Dutch term – Klompenmaker

A klompenmaker is a wooden shoe maker. For many people in the Netherlands, wooden shoes were the common footwear. Wooden shoes were sturdy, protected toes when something fell on it, and made from material that’s easily available. And if they broke beyond mending, you could always use them for firewood!

Nowadays, some farmers still wear wooden shoes because they’re practical. They’re also part of traditional costumes.

wooden shoe maker

Wooden shoe maker, 1932. Credits: Willem van de Poll, collection Nationaal Archief (public domain)

About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink, CG®, QG™ is a professional genealogist in the Netherlands. She holds the Certified Genealogist credential from the Board for Certification of Genealogists and has a post-graduate diploma in Family and Local History from the University of Dundee. She has been doing genealogy for over 30 years and helps people from across the world find their ancestors in the Netherlands. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.


  1. Dirk Rincke Rinckes says

    Having worn klompen during the winter holidays during the war, I can attest to two aspects. They are warm especially on the ice and the snow builts up on the soles to form big lumps which cause you to fall if you’re not careful.

  2. “Klomp” sounds like the sound they make on a floor, indoors.

  3. Brian Hemstreet says

    You can watch somebody make these shoes, back in 1929, with real sound, at:


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