Dutch Clogs are the New Hiking Boots

Despite the technological advances in comfortable sports foot wear over the past decade or so, there has been a recent shift towards barefoot running. For those who don’t want their feet to get too dirty, Vibram have even brought out the Five Fingers range of footwear. But its not just the world of running that has seen a shift away from high specification footwear. The world of hiking is also seeing a shift back to basics. More and more hikers are abandoning their hiking boots and have begun wearing Dutch Clogs when they’re out on the hills.

Muddy wooden clogs with gaietr
Dutch clogs are the new hiking boots. Source: Wikimedia Commons by Ra Boe.

Sensible Walking Shoes

Dutch clogs are hard wearing and provide good protection against banging your feet on rocks. People often associate clogs with Dutch Cheese Maids and assume that clogs have to be yellow with windmill designs on them. This is not the case for hiking clogs, they can painted brown or black or even varnished. Some people prefer not to apply any paint or varnish since they say that these coatings reduce the breathability. There is a lot to be said for the chic natural wood finish!

In Holland we have been wearing clogs for years, for all sorts of activities. They are not just used for hiking only. But in Holland there are no mountains, it is all flat, so it is not the most challenging for hiking. Andrew van der Skurka.

Most people find that it is better not to wear socks with walking clogs, since if the walking socks get wet they can cause chaffing. As with most hiking gear there are always accessories available, so it should come as no surprise that you can also buy clog gaiters to help stop small stones and water from entering your walking clogs.

Breaking In

When you get a new pair of hiking boots they often need breaking in, so that the leather moulds to the shape of your feet. With hiking clogs it is more a case of breaking in your feet until they fit the shape of your clogs. So they do take a bit of getting use to, but once your feet are the correct shape, hiking clogs are much more comfortable than walking boots.

Hiking Clogs and Splinters

Podiatrists are reporting that they have seen an increase in the number of patients coming in with splinters.

Hikers generally have healthy feet and they do not smell as much as you might think, but they can be ruined by clog splinters. If you buy your walking clogs from a reputable outlet there is nothing to worry about. Its the cheap imitation products that are not sanded down adequately which are causing the splinters. Fortunately splinters are easier to deal with than diabetic foot ulcers, which are what podiatrists often have to treat.


Despite what many people think, clogs are not just the reserve of the Dutch. During the industrial revolution they were worn extensively in the cotton mills of Europe. In Lancashire, England, clog dancing, known as clogging, was a popular pastime, as was clog fighting. Wearing nothing but clogs, the fight was won when the superior fighter brought his opponent to the floor, throttled him and kicked him in the head. Clog fighting was eventually made illegal because sometimes people were getting hurt.

Dutch cheese maids wearing traditional wooden clogs
The Dutch are famous for wearing clogs for all kinds of activities. Note the old man in the background. Source: Flickr by jurvetson.

Buy Hiking Clogs at CheapTents

At CheapTents we have a great range of clogs for walking and hiking from reputable footwear manufacturers such as Berghaus, Jack Wolfskin and Salomon.

Have you made the transition from walking boots to hiking clogs? Let us know what you think of them…are hiking clogs the way forward?


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