AskDefine | Define clogs

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Plural of clog

Derived terms


  1. third-person singular of clog

Extensive Definition

The word clog, as applied to footwear, has these meanings:
  1. A type of shoe or sandal made predominantly out of wood.
  2. A type of heavy boot or shoe with leather sides and uppers and typically thick 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. It is commonly accepted that men and women can wear low-heeled or high-heeled clogs.
Clogs (with meaning 1 or 2) were, and in some regions still are, widely worn by workers as protective clothing in factories, mines and farms.

Traditional clogs in Europe

Traditional clogs were made out of willow or poplar wood and are associated with the Netherlands, Belgium and Sweden (though Swedish clogs do not resemble Dutch clogs) as part of the touristic "Holland"/Sweden 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. The traditional, all wooden, Dutch clogs 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.
The French name for a wooden shoe or clog is sabot. in the 18th and 19th century clogs became associated with the lower classes. From this period the word sabotage derived from sabot, reportedly describing how disgruntled workers damaged workplace machines in France by tossing their shoes into the mechanisms. However, according to some accounts, sabot-clad workers were simply considered less productive than others who had switched to leather shoes, roughly equating early use of the term sabotage with inefficiency.The I.W.W.: Its First Seventy Years, 1905-1975, Fred W. Thompson and Patrick Murfin, 1976, page 81.
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 Chantal cvan de Sande of Newcastle under Lyme, who appears in the English census of 1871 and proudly proclaims her employment as "Professional Clog Promoter".
Clogs are traditional also in Northern Italy and southern Switzerland, where they are often part of the traditional local costumes.In Friul, clogs are called, palotis, galosis or dalminis. They are traditionally made with an upward pointing wooden sole and a leather hood.
In Asturias, Cantabria and Galicia, the self-governing territories in north west Spain, there is a long tradition of clog making and wearing. The Asturian clog is unusual in that it has two 'feet' on the ball of the foot so that with the heel, the whole clog is elevated off the ground by three supporting structures, almost on mini stilts. (see picture of the Cantabrian clog below). This is useful when working outside or in the barn. These clogs are still worn in many rural northern spanish 'pueblos' today. Traditionally a slipper is worn inside the clog and the clog is kicked off at the door before entering the house.

Clogs as overshoes

Pattens are an overshoe variant of sandals or clogs meant to protect other footwear by either covering or elevating it above the street. Geta are Japanese wooden shoes worn outside the house, and are also worn in Korea and elsewhere.

Clogs in 1970s fashion

Swedish clogs became popular in the seventies and eighties for both sexes. They were usually worn without socks and are considered suitable for the avant-garde man.

Platform Clogs in 1980s and 1990s fashion

Based on the clog model, platform clogs or sandals, often raised as high as 6 or even 8 inches right through between sole and insole, were another fashion of the 1980s and 90s in many western countries for women. This large mid layer was often made of solid cork, although some were merely of flaky plastic with a cork covering.


pattens or overshoes worn under the shoe to keep it clean and dry when outside, c. 1465

External links



  • Shoes and Pattens: Finds from Medieval Excavations in London ISBN 0-85115-838-2
  • Stepping through Time, Archeological Footwear from Prehistoric Times until 1800, ISBN 90-801044-6-9
clogs in Catalan: Soc
clogs in German: Holzschuh
clogs in Spanish: Zueco
clogs in Esperanto: Lignoŝuo
clogs in French: Sabot
clogs in Ido: Galosho
clogs in Hebrew: נעל עץ
clogs in Lithuanian: Klumpė
clogs in Dutch: Klomp
clogs in Dutch Low Saxon: Kloomp
clogs in Polish: Sabot (obuwie)
clogs in Portuguese: Tamanco
clogs in Slovenian: Cokle
clogs in Swedish: Träskor
clogs in Walloon: Shabot
clogs in Samogitian: Klompės
clogs in Chinese: 木鞋
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1