Pattens, Clogs and Wooden Soled shoes


Before I get into this, I feel it's important to note that I have a certain bias. I don't like pattens, clogs, or wooden soled shoes. I don't know why this is, and objectively there is nothing wrong with them. They are part of the record. I just don't care much for them. I suppose I could claim that it's due to my scarred past, of being forced to wear platforms during the 70s, or that I nearly broke my neck the first time I tried to run in wooden shoes, but those aren't enough to justify this sort of disregard. So while I will try to tell you something about them, I will warn you that I may not be doing them justice, and encourage you very strongly to take a long look at the sources for this paper and look there as well.


When dealing with this whole category of footwear, there are some problems with the terminology that need to be dealt with right away. The term "clog" has at one time or another meant any and all of the above mentioned items, and "patten" has meant at least as many things. So for the purposes of this document, the following things will be referred to as:

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Chopine

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Chapines, or Chopines, are the ancestor of the traditional clogs, sabots, or mules; open backed wooden shoes. In the east, chapines were sometimes made to a great height. Chopines came into fashion in the late 15th century and reached their extremes in 16th century Italy

Cork shoes (Covered Platform Construction)

Cork platform shoes make their first appearance in the 14th Century (I suspect made possible by the development of the Turned-welt and Welted shoes from pattens/overshoes/trippe). These later came to refer to any shoes made with any cork platform sole. The most common form appears to have had cork running the whole length of the foot, including any heel wedges, and the sole covered in leather. This kept the sole from wearing away or compressing too quickly.

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Clog
A clog is a wooden soled shoe, or more specifically a wooden sole with a leather upper nailed to it. It is clearly correct to assume some "pattens" were clogs as well. Wooden Soles

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I believe the Clog, sometimes referred to as "A countryman's shoe" was a development from Pattens, although there are some Roman farm laborer's shoes made with wooden soles,  Later era versions were welted leather uppers nailed to Wooden soles (with 1/2" nails through the welt).

Clogs are said to have been introduced to England by Flemish weavers, but the tools used in Flemish Sabot making are totally different.

In the tomb of Bernard, King of Italy, granson of Charlemagne, (d904), were shoes made with red leather uppers on wooden soles. A clog in 15th century alabaster of St. Giles shoeing a horse. (Vigeon, Evelyn. Clogs or Wooden Sled Shoes. (Reprinted from the Journal of the Costume society) 1977.

Patten
Pattens, or galoshes, are wooden or leather items in the shape of the sole of the shoe the were to be worn with. These shoes were then strapped on over the lighter shoes. Pattens date back at least to the 14th century, and perhaps even a bit earlier. There is a later version that has a iron ring that supports the sole that was used in some fashion until the 19th century.

It has been suggested by Olaf Goubitz (2001), that the two on the bottom aren't actually pattens, but because of their heel support, they may actually be sandals.   This would be particularly suggested for the one with the leather sole.

Sabot
It's a french term for a carved wooden shoe.

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Footwear of the Middle Ages - Pattens, Clogs and Wooden Soled shoes, Copyright 1999, 2002 I. Marc Carlson
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