When we ask tourists about the image that comes to mind when they think about the Netherlands, you're bound to hear someone mention clogs. But nowadays, people who actually wear clogs are in the minority. Our history though, is filled with clogs!
Wooden shoes or clogs are used as footwear in several places in Europe; ranging from Scandinavia to the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. It's difficult to figure out the exact origin of the clogs, since they were often thrown into the fire when worn out. So if clogs were being used across all of Europe, why are they associated with the Netherlands?
The Dutch were a major player (if not the biggest at one point in time) at the trade market and that means we traveled everywhere, wearing clogs. They were an integral part of the street scene until 1945 since they were ideal to tread the Dutch muddy ground. Later, leather shoes became affordable to everyone, not just the rich and clogs became a symbol of poverty.
The oldest clog was found in Amsterdam and dates back to around 1230 A.D.. That means we can assume that at least 800 years ago people in the Netherlands wore clogs!
Goodbye sneakers, hello clogs.
Nowadays mostly farmers still wear clogs. Besides the fact that clogs are still ideally suited for our marshy landscape, there are more advantages. The high quality of the wood and tailorized fit makes it extremely comfortable to wear. During the summer the clogs will keep your feet cool by blocking the heat and during the winter they will keep your feet warm, keeping the heat in.
You can choose the traditional version of clogs, but if you like variety there's a lot of choice; different colors and multiple prints means you can mix and match to your hearts content, or you can decorate your clogs yourself. Not won over by the nostalgic look? No problem, you're not the only one. Souvenir clogs have appeared over the years in various designs such as corkscrew, keychains, magnets and various other things; paving the way to other uses of our beloved clogs.