Sunday, May 31, 2009
Clogs, Sabots and Sabotage
Traditional clogs may have a workman like past with only a brief flirtation with high fashion but for many they remain a sexy shoe appreciated by both males and females. There are several societies devoted to the appreciation of clogs (cloggies) . From the available literature it seems many admirers are attracted to the footwear because they have seen someone of the opposite sex wearing them. This may suggest an initial attraction is the idea of uni-sex dressing. Terms like "feeling sexy", "appearing attractive to others", or "exuding power in stature" appear popular reasons for wearing clogs. Most males consider clogs as mainstream fashion for females but cheeky and avante garde for men. Many associated shoes with the wearer indicating men pay particular attention to their partner's attire. Some cloggies love the sound they make and others revel in the different materials they are made from. Most wearers insist it is the comfort of the style which draws them to clogs. "Dipping " describes the action of feet sliding in and out of clogs. This habit is reportedly much appreciated by foot partialists and fetishists, alike.
The history of clogs is long and honourable one. Starting life as overshoes or galoshes the evergreen footwear has been part of the evolution of the modern exercise sandal and platform shoe. The shoe type has been associated with poverty and initiatives to promote wearing clogs have always met with disappointment. Perhaps because it is the shoe of ordinary people its many names are onomatopoeic. The wooden shoe does however have many admirers.
A common misconception relates to the etymology of "sabotage" and how it relates to clogs (or sabatage). A popular misunderstanding is Luddites threw their wooden shoes (or sabots) into the machines to break them up. Hence. they sabotaged the machinery. However, Sabot in French not only refers to wooden clogs but also railway sleepers and in all probability disgruntled French workers in 1912 cut the railway tracks and used the sabots (sleepers) to destroy industrial equipment.