Tokyo/Japan for the first time in 2007 to visit our Daughter who had just moved there, I do have to place it as no one on my travel list. Reasons for that are it is only a 10 hour flight versus a 22 hour flight to Europe. We have been back uncountable times since falling in love with the country in 2007. Another thing I love about Japan is the people, they are so kind and gentle and will put themselves out for a complete stranger without even thinking about it, also the cleanliness is amazing, the shopping is incredible with all the top world labels available. I can't forget the train system that runs to the minute, no cancelling of trains continually in Japan. Many, many beautiful things to see throughout Japan, I still have quite a bit of the country to see so I look forward to that.


JessSuperstar

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

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!)


SamGraphic Designer

What is your background in Footwear?

I’ve been brought up just about as close to footwear as you can be. My grandfather started off his career as an apprentice shoe repairer, before opening up his own shoe repair store, which has since been expanded, and seen a downscale of repairing and an increase in stock sales to fit with changing consumer demands throughout the years. The store is now run by my Dad, and I’ve spent five or so years working there myself part-time; serving customers, doing stocktakes, creating shoe displays, working on the social media and so on.

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

Good design is the centre of all quality products. Whether looking at the materials that go into creating each Sky Sole shoe, or looking at the box in which they arrive, thought has been put in to ensure that the product is of the best outcome. From my perspective as a graphic designer, good design should be simple and easy to understand, while being visually pleasing and engaging.

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

I have always loved looking out the window, at the aircraft wings during take-off and landing, watching the flaps move about, or the ground closing in just before touch down.


BrianaSocial Media Queen

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!


DavidWordsmith

Why is website readability and language choice important to business, and how is this reflected through Sky Soles?

I­t is the primary starting point on a quest for information and must meet our personal requirements on content and how to access it. People don't like waiting and searching for their answers and so get instantaneously gratified when they do. The better the website readability the quicker that can happen. If someone says something on television or introduces a concept we ‘surf’ to get the answers we need.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I read, listen to a broad cross section of music and I like to spend my time in the shed on up cycling projects and also growing vegetables in the garden.

What is your favourite destination?

I really enjoyed my visit Scotland. I also love going to beaches - anywhere.


RyanFounder of Neto Digital Commerce

How has the world of ecommerce changed Australian retailing?

With expenses like rent, electricity, shopfitting, and insurance being virtually non-existent for online retailers, we’ve seen an increase in the quantity of online stores and the pricing of retail goods become a lot more competitive. This means more choice for consumers, and more competition in the retail industry.

However, while the competition is fierce, many retailers find their customers are making the purchase decision online, but will opt to collect the items in store. Alternatively, customers may find an item on a particular website, then check marketplaces like eBay to see if they can get the item any cheaper.

Neto’s vision is to create an ecosystem which enables our customers to simplify their world and provide a seamless experience for their customers. This means providing an exceptional and consistent customer experience via any channel, be it in store, online, or through a marketplace.

Share with us how your passion for quality software assists Australian businesses?

Starting as online retailers ourselves, creating a powerful and effective retail management solution was necessary. The only other options available were too expensive, lacked vital functionality, and were inflexible to work with. Now, eight years later, we proudly power thousands of Australian retailers. We’re constantly improving our offering to ensure our customers can run their businesses as efficiently as possible and sell on every channel available to them. We constantly receive feedback from our customers about how they have been able to redeploy their team from data entry to growth activity, and drastically increase their overall revenue thanks to Neto.

Share with us an interesting fact about your work area

In our Brisbane headquarters, we have a scooter track that runs around the whole office. Our team members jump on a scooter to get to meetings quickly and zip around when they need to chat with someone in a different department. Plus, it’s a whole lot of fun!


AllyCrew

What’s your Sky Soles style and why is quality footwear important to you?

My sky sole style is that of a shoe of a slightly higher height which is still comfortable to wear throughout a whole duty while looking stylish. Having a quality shoe is important as we are always on our feet working long shifts and we need a shoe that is durable in all conditions rain, hail or shine.

