Why Do the Dutch Wear Wooden Shoes?

For hundreds of years, wooden shoes, called klompen, were worn by most Dutch people for very practical purposes.

wooden shoes

Because much of Holland lies below sea level, there are a great many areas that are marshy and damp. It is from these areas that Holland, or its real name The Netherlands, meaning “low lands,” got its name.

Long ago, the Dutch people found that wooden shoes were ideal for walking on this damp, marshy ground. These shoes kept their feet drier than leather shoes and did not get ruined from the dampness as the leather ones did. Even though these wooden shoes are somewhat noisy to walk in, they are useful for farmers working in wet fields.

Most Dutchmen wear shoes like ours today; however, there are some small villages where wooden shoes are still worn. But they are used only outdoors and are left at the farmhouse door in neat rows while their owners walk around indoors in their stocking feet.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

3 thoughts on “Why Do the Dutch Wear Wooden Shoes?”

  1. I’m from holland.
    Nobody wears wooden here anymore… haha foreigners think that.

    There’s still a few hand fulls of farmers that have them kindo tradition-wise/practical-wise. But you don’t see them in the cities or villages anyway. Think of it as old-school work shoes for the stubborn.

  2. There are still hundred thousands of Dutch people who wear wooden shoes every day. I myself too.

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