Do you know that Wooden Shoes are largely sold as tourist souvenirs in the Netherlands? And people always wonder why would anyone wear a shoe that is completely made out of Wood!
Well, in this article, you get all the answers to your questions.
What are Dutch Clogs and are they comfortable?
Wooden shoes commonly named as Clogs are the type of footwear made in part or completely by wood. People use to wear wooden clogs worldwide and it varies from culture to culture.
In today’s world, most of the Dutch people do not like to wear clogs. They are mostly worn by tourists who buy them to take home as souvenirs. So there is a very rare chance to meet someone wearing clogs on the Netherlands streets.
However, farmers still use to wear wooden shoes sometimes. You may also find someone wearing clogs “in the wild” in villages like Staphorst and Bunschoten, where people still wear traditional clothing. In agriculture, some factories and mines people use to wear traditional clogs as protective footwear.
Now talking about their comfort level, Wooden shoes are not really comfortable. Over the last years, fewer people wore clogs.
“Normal” type of shoes are becoming more popular and available to more people in the countryside as well as in the city. So people are now more interested in buying normal shoes which are far more comfortable.
But, today people still use to love wearing the Dutch clogs especially farmers and gardeners. They like the kind of safety they provide, and another plus point is that they are waterproof.
Early History of Wooden shoes
Since medieval times the Dutch people had been wearing wooden shoes, or clogs, or “Klompen”. Originally, these shoes were made up of a wooden sole and a leather top or strap tacked to the wood.
Eventually, the shoes began to be made completely from wood in order to protect the whole foot. Alder, willow, and poplar woods were used in the making of these shoes.
The first guild of clog makers was in 1570 in Holland. Wooden shoe wearers used to say that these shoes were warmer in winter, cool in summer and provide support for good posture.
The wood also had the tendency to absorb perspiration so that the foot can breathe.
How these Dutch clogs are made?
In the Netherlands, every town or suburb use to have his own clog maker. It would nearly take 3-4 hours to make one pair of shoes by hand.
First with a pull saw you have to cut the tree trunk. Then the slice needs to be split and given the rough shape with a special small axe. With a sharp knife, the clog maker would mold the shape of the clog on the outside.
Clog makers always use to work with wet wood as they have to make a lot of curves. Drying of the carved clogs would take around 3 weeks and is done by the wind.
Nowadays, there are only 12 special clog makers left in the whole of The Netherlands. Machines are also used to fast the process.
Designing on Wooden shoes
Wooden shoes have different designs. The working clogs used to be just blank, nothing special about them. Painting is done on clogs for wearing around the house, church, weddings purposes. A traditional painting would be of yellow color with some red and black on the top.
Each clog maker has its own unique design which is considered as his signature design.
Wooden shoe use as the symbol of Dutch culture, appear in customs and values such as the practice of young Dutch men presenting their fiancees with a pair of carved wooden shoes.
Who wears the wooden clogs in the Netherlands?
In Holland, farmers, fishermen, factory workers, artisans, and others wear clogs for the protection of their feet. Nails, fishing hooks and sharp implements that might break a regular boot will do anything to a wooden shoe. On boats and docks and in muddy fields to keep feet dry.
The wooden shoes shape for every different profession accordingly. For example, fishermen shoes have a sharp point on the nose, so the clogs will help them to sort out the fishing nets. If your work was to dig out grass, the bottom of the clog is kept as the large square. In this way, your weight is better to spread offer the soggy soil.
Clogs use for dance
These wooden clogs use in several types of dances too. When you wear these shoes for dancing an important feature of this shoes sounds like the clog against the floor. This is one of the basic roots of tap and the taps are free to click against each other hence produces a different sound from clogs.
Advantages of Wearing Wooden Holland Shoes:
There are certain advantages to wear these shoes.
- Cheap footwear.
- Clean easily.
- The orthopedic form wooden shoes support your feet. Especially for children, this is important for obtaining a good posture.
- The wood would absorb perspiration and your feet are always surrounded by fresh air inside the shoes.
- Due to the natural ventilation of wood, these clogs are cool in summer and warm in winter.
- The wooden shoes consider safe and protect your feet by all sides.
- Dutch wooden shoes are famous all over the world and would be an excellent gift for someone.
From where to purchase Dutch wooden shoes?
The real ones still use to wear these wooden shoes which you can find in the countryside Around Amsterdam. They are selling in many retail shops for agricultural purposes in many villages.