In places where comfort is prioritised above style, the popularity of clogs is no surprise. Clogs are the go-to footwear options anywhere from offices and restaurants to hospitals and healthcare clinics, and increasing numbers of people are being persuaded to use them as a healthy and practical choice.
But, is there science to back up the supposedly miraculous benefits of clogs?
A Bit of History
Hallmark Surgical, a supplier of medical clogs, notes that although traditionally made from wood, manufacturers of contemporary clogs limit the use of wood to the soles of the footwear (if they incorporate wood at all). Leather succeeded wood as the material of choice for its superior versatility and comfort, though the design of contemporary clogs is still inspired by their original wooden predecessor.
Clogs are a traditional part of numerous cultures throughout the world. Japanese, Swedish and Dutch cultures have adopted clogs as components of traditional fashion, wearing them for several key reasons such as protection, style and for certain types of dance. Clogs are time-tested and perfected to provide absolute comfort in a variety of settings, which is why many praise the footwear for its inconspicuous yet refined design.
Clogs have a nearly mythic reputation as one of the healthiest footwear choice available. Unfortunately, much of this reputation owes less to history and more to misinformation. Manufacturers have touted ‘arch support’, ‘sole construction’ and ‘heel elevation’ to the point where they now sound like buzzwords.
Being categorised under clogs does not magically make a piece of footwear healthy. Anything other than barefoot is unnatural, and poorly-designed clogs can still cause damage to their wearer. Much like every other type of footwear, they rely on the manufacturer’s willingness to design a shoe that works.
Whether you choose to wear clogs or not, the best and healthiest footwear is still the one you are most comfortable in, and best designs mimic the feelings of being barefoot. Clogs have come a long way from their rigid wooden design, and that it is why countless people use them as their daily footwear.