Dutch Clogs

Wooden shoes have always been associated with Holland and its traditions and have been popular in the country for over 700 years. But there are still some individuals who think that the Dutch wear wooden shoes in their everyday life and of course they don’t. But there is still a small category of people who do that. 

For example fisherman and factory workers wear them to protect their feet. For factory workers they are perfect for feet protection from the sharp stuff that will not go through a wooden shoe. For fishermen it is the excellent way to keep their feet dry and not to catch a cold.  But there is another group of people which enjoys spending money on clogs and later wearing them - tourists. They are also perfect colorful souvenirs especially for those tourists who want to bring home a typically Dutch present.  

The shoes are also claimed to be very good for posture as well because they are able to carry your body weight. They are very often recommended to children in order to keep their feet in right position. And the wood at the same time works as an air-conditioning, absorbs all the perspiration and leaves your feet dry. They are perfect for both winter and summer because of their unique ventilation system that keeps your feet warm in winters and cool in summers. 

The first clog makers appeared in Holland somewhere in 1570 and they clogs were all hand made. According to tradition they were made with a leather top, but later they all began to made entirely of wood. In times of Industrial Revolution, these wooden shoes became popular not only in Holland but in Luxemburg, France and England as well.

Nowadays clogs can be painted or plain. The painting of them is an old tradition. There are also carved clogs and according to the old custom they are chosen by the groom as the present for the bride.

There is even the Dutch traditional dance performed only in wooden shoes as it is the essential part of the costume. The name of the dance is Klompendanskunst. The clogs for this dance are made in a special way; they are a bit lighter and are made from ash wood. The dance is all about the rhythm tapped by the heels and toes of the wooden shoes. 

Though the dance was originated in Holland and then spread all over Europe, it has gained popularity even in the United States. The majority of cloggers dance for pleasure, but however there are people who form teams and compete in national events. There are many variations of the style of dances and all them has become popular.

In Holland today, 3 million wooden shoes are still produced yearly, making them an important industry for the Dutch economy.

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