Shoe of the working man
Clogs are an ancient form of footwear going back as far as Roman times. The English clog evolved over the years. Originally slats of wood held in place by straps, they were often worn over footwear to elevate the wearer above the mud and effluent on unmade roads. Those who were too poor to afford shoes wore clogs directly against their skin. During the Industrial Revolution, clogs became the working man’s footwear, as they were cheap, strong and hard-wearing. Popular between 1840 and 1920 with millworkers in the North, particularly Lancashire, they were also worn by miners, dockers and market stall holders. They were superseded by the hobnail boot. Clogs are not always suitable for outdoor wear. As they do not bend, mud or snow sticks to the soles, accumulating rapidly. This is where the term ‘clogged up’ originated from. Clogs are still worn today by metalworkers and shot blasters, as they last much longer than a normal pair of boots. Jeremy makes up to five pairs a year for one such man. Normally, a pair of his clogs lasts between 15 and 30 years, depending on wear and tear. Orthopaedically advantageous, clogs are very popular with those with fallen or broken arches. This is because they are rigid, but curved, offering great support.