Wednesday, January 12, 2011

clogging with Troentorp - and advice for men

by frédérik sisa

It’s clog time again, folks, and for those of you who just aren’t into these wooden-soled pleasures, well, you’ll be happy to hear this will be the last post on the topic for a while. However, for those of you who are members of the clognoscenti, you can take heart in knowing that I’ll part with this topic with something of a bang. You see, after my feature on Troentorp Clogs, Sebastian Macliver very kindly gave me a pair of Audubon clogs for me to try out. Here they are:


Of course, I admit I was a bit worried about trying on the real thing. It’s easy to appreciate images and imagine the possibilities…but what if reality doesn’t measure up? Based on my past experience with wooden-soled clogs, I was particularly concerned about chafing from the uppers and an unreasonable amount of clomping – the office I work in has polished concrete floors. Before I share my experience in these areas, let’s start with the unquestionable good:

Nails instead of staples: a seemingly small detail, but a world of difference in terms of look. The nails give the clogs a classy, polished look.

Gorgeous uppers: you can see for yourself in the image above, but the laces and grooves give the Audubons a dressier, more upscale look. Yet the design isn’t overcooked; it’s simple and elegant.

Quality construction: there’s no doubt about it, these clogs are solidly made. Troentorp has a reputation for quality and it shows in the wood, the leather, everything.

So now, the big question: how to they wear? Do they chafe and clomp?

Proving that optimists can never be pleasantly surprised, I can say that I was pleasantly surprised. After wearing them for the past few weeks, barefoot more often than not, I’m thrilled to report a lack of chafing. And the polyurethane outer sole dampens the clomping, so I don’t sound like a herd of stampeding horses when I walk around the office. Verdict: they wear as well as they look, and speaking about how they look, the Audubons have received compliments even by people who don’t normally like clogs. That says a lot.

So I’m pleased to say that my Audubons have become a much-loved addition to my shoe closet, and I’m grateful to Sebastian for his generosity in giving me a pair to try. I can definitely see why the clognoscenti have a deep appreciation for wooden soles and why Troentorp has the reputation it has.

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On a related note, I’ve been gathering from chats with Lindsey from the wonderful blog Every Clog Has Its Day that there are guys out there who would like to wear clogs but are rather nervous about doing so. Lindsey’s started a new feature – Guy Day Friday – that will offer support and advice. Check out this first post featuring yours truly! (Thanks, Lindsey!)

Also, I did want to offer a few tidbits of advice, though, for you guys out there:
  • While anybody might vote on what you wear, you get to decide which votes count. The key is to surround yourself with people who are supportive and not degrading – good advice for anything, really.
  • It’s okay when something doesn’t work the way you envision it. It’s the trying and the lessons learned that count.
  • Men wearing clogs is really not a big deal. They’ve been doing it in Europe for generations. And unless you live somewhere where people get beaten up for being different, chances are most people won’t notice or care unless they’re fashionistas or fellow clog lovers (in which you’re likely to get compliments). Bottom line: have fun! It’s only fashion, after all.
  • Women who love clogs tend to love men who love clogs too. Don’t believe me? Check out some of the comments to Lindsey’s first Guy Day Friday post.
  • If you’re really self-conscious about wearing clogs, start with a basic design. They won’t draw as much attention, and you’re less likely to feel scrutinized. When your self-confidence has been boosted, you can then move on to designs with stronger personalities.
  • Bare legs will only accentuate the fact you’re wearing clogs; the eyes can only go up or down to the nearest accessory or clothes. Which is great if that’s what you want. If you’re self-conscious about it, though, stick with pants.
  • Wearing something more interesting than a t-shirt will help too by making the clog a part of a whole, interesting ensemble instead of the equivalent of a table centerpiece.
  • Barefoot is best (IMHO), but socks can be fun too when it gets chilly. With websites like www.sockdreams.com, or actual sock stores if you’re lucky, you have access to a veritable cornucopia of colours and patterns – another way to make your clogs fun!
There you go. I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments!

(About the picture: I AM smiling. Like a cat smiles. I just can't vogue worth squeak.)

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