Besides windmills and tulips, The Netherlands is most known for wooden shoes (well, perhaps there are other items one would associate with the place, but they aren't appropriate to mention here!). These clogs, called Klompen in Dutch, were traditionally worn by farmers to keep them from sinking into the boggy land they were working. They also wore them for safety reasons. Think steel-toe boot...your foot is going to be safe from dropped objects, rusty hardware, or a cow stepping on your foot. Some also claimed your feet would stay "healthier" because they were allowed to breathe and not be stuck inside a sweaty boot. The most likely reason they wore them, though, is they were convenient. Easy on and easy off. If Jay has learned anything about the Dutch people, it is they are efficient!
Wooden clogs aren't worn regularly today, although one of Jay's professors said he wore them as a boy. I think it would be safe to say that most of the wooden shoes made today are for tourists....like these two!
A few weeks ago Jay and some of his classmates visited a business where wooden shoes are made. He said it was quite fascinating, and he even came away with this purchase for my Grandma Phyllis. It is a bird house made out of the front part of a large wooden shoe. He carried it in his carry on luggage all the way back to Amarillo. He said it got some attention as he was coming through customs! It is arriving in Iowa today via my mom, and I can't wait to hear her reaction!