One of the reactions I often get when people hear the name of this blog:

“Well, you must be wearing wooden shoes in your workshop then…”

And they have a great laugh about it…

Typical Dutch

It’s probably one of the first things that you will think are typical Dutch; tulips, cheese, windmills, and… CLOGS!

Like in this nice caricature by the German painter Sebastian Kruger.

Here’s a little secret: most Dutch people don’t wear them anymore. If you give them a set of wooden shoes and ask to walk a mile in them, they look at you if you’re crazy. And after trying them on for a few metres, they will turn them in, complaining that it hurts too much…

Most of todays are made and sold as souvenirs for tourists. Often painted in bright colors or even Delft blue…

You will find an occasional last of the mohicans who still wears them. Mostly farmers and gardeners.

And one crazy Dutch Luthier…

ShopI’ve been wearing them since I was a little child. My parents still own my first pair of little red clogs. One of the advantages is that it feels completely natural to me.

In the Netherlands clogs have the same certificat as steel tip shoes. They will protect your toes very well. An old Dutch proverb says “Nou breekt m’n klomp” (Now my clog breaks). It means that you are flabbergasted.

Walking on clogs is actually quite healthy. The foot bed formed very ergonomical and will correct your posture. The wood is left blank on the inside, so it also regulates temperature and moisture. For someone who stands all day it can be a good alternative to orthopaedic shoes. In Belgium I even went to school on them once… The teachers were not amused…

My 'company' clogs... The logo was done with pyrographics.

My ‘company’ clogs…
The logo was done with pyrographics.

These wooden shoes were most likely invented during the middle ages in France. The word “Sabotage” most likely origins from the French word for clog (sabot). Legend goes that during the Industrial Revolution workers tried to stop the machines by throwing clogs between the gears. The earliest Dutch versions date from the 13th century and were found in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Both were made from Alder. Most modern versions are made of Willow or Poplar.

One of the advantages of clogs is that they don’t wear out very fast, a good pair will serve you for years. So guess I will be wearing them for quite a while…

This entry was posted in History, Uncategorized, Workshop and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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