A miniature wooden clog keyring brightly decorated with a windmill. Clogs are most famously associated with The Netherlands/Holland. The earliest clog in the Netherlands dates back to 1230AD in Amsterdam. However, clogs have been used over the years in many other countries i.e. Germany, France, Portugal and in parts of England especially the North.
A clog also known as a klompen in the Netherlands is a shoe made completely from wood. Early models would have incorporated leather and straps but it was soon realised that the foot would be better protected with the foot covered completely in wood. Sometimes straw would be packed into the shoe to make it more comfortable for wear. Clogs not only let your feet breathe in hot weather but also keep your feet warm during the harsh winter months working outside.
Each village would have their own craftsman called a Bodger who would woodturn a whole piece of wood to make a clog. The different woods used that did not splinter would include, willow, birch, sycamore, beech, balsa and alder.
Everyday clogs worn by men and woman would be of plain wood but for special occasions they would be painted, carved and decorated. Some farmers do still wear clogs in the Netherlands but these days most clogs have been replaced by modern shoes and decorated clogs are only sold for novelty rather than for practical reasons.