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

One of the most memorable things I would have to say I have seen out of an aircraft window would be when I visited the tech crew in the flight deck on the 787 Dreamliner and a Singapore airlines 777 was heading directly our way only a few thousand feet above us and I witnessed how aircraft signal to each other at night time.

What is your favourite destination?

One of my favourite destinations would have to be Singapore not only am I lucky to have my parents live there I love how clean, accessible and modern it is as a city. No matter how many times I visit I always find new and exciting things to do.


Jess Crew

What’s your Sky Soles style and why is quality footwear important to you?

My style of shoe is Melbourne. Comfy footwear is a must. Our poor feet walk, run and carry us around all day. They need to be long lasting and comfortable.

Top 3 travel tips

Always travel with a toothbrush, makes you feel clean in 2 mins.

A spare change of clothes for your destination. This could be the saviour to a lost suitcase.

And always travel with some sort of hydrating powders. Water is the one thing we seem to drink less of when we're away, and it keeps the headaches at bay and helps you keep your energy levels up.

What is your favourite destination?

Favourite destination would have to be Prague. What an amazing place. Makes you feel like you are a princess walking around in your own magical city. 


TorieCrew

What’s your Sky Soles style and why is quality footwear important to you?

When it comes to shoes I believe the sky's the limit - the higher the better! In an environment where appearance is uniformed, your shoes are a way to express your own style! When you wear one pair of shoes for often over 10 hours a day you want a pair of shoes that will not only be comfortable but last the distance!

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Sleep! But I also like to spend as much time as I can in the sun and gym.

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

75% of inflight arguments are a result of passengers reclining their seat.

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

Not a lot – have you seen the size of those things?


Jo Crew

What’s your Sky Soles style and why is quality footwear important to you?

I love Brisbane because it's a true "all rounder". The heel is high enough to wear with the formal uniform walking through the terminal but it's low enough to remain comfortable throughout an entire flight. 

Quality footwear is essential for me at work.  Shoes that haven't been specifically designed for people who are constantly on their feet don't offer the support and comfort to wear for an entire shift.  I also find when I purchase cheaper shoes, I have to replace them more frequently and end up spending more money in the long run. 

Top 3 travel tips

Learn the lingo - A handful of words in the local language will go a long way.  Dive in and don't be scared to use them.  I find locals tend to be more helpful and accommodating towards you if you've made the effort to communicate in their native tongue.

Reset your body clock - As soon as I step foot on the aircraft, I change to the destination's time zone.  The sooner you can reset your body clock, the less time you will spend jet-lagged.  The cabin crew help the process by having the cabin dark and in night mode to sync with the arrival destination. 

Pay for an extra night - If you're arriving at your destination early in the morning pay for the night before so you can check in straight away.  There's nothing worse than waiting around all day in clothes you've been wearing for the last 30 hours. Alternatively, if you have a late night departure, pay for the extra night at the end of your holiday. That way you can be well rested before your long trek home. 

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

I was lucky enough to crew a sightseeing charter flight over Antarctica for a New Year's Eve celebration. We were flying on a 747 taking in the sights from as low as 8000ft. We passed over Icebergs, Ice shelves, mountain ranges and even a cruise ship.  Being the only aircraft down there allowed for the captain to weave around points of interest in a figure 8.  It was like nothing I've ever seen before and such an extraordinary once in a lifetime experience. 


ElizabethCrew

What’s your Sky Soles style and why is quality footwear important to you?

Quality footwear and comfort is the holy grail to a flight attendant! We spend so much time on our feet and over the years, poor quality footwear can affect the muscles and bones in our feet and cause some serious problems – not to mention make it hard to wear heels for long! I love my Sky Soles because they really are great to wear.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

So at the present time, (my colleagues will think that I am mad for this) I jump onto a plane and go somewhere – anywhere. I am an avid hiker and explorer and this year I have visited 5 mountain ranges in Australia and New Zealand.  If I have a day or two only spare, I will find local markets and museums. And, if I stay at home, I love to chill out with a really interesting book.

