Nowadays wooden clogs are largely sold in the Netherlands as tourist souvenirs, but have you ever wondered why someone would intentionally want to walk around in shoes that could give you a splinter?
The answer goes back to the country’s name, Neterlands roughly translates into “low lands,” which describes most of the terrain in the area. Because the country is filled with so many low lands, the ground was largely boggy and wet and leather shoes would become easily ruined and could not adequately protect the wearer’s feet from becoming damp. Wooden shoes on the other, were sturdy, could survive the muck and were better at keeping feet dry.
These days they are considered good safety shoes as they are difficult to crush or penetrate. They’re also good for kicking butt, as you can tell from this great Jackie Chan clip.