Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Berets, Sabots, Klompen & Clogs

A sabot (Klomp in Dutch, Zueco in Spanish) is a clog, or wooden shoe, (that was) typically worn in France, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands. Sabots are whole feet clogs.
Sabots were in the 16th to 19th centuries, associated with the lower classes. During this period, the years of the Industrial Revolution, the word sabotage gained currency. Allegedly derived from sabot, sabotage described the actions of disgruntled workers who wilfully damaged workplace machinery by throwing their sabots into the works. However, according to some accounts, sabot-clad workers were simply considered less productive than others who had switched to leather shoes, roughly equating the term "sabotage" with "inefficiency".
The Netherlands houses a museum specifically on wooden footwear and via this link, you'll find a complete history of wooden footwear (in English). 
The wooden shoe even made it into beret labels, like the Bortia and Etchea Classic Workers Berets


  1. The Spanish language for it is Madreña. Zueco means wood sole+leather/felt upper. The Madreña is made out of massive wood, from a single block of chestnut or maple and stil in daily use in rural environments in Asturias, Cantabria and Galicia.

  2. Yes! In Cantabria Spain they still wear the madreñas. During fiestas in our ancestral lands of Bustillo we celebrate this as well as our mushrooming, San Miguel beer, and of course Boinas Vascas. Long live Spain a country worth living in.