Top 3 travel tips

Sleep! It is so important that you are alert and energised to take in the most that you can at your destination.

Take photos of beautiful experiences but don’t forget that you are in an amazing place, so be sure to live the experience through your eyes and not your iPhone.

Remove yourself from your comfort zone. We travel to experience something different from home. Try a new food, dance to a new song and walk a different path.

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

The most memorable thing that I have seen out of an aircraft window is an erupting volcano in the middle of the ocean. I saw it when I was six years old flying up to Papua New Guinea. I have never forgotten it and I’m always looking for volcanos on the equator now!


NicholeCrew

What’s your Sky Soles style and why is quality footwear important to you?

My #1 for shoes especially work shoes is comfort... If there not instantly comfortable they stay home and secondly a small heel as I still want to look good and Skysoles have ticked both boxes.

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

Where to start... seeing snow capped alps in Switzerland.. flying in and seeing the Eiffel tower sitting pretty or maybe seeing the BIG Red Rock exploding from the centre of Australia.

Top 3 travel tips

Pack light :)

Screenshot EVERYTHING 

And take a phrase book (international travel)


KaylaCrew

What’s your Sky Soles style and why is quality footwear important to you?

The style I have is Melbourne. Being cabin crew we are constantly on our feet and for a long period of time which is why comfort and quality is a must, plus quality footwear always lasts longer then cheaper options.

What is your favourite destination?

My favourite destination would be Bali and Japan, I can't pick just one. Bali because we get trips which allows us time to explore and relax while spending time with our crew. Japan, because the culture is so different and the Japanese are so obliging. There is so much to see and do from Disneyland to skiing or just exploring the temples. 

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

During the night we were heading to Darwin, we noticed a thunderstorm beside us. The whole sky was pitch black but one cloud, we could see it light up with the lighting strike. Was amazing to see when the rest of the sky was black, something I won't forget. Also I've seen some beautiful sunsets and sunrises, we get a totally different view from in the sky.


LauraCrew

What’s your Sky Soles style and why is quality footwear important to you?

I am loving the height of my Sky Soles. They are perfect for me to wear both in and out of the cabin which makes it easier for me (without having to change shoes on board and carry a spare pair in my crew bag). The quality of the shoes I wear during an 8-10 hour shift is extremely important as I'm on my feet for the majority of this time. 

What is your favourite destination?

My favourite destination is Honolulu in Hawaii. I love stepping out into the beautiful sand, having a swim, enjoying their acai bowls and stepping into relaxation mode. It also has perfect weather all year round.

Top 3 travel tips

Only take carry on to save time when you arrive!

Always pack moisturizer and lip balm!

Flying dries out my skin. Pack socks and warm clothes for the flight!


WilmaCrew

What’s your Sky Soles style and why is quality footwear important to you?

I believe the feet is the foundation of your body that needs proper support to ensure correct posture and good health. If you don't have quality footwear it can lead to all sorts of ailments. And as flight attendants we are constantly on our feet; so it’s vital to have correct foot support.

What is your favourite destination?

Spain/Hawaii. They are both very similar in the laid back chilled way of life. Love the diversity, warm & friendly people. Food & Music is amazing.

Top 3 travel tips

Roll-up outfits to fit more into your suitcase.

And roll per outfit (eg socks, undies, dress/short, top )for each day. Less stress of what to wear.

Minimal carryon luggage means hassle free travelling and always carry a pen.


AngelicaCrew

What’s your Sky Soles style and why is quality footwear important to you?

I like a classic heel style that adds height. Quality footwear is important to me because I've worn bad heels to work and ended up being unable to walk back to my car from sheer pain. I had to ice my ankles and elevate my feet after that day’s flying. I thought it was a normal reaction from flying until I bought good quality footwear and realised it was actually the shoe.

Top 3 travel tips

Have comfy clothes/shoes because sitting on a plane for 18 hours in tight jeans is not going to end well.

Get lost and explore.

