Why were wooden shoes made? and why do people in the Netherlands wear clogs? That are common questions we get here. Most people in Holland use the clogs in the garden and around the house. It's a waterresistant working shoe, easy to get on and of, provides protection. And it keeps your feet at the right temperature.
The main advantages of a wooden shoe:
- they are waterresistant, you'll never get wet feet.
- the wood provides isolation, keeping the feet warm in the winter and cold in the summer.
- you'll never get sweaty feet.
- they are orthopedically shaped, resulting in good support and healthy posture
- it's a safety shoe (has a CE quality mark, and is tested to ressist a pressure of 300 kg / 661 lbs) dropping tools or heavy animals are no problem.
- sharp objects on the ground can't pierce your shoe.
- they are easy to get on and off.
- you can give your shoes a second life as planter.
The history of the wooden shoe:
When were wooden shoes invented? thats hard to tell. Probably they started making shoes from wood once there where good enough tools to hollow out a piece of wood. This is a good way to make footwear and it was done all over the world. The oldest wooden shoe ever found in the Netherlands was found during the construction of de Amsterdam Metro system. Carbon dating technique dated it at 1230, proving that the wooden shoe is at least worn for 800 years in the Holland. Probably they where worn a lot longer. Because they are made out of trees, Mother Nature has taken most of the ‘old’ pieces back to herself, and old shoes where probably used for stoking the stove.
In the 16th century the wooden shoe gained a lot of popularity. Because wooden shoes are made out of one piece, they proved to be a firm, practical and relatively cheap alternative for the poorer class. They protected the feet from dirt and formed a useful additive in the moistures Dutch climate.
Nowadays the wooden shoe is still widely used. On the countryside it's common to own a pair of wooden shoes. It's still the farmers footwear of choise because of the safety and waterressistant features. Other people use them for in the garden and for chores around the house.
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Wooden Shoes Traditional Design