A clog is a type of footwear made in part or completely from wood. Clogs are used worldwide and although the form may vary by culture, within a culture the form often remained unchanged for centuries. Traditional clogs were often worn in heavy labor. Today they remain in use as protective clothing in agriculture and in some factories and mines. Although clogs are sometimes negatively associated with cheap and folkloric footwear of farmers and the working class, some types of clogs are considered as fashion wear today, such as Swedish clogs or Japanese geta. Clogs are also used in several different styles of dance. When worn for dancing an important feature is the sound of the clog against the floor. This is one of the fundamental roots of tap, but with the tap shoes the taps are free to click against each other and produce different sound to clogs.
Wooden shoes have been popular in the Netherlands for about 700 years. Wooden shoe wearers claim the shoes are warm in winter, cool in summer and provide support for good posture. The wood also absorbs perspiration so that the foot can breathe. Wooden shoes, as icons of Dutch culture, appear in customs such as the practice of young Dutch men presenting their fiancees with a pair of carved wooden shoes. In Holland, wooden shoes are worn by farmers, fishermen, factory workers, artisans and others to protect their feet. Nails, fishing hooks and sharp implements that might pierce a regular boot will not go through a wooden shoe. On boats and docks and in muddy fields, wooden shoes also keep feet dry. This pretty pair of clogs were sent to me by Judith from the North of Holland.