Those Wooden Shoes

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Some fancier clogs at the same Brochante I wrote about earlier. I did a little research on them and found the following information:

 Clogs or wooden shoes have a long social history. The Klompen or Dutch clog was traditionally a work shoe worn in the Industrial Revolution. The style was also popular in northern France, England, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Clogs were cheap and durable made from alder, birch, sycamore, willow or beech. When worn barefoot, thick straw was used to pad the rigidity of the wood. The upturned toe made the shoes easier to walk. The French, Sabot; the German, Klomp, and the Dutch, clog were made from a single block of wood whereas the Spanish pantofle and later US and UK clogs were constructed like shoes with a separate wooden upper from the leather upper. Although clogs and wooden soled shoes have had brief moments in fashion they were the traditional footwear of the poor and those work necessitated heavy-duty shoes.

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 I always wondered why this man had straw stuck in his shoes, now I know. I took this photo in Paris at a wine festival parade in Montmartre. Doesn’t look very comfie to me.

PS-In France these shoes are called sabots and the word sabotage comes from sabots. Supposedly, the shoes where thrown into some machinery during a stike of some sort. Ah, the joy of trivia.

2 thoughts to “Those Wooden Shoes”

  1. Great trivia! I love to learn how language evolves and although I knew about sabots, I just learned the origin of “sabotage.” I also didn’t know about the use of straw – kinda makes one appreciate modern footwear.

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