Want to buy a pair of Swedish comfort clogs? Read our guide for more info on what goes into making these special shoes from Sweden…
The word clog is inextricably associated with the word comfort in the minds of most people. This association did not come about by accident. It is based on a longstanding tradition of innovation and a good deal of purposeful intentions.
Wooden clogs were worn and known since the Middle Ages and before as a practical and somewhat comfortable type of footwear for those who needed to traverse the muddy and wet fields of rural Europe.
No one had thought much about improving the traditional design of the clog until August Johanssen began to pay attention to the orthopedic qualities of the clogs he was making.
The first step was changing the way he carved the alder wood that he was using to make his clogs.
In the beginning clogs were wooden shoes and nothing more. Eventually leather uppers replaced the wood. Johannsen paid particular attention, as well, to the way that the leather uppers were lasted to the wooden bottoms. His techniques were the ancestor of the wet lasting still in use today where the upper is stretched over the last rather than nailed first and then having the last forced into the clog to form it. This too paid dividends in increased comfort. A thin outer sole was added as well, once again, for the purpose of making the clog more comfortable.
The factory located in a town called Troentorp, just outside of Båstad in Southern Sweden soon became a Mecca for quality clogs. Over the years the name of the factory has changed from Båstad Clogs to Toffelnfabriken, but the tradition of innovation directed towards wearer comfort has continued unabated.
Modern technology and materials have also been applied over the hundred year history of Johannsen’s company in the quest for a yet more comfortable clog. A thicker polyurethane outer sole was incorporated into the clog’s design rendering the clog softer and better suited to traversing the hard floors and walkways encountered by modern urban dwellers. The orthopedic inner sole still has a significant role to play as well in providing the clog wearer’s overall comfort.
Even today the clogs made at Toffelnfabriken are handcrafted. The wooden base is carved from 60mm alder wood to allow for the optimal curvature ensuring a proper profile. Special nails are used in assembling the clogs instead of cheaper, but less desirable staples. Clogs made using these time honored techniques and carefully selected components may cost a bit more than other clogs but people who staff the kitchens, retail establishments and hospitals of countries the world over are keenly aware of the comfort advantage provided by clogs from Troentorp.