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The Dutch, the Wooden Shoes (the Clogs) and How to select The Right Shoes?
When you think of travelling to Netherlands, you probably think of the Dutch wooden shoes. Probably when you think of something typically symbol of the Dutch, windmills and wooden clogs come to mind, your trip or souvenir collection cannot be complete without a pair. While you can only find a few farmers still walking around in them, people will be able to find a colorful selection of wooden and even furry clogs (soft wooden-shoe slippers) in almost every souvenir shop.
For hundreds of years, wooden shoes (it called "klompen" in Dutch) were worn by most Dutch people for very practical purposes. Who is wearing wooden shoes? The Shoe maker gives the history, shows samples - and cuts a little bit of wood. I heard that long ago, the Dutch people found that wooden shoes were ideal for walking on this damp. They wear the wooden shoes, as these shoes kept their feet drier than leather shoes and did not get ruined from the dampness as the leather.
This is the tradition; wooden shoes were made by hand, and also by machines by the local village people. Wooden shoes also known and appear to have been an exclusively European type of shoe. The finishing touch of the making of a wooden shoe is, of course, the decoration. Sometimes the decoration is only a painting sometimes also carved work.
Once the basic shoe is ready then is goes for finishing part. There are many different ways in which a wooden clog can be decorated to make up to look attractive. There is a long history in Holland for dairy farmers. It’s a part of the Dutch’s heritage. Even though these wooden shoes are somewhat noisy to walk in, they are useful for farmers working in wet fields by its original material.
The facts are actually very different. There is small fraction of people in Europe who still wear these shoes on special occasions out of their love for tradition. But the majority of people worldwide wear these shoes for their ability to give special protection in specific jobs.
Most Dutchmen still wear shoes like ours today; however, there are in some small villages where wooden shoes are still worn. But they are used only outdoors and are left at the farmhouse door. The major demand of wooden shoes comes from people who work in farms or in other industries where they require adequate protection for their feet.
They protect you! Like farmers don’t only find it very convenient to walk in their fields with wooden shoes but these shoes also protect them with any sharp objects. In lots of large souvenir shops the wooden shoe is a souvenirs element, range in price from around €20 – €150.And at some places there is a teaching workshop were wooden shoes are made by a real, old-fashioned artisan.
Wooden shoes are also specially recommended for children in their early age to that their feet could be molded in a good posture. You should see the kids in the rural areas of Holland run and play, while wearing wooden shoes. It's true that people in some places in Holland still wear their costume and their belonging to wooden shoes daily is like a natural, spontaneous thing. But a lot of costumes are already in a museum. Most of the painted wooden shoes are wore along with traditional Dutch dresses and mainly used for traditional dances.
The wooden shoe kept on being popular for a long time everywhere in Holland. Of course, we just had to try some? There are also a lot of people who wear wooden shoes because you can get in and out of them easily without wasting a lot of time. It may sound very uncomfortable to wear wooden shoes, the truth is that with properly sized and worn with woolen socks is very easy to wear.
These days’ Dutch clogs are mostly produced for tourists who want to bring home the wooden shoes as a souvenir. Due to the above the above mentioned benefits and tradition behind these shoes today the wooden shoes (more popularly known as clogs) least these wooden shoes give adequate protection to your feet from the different surfaces underneath them and they are an excellent gift for your near and dear ones from Holland.
Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Bangkok Thailand
15 Soi Tonson, Ploenchit Road
Telephone: +66 2 309 5200
Fax: +66 2 309 5205