You may be surprised to know that there are many different models of clogs. When you hear the name, images of the Dutch wooden footwear instantly spring to mind, but this is simply not accurate. These days a clog is correctly defined as any shoe with a wooden sole, so this can include the line dancing shoes of Texas, Japanese clogs that resemble flip flops and the elevated Spanish clogs with their unusual two ‘feet’ on the balls of the foot.
Despite the odds, it appears that clogs are making a comeback. Some argue that they never went away. For example the Swedish clog with its fine European leather and minimal design, has always had a modern aesthetic that’s stylish and desirable. It was these factors that soon garnered them a reputation for being the most popular versions of the clog. From the late 70s through to the 80s they enjoyed mass sales and were the height of trendy fashion. However this did not last and in the late 80s the trend began to die out, only enduring with the die hard fans of the footwear.
But now they return. In the Spring and Summer collection of 2010 both Louis Vuitton and Chanel featured their own remaining of Swedish clogs, using the simple construction of upper fabric secured to a wooden footbed but updated with funky 21st century style. This was in the wake of Dutch designers Viktor and Rolf who introduced the high heeled clog to the catwalk in their 2007 winter collection. As a result, the years following this catwalk phenomenon have been full of clogs and young people strutting around in them. It seem that they are especially popular with people who have probably never worn them before, and this aspect may explain why they’re particularly fond of them.
In the UK the television show Strictly Come Dancing is partially responsible for the clog resurgence. The hit show catapulted ballroom dancing back into the public’s consciousness and with it, came a few other forgotten gems such as clog dancing. This particular form of dance originated in north England where participants would generate the music they were moving to, from the tapping of their clogs as they danced. Classes, workshops and clubs have sprung up all across the country as more and more people celebrate this traditional dance and classic footwear.
But are they realistically suitable for walking down the highstreet in? They’re loud, uncomfortable and the wooden bottoms quickly become chipped and worn down when walking through concrete towns. Perhaps the clogs have made a comeback, but the period in which they’re worn is still brief. Limited to parties and ballrooms as it’s not always feasible to trot around on wooden highheels at work or for lunch with friends, they look the part but feet can only take them in short bursts.