Drink lots of bottled water and wear sunblock.

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

I'm cabin crew for a Kiwi airline; an interesting fact about my role is that on average I interact with over 600 people on any given day.

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

I was lucky enough to see the aurora borealis (southern lights) while flying in New Zealand.


NicoleCrew

What’s your Sky Soles style and why is quality footwear important to you?

In my job I do a combination of long-haul international flights, and short-haul domestic flights. My feet need a soft, comfortable and durable platform for me to be able to operate safety and efficiently in. I also like to feel good while wearing them. That's why my choice is the Sky Soles high heel.

Top 3 travel tips

Patience is the key! It's very easy to freak out about running out of cash, or missing your connecting flight. Try to utilise the whole experience and make the most of your time away. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that things could be worse.

Wake up early! The morning is the best time for travellers. You get the most beautiful pictures and you always skip the queues to attractions. You're away, so get as many hours out of your day as possible.

Pack a sarong! This item is essential. Sarongs can be used as beach towels, sun protection, extra warmth if you're cold or even coverage if you're entering sacred temples. Super handy and lightweight.

What is your favourite destination?

Croatia! The sunshine, the people, the beaches! The water is so salty your whole body will float. Everyone has to go!


Deb Crew

What’s your Sky Soles style and why is quality footwear important to you?

I have been privileged to wear the comfortable Sky Soles Perth style. These shoes truly make a difference when you’re standing on your feet for up to 12 hours. Sky Soles Perth is an elegant, stylish shoe perfect for everyday wear.

What is your favourite destination?

My favourite travel destination is New York. New York is truly the city that never sleeps.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

In my spare time I love being with my family, friends and travelling this great world we live in.

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

The most memorable thing I have seen out the aircraft window is the Space Shuttle being piggy backed on an aircraft in Washington DC before its final destination to a museum in New York.


NicoleCrew

What’s your Sky Soles style and why is quality footwear important to you?

Been on my feet 10-12 hours each day, I need great quality and comfortable heels. I would highly recommend Sky Soles shoes as they are stylish yet comfortable. I have being wearing the 'Brisbane' shoe and have been showing them off in the crew room each day. At the end of my duty, my feet still feel like I am wearing slippers to work!

What is your favourite destination?

My favourite destination has to be New York City. It really is the city that never sleeps and there is always something exciting to see. Every street feels like a set of 'Sex and the City' and the architecture is amazing.

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

The most memorable thing I've seen out of an aircraft window is the Southern Aurora Australis on a late night flight to Hobart. The shooting beams of coloured lights were magical across the night sky and something I will cherish forever.  

I've also been fortunate enough to see Morning Glory on a flight across the Gulf of Carpentaria. This is a rare cloud formation which the clouds look like they are rolling waves. (I must admit I was a little surprised when the tech crew asked if I'd like to come into the flight deck and see some Morning Glory...)


Peta-JaneCrew

What’s your Sky Soles style and why is quality footwear important to you?

My Sky Soles style is Brisbane. After years of shoving my feet into high often uncomfortable heels, I wanted something stylish and at a lower heel height. On my days off as a Queenslander I wear thongs and flats which allows me to be more mobile as a busy mum. I love my Brisbane’s as a 10 hour day makes my feet feel like they have been walking on the clouds. No more tired and aching feet at the end of a duty. I am known amongst my colleagues to be quite heavy footed and the design and structure of my Sky Soles allows me to walk on the tiles in the terminal quietly, hooray!

What is your favourite destination?

My favourite destination is Fiji. It's the perfect place to unwind with my family. I love the beautiful friendly laid back nature of the people and the ideaology “Fiji time”. My kids love the beaches and I love relaxing by the pool with a cocktail. Fiji is paradise and a perfect getaway for people with families. The kids have the opportunity of some great kids clubs that foster their independence, making new friends and learning new skills whilst having fun. I also love the warm climate and beautiful sunsets over the beaches.

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

Well the best thing I have ever seen from an aircraft window was travelling on an Emirates Boeing 777 flying over the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.