*This post has been updated for 2020
I’ve long time been a fan of the clog boot. And when I say clog boot, I mean the true, wooden-soled clog. It’s kinda the quintessential Portland boot. Maybe it’s because it keeps you up out of the weather, maybe it’s because we all have a slight obsession with anything Scandinavian here. #guilty We have multiple stores that sell them year-round. (“Big summer blowout!” just popped into my head. haha. #howmanytimeshaveyouseenfrozen)
But, for those of us who may be new to this style shoe, it’s a little tricky to figure out how to wear them comfortably. After years of having a couple different pairs, I’ve learned a few things that may be helpful if you also wanna go the clog route. First though, let’s check out two pairs I’ve been wanting to try recently.
1. The Lined Wooden Clog – No. 6 Shearling Clog Boot
I’ve been eyeing this gorg boot for a couple of years now. My friend in Brooklyn LOVES hers. There are only a couple of problems with these pretty boots: they’re almost sold out everywhere, and the sizing is off. I got a 39 in these, but the toe box is very narrow. I think it would break in with wear, but my big toes are actually a problem area, so for me it’s not worth trying. The shearling lining is INSANELY soft and lovely, and if you don’t have a wide toe box these would be wonderfully worth it. You can find a few random sizes here, but this Swedish Hasbeens Shearling Plateau is quite similar and more fully stocked AND my new current favorite. The upper is so, so soft that it doesn’t’ dig into your leg and because the footbed isn’t lined, the fit is actually much better. The upper is lined and cozy and I love the tread.
2. The Unlined Clog Boot – Swedish Hasbeens Zip It Emy
Hasbeens Zip It Emy (or now on sale at Zappos!)- Swedish Hasbeens are the classic clog shoe company. They make lovely sandals, as well as these amazing boots. I’m a solid 8 in US shoe sizing, but I went with a 39 here. I’ve read NOT to size up for Hasbeens, but I think that was referring to sandals. For the boots, I say yes. Size up. These are so much more comfortable than a couple of other pairs I’ve had in the past that must have been 38s. I’m not sure why some websites say a 38 is an 8. It’s not; at least not according to my foot. I have a narrow heel, but a wide toe box, like I mentioned, and these fit that wide toe area much better. They’re even fine without socks. I know. Weird, but some kind of Swedish magic. The only time they are a bit hard to deal with is going downstairs. The front ankle area of the boot doesn’t move. If you have to deal with a ton of stairs everyday, I don’t recommend these. For me, they’re great.
The Wooden Clog Boot I Love Most
So, my favorite — and the one I will be wearing for the rest of the winter — is the Hasbeens Zip It Emy (on sale at Zappos). I so wanted the No. 6 lined boot to work because comfy lining, but it was just too narrow and uncomfortable across the toes. I would imagine sizing up to a 40 would probably work, but I realized I would also get more wear out of the unlined boots throughout the year. If you’re somewhere quite cold, the No. 6 (or the Shearling Hasbeens) are worth a try, but if you want a boot you can wear for at least three seasons, I’d go with the unlined clog.
*2020 Update: I loved the Hasbeens Zip It Emy for a long time and wore them quite a bit, but my current absolute favorite is the Hasbeens Shearling Plateau. The upper is just so soft and comfy, and I was able to wear them right out of the box. Hooray! I love the tread on these for rainy and winter weather. They’re true to size and though they’re not lined on the footbed, they’re somehow so much more comfortable than the pair that are. If you have narrow feet and a narrow toe-box you might find the No. 6 to work just fine, but otherwise give these a try if you’ve been out of luck with the others like I was.
Tips For Wearing Wooden-Soled Clog Boots
Main tip? Get the right size. I previously thought I should suffer through breaking in a more fitted size, but for me, sizing up has been key. Most clogs come in European sizing, but after trying the No. 6 boots, I see now that even all Euro sizing is not equal.
Check the manufacturer’s size chart and read reviews to know how they will fit your shape foot. Try a couple different sizes if you’re unsure, and don’t give up on them because they’re too small. Just try a bigger size.
Get Otter Wax Leather Salve to help break them in (recommended to me by our shoe store here).
Break them in over shorter periods. This was also recommended by the store clerk. She says now that hers are broken in, she’d be fine walking a couple of miles in them! She adores them for working on her feet in the store all day on hard concrete.
Shop Shearling-Lined Clog Boots
Shop Unlined Clog Boots
Clog boots aren’t for everyone, I realize that. If you don’t love their style, this post isn’t for you! Ha. They’re probably like Birkenstocks. You love ’em or hate ’em. But after not having a pair for a couple of years now, I found myself consistently wishing for some. They add height like heels without putting your foot in an elevated position all day. They are amazing for standing and help with posture. They are classically cool, in my opinion, and haven’t gone ‘out of fashion’ for years now. They’re a solid investment and they last forever. People always compliment me when I’m wearing them, so I know there are other clog lovers out there. I’m super-happy to find this pair now that I’ll wear with my overalls, jumpsuits, dresses, and of course, jeans. Long live clog boots!
Hop on over to follow me on Instagram @laurajansenstyle to see more of what I’m up to in Portland, Oregon and how I’m styling my clog boots.