For hundreds of years, wooden shoes, called klompen, were worn by most Dutch people for very practical purposes. Because much of Holland lies below sea level, there are a great many areas that are marshy and damp. It is from these areas that Holland, or its real name The Netherlands, meaning “low lands,” got its name.
Long ago, the Dutch people found that wooden shoes were ideal for walking on this damp, marshy ground. These shoes kept their feet drier than leather shoes and did not get ruined from the dampness as the leather ones did. Even though these wooden shoes are somewhat noisy to walk in, they are useful for farmers working in wet fields.
Most Dutchmen wear shoes like ours today; however, there are some small villages where wooden shoes are still worn. But they are used only outdoors and are left at the farmhouse door in neat rows while their owners walk around indoors in their stocking feet.