Wednesday, November 3, 2010

troentorp clogs: style enough for guys, too

by frédérik sisa

These are my trusty Sanita clogs, the second pair of clogs I’ve owned:

The first were the wooden kinds – I don’t remember the brand – with uppers that chafed and blistered like a son-of-a-gun. Moleskin helped with that, to some extent, but even with the extra padding they were never comfortable enough to wear regularly. Their eventual fate: donation to Goodwill, where hopefully someone else was able to make good use of them.

But the non-wooden Sanitas, which are very comfortable, kindled my appreciation for the shoe a lot of people love to hate, and they’ve become a valued part of my shoe closet, especially for those days that are too cool for sandals but not so cold as to force me to wear shoes. Plus, I just love the way they look.

In short, kids, I’m a clog fan and I’m not ashamed to admit it, particularly since, as Lindsey reveals on a daily basis, clogs don’t have to be the traditional Swedish kind. Although I’m probably less flexible in my definition of a clog that Lindsey is, I nevertheless can’t help but be impressed by the variety of clog designs out there. Alas, there’s a problem, and I’m sure you know what it is: there isn’t nearly as much design variety for men as there is for women. So while I really like my Sanita clogs and their simple, contemporary style, I find myself wondering if us guys can get something with a bit more punch, something a bit dressier.

Looking around online, I have to say the options don’t fill me with enthusiasm. Sanita and Dansko have nice, professional offerings, but nothing that really bursts with enough personality for. (I say this without knocking their design. There is definitely a time and a place for footwear that doesn’t call attention to itself, and that’s another reason I quite like my Sanitas.) Tessa Clogs, with metallic colour options, is definitely a step in the right direction but not quite what I’m looking for at the moment, however noteworthy. Then there’s Sven, which certainly has a variety of compelling styles and the appealing promise of custom offerings – yet it just seems too fussy for me.

Then, at last, there is Troentorp (aka Bastad), and something to get excited about. Unfortunately, I can’t personally vouch for the experience of wearing Troentorp clogs. But I feel perfectly justified in adding Troentorp clogs to my “must-have” (eventually) list. For one thing, they’ve been around a long time, ever a since a fellow by the name of August Johansson began making wooden clogs in 1907 (in Troentorp, Sweden, of course). The name is well-known among clog lovers; their reputation is excellent. Of course, it’s the design that clinches it, and looking through their catalog reveals a selection of styles that are traditional in spirit but sophisticated in execution. It’s the detailing, you see, that gives these a refined character. Nails instead of staples. Anatomical alder wood footbed. 1" heat-bonded polyurethane sole with non-skid tread that cuts down on noise and the effects of hard floors. Uppers that offer careful ornamentation that, in those styles with laces or buckles, also serves a practical purpose.

For a sample of Troentorp’s offerings, here’s the Durer (roughly $106), available in black, red, and brown:

And, my favourite, the classy Audubon (roughly $110), available in black, blue, brown, and white:

Of course, they also have a lovely selection of closed-back clogs and, as a bonus for the ladies, a selection of clog sandals. In my next post, I’ll continue with Troentorp by sharing an interview with Sebastian Macliver. Stay tuned!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for flying the flag for men's clogs. BTW, Lindsey is a guy, too, ya know.

Frederik Sisa said...

Hey Anon.

Is that so? Well, it just goes to show the English language needs gender-neutral pronouns.

Thanks for the comment. I certainly will keep flying the flag.

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