A new exhibit of the Summer is on view at the entrance to the UPM’s Permanent Collection:
wood, leather, cotton straps, twisted cord
Bata co., Zlín, 1938—1945
"Bright as flowers, full of new, fresh charm — such are our clogs..."
(Bata advertising slogan, March 1940)
For centuries, footwear with wooden soles and leather or fabric uppers have formed part of popular culture of many nations all over the world. During World War I, wood was found to be the most suitable material to replace the then scarce leather in shoe-sole production. In 1916—1918, wood was used to make men´s and women´s walking and work shoes.
In 1938, shoes with wooden, or cork, soles reappeared, this time as casual summer and beach footwear that soon became fashionable throughout the world. After the outbreak of World War II, fashion turned into necessity, and once again wood readily replaced leather.
Bata introduced women´s clogs to the market in the spring of 1938. By 1940, this shoe-making company was offering thirty different models of women´s, men´s and children´s wooden shoes. In June 1940, the firm manufactured its milionth pair of clogs. This type of footwear became immensely popular, improved production technology made clogs more comfortable and durable, they were charming, cheap and could be bought without ration coupons.
(after M. Štýbrová, Dřeváčky firmy Baťa, módní hit z období II. světové války, sborník Obuv v historii ´97, Zlín 1998)