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Wooden Shoes - Clogs

History

Oldest wooden shoe - clog

During excavations near the town of Rotterdam, archeologists discovered a wooden shoe from 1271. The oldest wooden shoes however were found in Amsterdam. During excavations on the Nieuwendijk an alder wooden shoe dating from 1230 was found.

Clogmakers

old Dutch Clogs - Wooden Shoes During the winter the Dutch farmers used to carve their shoes for themselves and their families. Wooden shoes were cheap and the perfect footwear for working on the land. During the 18th century the art of making wooden shoes developed rapidly, and by the 19th century it had become a profession. After the First World War there were at least 3,900 wooden shoe factories in Holland.

Making wooden shoes by hand could take 3 hours easily and thus many manufacturers started developing and using machineries. Because of the fierce competetion the number factories reduced rapdily. By 1975 there were only 150 factories left.

Popularity

Especially because of the marshland of Holland, and because the perfect type of wood was largely available (poplar and willow), wooden shoes stayed very popular for a long period of time. Even when the waterproof rubber boots were designed the wooden shoe didn’t lose its leading position, wooden shoes had too many advantages.

This was especially true for farmers and other people working in the agricultural industry. Even when walking through swampy clay soil, clogs are still easy to clean. At the same time they are providing protection from all sides, no protruding sharp objects from the bottom and no problems when livestock or heavy animals are standing on your feet. You will never have sweaty feet because of the natural ventilation of the wood and it’s very easy to get in and out without losing time. And last, the most important thing for the Dutch, the wooden shoe is a very cheap and though footwear solution which lasts for ever.

Today...

Today there are only 20 wooden shoe factories left, all have been computerized. They produce per year still about 1.5 million pair of wooden shoes for use as footwear and 3 million souvenirs and gifts related to wooden shoes.

Poplar wood is used to make wooden shoes, as it's light and easy to work with. It is a fast-growing tree, growing to 1.5 cubic meters in 20 years. A tree this size can produce wood for 60 pair of adult-size shoes.

One million Dutch farmers, artisans, children, gardeners, fishermen, construction workers, road workers, factory workers and other working people still wear them every day, keeping up a beautiful tradition!

Safety CE-mark

CE-mark In 1997 wooden shoes became officially accepted as safety shoes with the CE-mark. It all started when the Labour Safety Institute banned the use of the world-famous wooden shoes by stating they were unsuitable for safety reasons. But they had not done their homework! The Nijhuis wooden shoe factory demonstrated the extreme safety of wooden shoes by dropping a 50-kilo curb stone on Paul Nijhuis' own foot! The first drop caused a small crack in the wooden shoe and on the second drop only a small chip of wood came off. This proved that wooden shoes are absolutely safe and eventually led to the CE-certification mark.

Besides being safe, wooden shoes are also comfortable because of the natural ventilation of wood, wooden shoes prevent perspiration of the feet. They are cool in summer and warm in winter. A product Mother Nature can be proud of!

Environment

Every year our supplier uses approximately 12,000 Poplar trees to produce 1 million pair of wooden shoes for use as footwear and 2 million pair for souvenirs, gifts and toys. To be in balance with Mother Nature the trees that are used for the wooden shoe production are replanted and a substantial part of the electrical power consumption is invested in zero-emission energy sources.

And after all….when wooden shoes are worn-out, you can use them as decoration, turn them into boats or plant containers. You can even warm yourself on them when used as fuel in a fire.

Advantages of wooden shoes:

Present Varnished Wooden Shoes - Clogs
  • Cheap footwear
  • Easy to clean
  • Thanks to the orthopedic form wooden shoes support your feet. Especially for children this is important for obtaining a good posture
  • Hygienic. The wood absorbs perspiration and your feet are always surrounded by fresh air inside the wooden shoes
  • Thanks to the natural ventilation of wood, wooden shoes are cool in summer and warm in winter
  • Wooden shoes are safe; your feet are protected on all sides by the wood
  • Dutch wooden shoes are recognized all over the world and make an excellent gift

Let yourself be inspired and order your own original wooden shoes from Holland!!!


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