Clogs

The word clog, as applied to footwear, has several meanings:

  1. A type of shoe or sandal made predominantly out of wood.
  2. A type of boot or shoe with leather sides and uppers and wooden soles. They may have steel toecaps and/or steel reinforcing inserts in the undersides of the soles.
  3. A special kind of shoe worn while clog-dancing (clogging). They are similar to tap shoes, but the taps are free to click against each other, therefore producing a different sound than tap shoes.
  4. Nowadays, "clogs" also means comfortable slip-on shoes. They are often made out of leather, but some clogs keep the bottom part out of wood. All-rubber clogs are often worn while gardening, because they can be easily hosed off and allowed to air-dry. Some clogs come with heels, and are usually distinguished from mules by their higher vamp. Although men commonly wear low-heeled clogs, high-heeled clogs are typically only worn by women.

Clogs (with meaning 2) were, and in some regions still are, widely worn by workers as protective clothing in factories, mines and farms. Another name for a wooden shoe is sabot.

Traditional clogs were made out of willow or poplar wood and are associated with the Netherlands and Sweden as part of the touristic "Holland"/Swedish image, where they are seen as a form of national dress. Because of this, Dutch people are sometimes called cloggies, that is, clog-wearers. In Dutch, clogs are known as klompen. They have been officially labelled as safety shoes, passing European standards for the CE mark with flying colours. Today, Dutch clogs are available in many tourist shops. Wearing clogs is considered to be healthy for the feet.

In England, clogs were traditionally made of alder and were commonly worn by all classes throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. The Lancashire cotton mill workers habitually wore clogs because of the wet floors maintained in the cotton mills. There is a theory that clogging or clog dancing arose in these mills as a result of the mill workers entertaining themselves by syncopating foot taps with the rhythmic sounds made by the loom shuttles. Clog dancing became a widespread pastime during this period in England. During the nineteenth century, competitions were held and there were professional clog dancers who performed in the music halls. One such professional dancer was John Carr of Newcastle under Lyme, who appears in the English census of 1871 and proudly proclaims his employment as "Professional Clog Dancer".

Source: Wikipedia





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2017-07-25T07:33:45-07:00