Have you ever wondered how Dutch wooden Clogs are made? why they did even made it from the start?
Although the “Klompen” is one of Dutch´s prominent icon, Dutch did not invent the Clogs.
The Dutch did not invent wooden shoes but rather adapt to make a sandal same used by the Romans. The Dutch used entirely wooden shoes rather than the Roman wooden sole with leather straps. Wooden shoes provided more comfort in their colder climate and protected their feet better against water.And if you know the Dutch weather, it´s always rainy, windy, and since it´s lowlands–muddy.
The original idea for a wooden shoe comes from the “calceus shoes” worn by the Romans about 2000 years ago. These Roman “calceus shoes” resemble sandals with a wooden sole and leather straps on top. The northern border of the Roman empire was in The Netherlands between 40-400 AD and more than enough Roman soldiers walked around on their calceus shoes in The Netherlands to inspire the Dutch to create their own version of wooden shoes.So that´s why the art of making wooden clogs had it´s inspiration.
I found this video and just like the various factories I´ve visited, this shows exactly how the humble beginnings of wooden clog making in the Netherlands.
The other day, I was cleaning my daughter´s room then I stumbled upon her very first wooden clogs, maybe a size of my palm. Time flies so fast and my daughter is now soon to be turning 8 years old! That means these clogs are also about 8 years old.I had to keep these shoes forever!These wooden clogs are gifted to her by her grandparents during our first visit in a traditional Clog factory somewhere in Enter in Almelo.
I was married into a Dutch culture that is why I find it really speacial to share about Dutch wooden clogs. From our recent trip to Zaanse-Schans, we checked out again one of the oldest and traditional Clog factory in the Zaan region.Clogs or Klompen are an important part of the Dutch culture and it becomes an international Dutch trademark.It is seldom to see people wearing it in these modern times but for Dutch people, clogs holds a special part in their tradition. If you go and visit the Netherlands, wooden clogs, cheese, Tulips, and windmills are just almost impossible not to see.
I´ve shared the video above because I find it really inspiring that there are still thriving business like clog making in the Netherlands that showcases this artistic clog making. I didn´t know even that the willow tree is often used to make such shoes. In the Philippines, we have such similar wooden slippers called “Bakya”. It is also made of wood but normally with a leather strap or sometimes with a hard platic. They are normally worn when doing household chores, going to market and mostly old people wear it. But not so nowadays. Just like in the Netherlands, I still saw some people wearing this wooden clogs and I was fascinated to see it. The sound, the style and how unique it is.
I definitely understand that they serve more as a functional footwear and not for decorative purposes. They are the safety shoes for Dutch people in the first place.Farmers, fisherman and farm workers seemed to be smart enough to use these shoes on their everyday chores since it´s practical.I asked my daughter how is it wearing them and she said, it is cool and I believed her.
Imagine being proposed to with your Fiance with a pair of beautifully carved wooden shoes?! It´s something unique and totally Dutch. My sister will be getting married soon and they will have their wedding venue in a place with a Dutch inspired Barn. I thought of getting these porcelain Delft painted clog shoes as a wedding souvenir and it looked perfect! The Barn, the windmills, and the clog shoes makes it really a cozy setting, Dutch inspired.
Some Dutch people also still like to wear clogs when gardening.I have a garden clogs but it´s not made of wood though. Those who still wear these clogs claim that they are warm in the winter and cool in the summer, making them the perfect year-round shoe.The thing is, I visited numerous gardens and restaurants in the Netherlands and I always see wooden glogs as a decorative garden ornament. I love it when it´s brimming with spring flowers, especially Tulips.
Indeed, Netherlands is more than cheeses and beautiful garden of Tulips. It is a place where humble traditions come alive even through these modern times.A visit to the Netherlands always opened my eyes for more beautiful traditions and legacy.I am excited to see more in my next visit!
Would you imagine yourself wearing these wooden shoes?
How do you find the Dutch Klompen?
Until then, in Dutch they say it well with “Tot Ziens!”
Curious about Dutch Culture? and Do you know who Miffy or Nintje is?
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