December 8, 2023

The Edville Gazette On Footwear

Shirley Unclogs the Mysteries of Retro Clogs

Article by Shirley Stickle

Shirley Stickle

EDVILLE—If you think it’s neat that the music from the Seventies is coming back, have I got news for you! According to Vogue, the 1970’s chicest footwear—clogs—is coming back now, too.

But did you know that clogs go back a lot further than the days of disco and bell-bottoms? Let’s clomp on into the archives to see what we can kick up.

Believe it or not, these chunky wooden shoes can date back to the 1300s in Europe. They were typically worn by peasants, which is funny considering Vogue’s new hipster clogs run upwards to $200 and well beyond. Back then, the shoes were carved out of a single block of wood, and didn’t have any fabric to them at all. So the clog makers favoured hardy hardwood, such as alder, birch, sycamore, willow, or beech. You think a little splinter in your finger hurts? Imagine the splinter you’d get walking around in wooden shoes that suddenly split! Nowadays, clogs have cushioned soles and sometimes fabric uppers. So splinters are a thing of the past, unless you go full cosplay retro.

One of the most interesting facts I found was a little story attached to a pair of beautiful, decorated clogs here at the archives. Turns out it was custom for young Dutch gentlemen to present a pair of hand carved and decorated clogs to their fiancés. How freaking romantic is that, eh? Nothing wins over a woman’s heart like a beautiful pair of shoes, even if they are completely impractical.

If you would like to join in on the trend, and buy yourself a pair of these fancy foot fashions, no need to head to the city and spend a couple hundred bucks. Look no further than the Dutch bakery in town. They sell clogs for a quarter of the price, and they’re authentic to boot!

Editor’s Note: The Cobourg bakery formerly known as the Dutch Oven Bakery, now titled: Lalies & The Dutch, would be a probable first guess as the most likely place to pick up a pair of cool clogs, but a cursory web view reveals no footwear for sale. So the columnist’s advice to “Look no further than the Dutch bakery in town” should be taken under advisement. Which is not to say, all bakeries in Northumberland are “Clog Free”. Perhaps, there is more fun a-foot elsewhere in this great County.

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