The Clog mystery revealed

Not much of a mystery really.

They’re shoes, they’re made of wood, you can walk on them and the Dutch call them ‘klompen’.

The end.

Haha, no you’re not getting away with it that easy!
We will go in-depth to reveal the darkest secrets of the Dutch wooden shoe.
In other words, let’s see what fun facts we can find on this topic.
But first:

Why would anyone even want to invent Wooden Shoes?

The answer to this is quite easy. Because clogs have great advantages like:

  • Protection against nails, fishing hooks and other sharp objects
  • To get around dirt and mud with dry feet
  • Believe it or not, but clogs keep your feet warm during cold winters
  • They’re cheap and can be used as firewood when worn

Since it is unknown where the wooden shoe originates from, it’s useless to write about it. Besides, there is no need to harass you with (in this case) boring history. The fact is that wooden shoes are inexplicably attached to the Netherlands.
That’s why when we say ‘Clog’, you say ‘Netherlands’ and I challenge you to state otherwise.

Wooden shoes are not comfortable and if you never wore clogs before you will not be able to walk a long distance on them. Trust me, I know what I am talking about. Wood isn’t flexible and rubbing them with some kind of shoe polish isn’t gonna soften them either.

But have no fear, you can actually learn to walk on them properly and thus pain-free. It just takes practice, lots of thick woollen socks and time. But once you have mastered the art of clog-walking, your feet will be warm and super safe. You might look like a dork and the dorsal of your feet will be covered with callus, but that’s just a small price to pay.

Fun facts on Wooden Shoes
  1. A tiny little history fact is the resemblance between the French, Belgian and Dutch clog implying that one of these countries must have invented the (now) world-famous clog. Needless to say that my vote goes to the Netherlands.
  2. The word ‘sabotage’ originates from the word ‘sabot’ which is French for ‘Clog’. It is said that sometimes fired factory employees threw their clog (or sabot) in the machine to jam it.
  3. During the first World War clogs were worn by soldiers in the trenches.
  4. The most surprising feature I encountered is the fact that the Dutch clog has an official CE marking.
  5. What do you mean ‘Clogs are old-fashioned’? Don’t let fashion designer Bas van Buuren hear you. He would totally disagree with you.
Some Clog related idioms:
  • Nou breekt mijn klomp (Now my wooden shoe breaks)
    Being surprised / one did not see that coming
  • De klompen aan de wilgen hangen (Hanging your clogs to the Willow)
    To quit or to give up
  • Hij gooit er met de klompen naar (He throws his clogs at it)
    To scamp something

One response to “The Clog mystery revealed

  1. Pingback: A ceramic blueprint story | A Dutch perspective·

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