[Dutch Clogs] History of Dutch Wooden Shoes
At any Dutch souvenir store, it’s possible to find this emblematic emblem decorating items such as keychains, magnets, and apparel. So why is clog-wearing so popular?
Klompen, or wooden shoes, are a type of clog that have been worn in the Netherlands ever since the Middle Ages.
Clogs of multiple types are commonplace in many nations, such as the Japanese “geta” and Spanish “albarcas”, however the pointed toe and hand-painted wooden shoes are considered to be typically Dutch. This kind of footwear has been entrenched within Dutch culture, and some people residing in rural parts of the country still wear them nowadays!
SEE MORE: Why Did The Dutch Wear Wooden Shoes?
History of Dutch Wooden Shoes.
Clogs originated in the Netherlands in the early 1300s. They were produced to safeguard the feet of laborers, craftspeople, farmers, anglers, and other occupations requiring manual labor.
Originally, clogs were not constructed solely from wood but instead had a wooden sole with leather draped across the top. However, this was not very protective, so soon enough the entire shoe was crafted from willow or poplar. Nails, hooks, and other sharp objects cannot penetrate the wood, and muddy areas are simpler to get around in clogs than in conventional boots. The European Union has even declared it an official safety shoe – that is extreme!
Various occupations had clogs with slight variations in shape. Those who worked on farms harvesting peat had a bigger, more square-shaped clog nose to prevent it from sinking in the mire. Fishermen possessed a sharp, pointed clog nose to untangle fishing twines. Laborers’ clogs were plain and unadorned.
Clogs weren’t just reserved for laborious tasks, they were also a fashionable accessory. People frequently donned the more ornately designed clogs to places of worship and nuptial ceremonies. It was even customary for men to express their affection to their intended by offering her a pair of intricately carved clogs!
SEE MORE: Did The Dutch Invent Wooden Shoes?
You can go to traditional Dutch clog makers.
Zaanse Schans is a great spot for those looking to experience the classic Dutch atmosphere, which includes iconic windmills, cheese, and those iconic wooden clogs! It’s possible to observe clog-making at the workshop for free, and you can even acquire a pair direct from the provider. The village is a 17-minute journey from Amsterdam by train, although there is also the option of a boat.
Simonehoeve, located not far from Amsterdam, is a place where one can participate in a guided tour to witness the production of clogs and cheese, as well as decorating one’s own clogs at the workshop. The tour also offers free cheese sampling, wine tasting, and Dutch biscuit sampling — a treat not to be missed!
Forget about the vision of throngs of Dutch people clomping about in wooden clogs through the canals and byways of Holland – that’s just a stereotype. The only clogs you’ll find in Dutch cities these days are the flashy, souvenir versions that the natives wouldn’t be caught dead in.
If you’re fortunate, you may come across the rare traditional Dutch farmer with his wooden clogs. Even today, some Dutch people choose to don clogs when tending to their gardens. Those who still don these cumbersome foot coverings claim they are comfortable during both winter and summer, making them ideal all-seasons footwear. The wood also soaks up perspiration, allowing the foot to stay ventilated. Maybe they’re not as uncomfortable as they appear?
Dutch manufacturing processes for wooden shoes.
Traditionally, a piece of wood was fashioned into a shoe’s shape with an axe specially designed for the purpose. As wet wood is less likely to fracture, the wood was soaked in water before the clog maker used a sharp knife to refine the exterior. The inside was hollowed out and the shoes were left to dry for about three weeks before the design was painted on them.
Nowadays, the production of clogs is more efficient due to machines that are able to shape them precisely. Every clog maker has their own distinguished style. Unfortunately, there are only 12 clog makers still functioning in the Netherlands.
Where can I buy clogs in Holland?
You won’t have trouble locating clogs in any of the major cities in the Netherlands, as they are very common in the souvenir shops there. Nevertheless, if you desire something more uncommon, Rotterdam, The Hague, and other cities boast a variety of stores, including the ones named earlier.
If you are not keen on wandering around the Netherlands in search of the ideal wooden shoes, The Dutch Clog Shop in North Brabant has an extensive selection of shoes that you can purchase over the internet.
Hence, the straightforward elegance of klompen has been elucidated. For ages, these shoes have been a fundamental element of Dutch lifestyle, though the Dutch have begun to lean towards trendier shoes, tourists are making sure that the Dutch do not forget their traditions.
Do you think clogs would be a good footwear choice? Let us know your opinion in the comments section!
Topic: [Dutch Clogs] History of Dutch Wooden Shoes
Join the “I Left My Heart in Netherlands” in Our Community on Facebook. A place where members can be honest with each other, share their stories and travel photos, and try out a new way to see Netherlands together.
By: Travel Pixy