** English boy clothes -- footwear clogs wooden shoes

English Boys' Footwear: Clogs and Wooden Shoes

Figure 1.-- This is a photograph of English children wearing clogs. These boys were photographed in Blackburn, Lancashire, probably in the 1900s. I'm not precisely sure what the boys are wearing, but it looks like clogs more than wooden shoes. Note the boys' school caps and the one boy's Eton collar.

Poor boys might wear wooden shoes or clogs, but they seem less common than is the case of many boys on the Continent. Most of the references we have noted from England describe clogs rather than wooden shoes. Clogs have wooden soles and leather or other material for uppers. Wooden shoes are of all wooden construction. We have noted wooden shoes, however, being issed to work house inmates. A reader writes, "Wooden shoes called clogs were the general footwear of most people in Lancashire and certainly part of a boys dress wear early in the 20th century. They were hard wearing. I think they had a wooden base and certainly leather sides. There was an iron rim on the soles. This was good for making sparks when the stone pavement was kicked. A reader writes, "I have got a book showing lots of photographs of early 20th Century Manchester. Many children are bear footed and others show children wearing clogs. Clogs were still worn by small children in the 1950s but leather shoes had become almost universal by then. I never wore them but my gran argued their virtue for children and growing feet." Clogs made a brief comeback in the 1970s. They were briefly fashionable, but they were styled differently than those worn at the turn-of-the-century.


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Created: 1:56 AM 1/7/2005
Last updated: 1:56 AM 1/7/2005