Best Classic Clogs

Updated May 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

51 Models Considered
16 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
167 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best classic clogs

Few footwear silhouettes are more recognizable than that of the clog. While the earliest iterations were made of wood with upturned toe boxes, clogs are now made from a variety of materials and, thankfully, a few new comfort features. 

Today’s clogs embrace the classic shape, especially the iconic toe box and chunky appearance. Some clogs keep the pronounced, upturned toe, while others smooth it over to achieve a subtler duckbill shape. The classic heel is evident in many clogs, though some brands have adapted it into flats or platforms. Wood still has a place in classic clog designs, namely in the form of stacked heels and midsoles. They can be heavy — and rather noisy — which is why many manufacturers now add rubber, plastic, or cork outsoles. The rest of the classic clog is made from a variety of materials that range from vegan leather to polyester.

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If you intend to wear clogs without socks, make sure your feet are clean or you could transfer dirt and sweat to the insole, which can be difficult to clean.

Key considerations

How to wear clogs

Today’s classic clogs are designed for casual, everyday wear. Their versatile designs make them easy to pair with most outfits, though they’re commonly worn with jeans, cropped pants, and skirts. Many people prefer going sockless with clogs, though some have embraced the warmer socks-and-clogs look for cooler months.

If you intend to wear classic clogs with denim, opt for a pair in brown, tan, or taupe. These colors complement the contrast stitching in most jeans.

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Features

Throat and vamp

These refer to the area from the top of the tongue down to the toe box. In classic clogs, the throat and vamp are typically a single piece of material. Suede and leather are traditional choices, but other materials like vinyl, plastic, wool, felt, and faux fur are also popular.

Outsole

Wood: If you’d like to stay true to form, chances are you’ll gravitate toward classic clogs with wooden heels and soles. They look great and are incredibly durable — some of them can last through a decade of wear. Clogs with wooden details never really fall out of fashion, which makes them a great overall investment in fashionable footwear.

However, some people shy away from classic wooden clogs. These shoes are rather heavy compared to other footwear, which may tire the feet and calves. These clogs also make a signature “clunk” with each step, especially on hardwood or laminate floors. While this might not bother you too much, the sound can be annoying to those around you. 

Other materials: Clogs that forgo wood often use cork, rubber, or plastic in its place. These outsole materials are durable, not to mention incredibly lightweight. Depending on the construction, these outsoles may offer a bit of flexibility, too, which makes them more comfortable than wood for prolonged periods of walking. 

Insole

The insole, also called the footbed, is what your foot rests on inside a shoe. Some clogs simply have a thin strip of cushioned material for a bit of shock absorption. In other designs, the insoles are contoured with arch and heel support for added comfort.

If you require supportive footbeds and often use custom insoles, you may need to reconsider your choice in clogs. Those with open backs don’t work well because the custom insoles are noticeable and may slip out. Closed-back clogs are better for custom insoles, but as is the case with any footwear, you’ll need to trim the insoles to achieve a good fit.

Embellishments

Classic clogs are decorated with studs, buckles, ribbon, fringe, or mock laces. These can add a touch of style to these otherwise neutral shoes. While attractive, keep in mind that these embellishments are somewhat delicate and susceptible to damage if you wear the clogs in inclement weather.

Professional clogs

Professional clogs are designed for wear in specific environments, such as hospitals, medical offices, veterinary clinics, and restaurants. They’re contoured to be as supportive as possible because many of these professionals work 12-hour shifts or longer. Some designs even have shock-absorbing cushions at the heel and ball of the foot.

Professional clogs typically meet protective footwear requirements at these facilities. They’re far more structured than sneakers, which means they’re less likely to collapse under moderate pressure. This helps to prevent or minimize some toe or foot injuries. 

Another perk of professional clogs is that they’re easy to clean: many of them can be wiped down with disinfectant or alcohol. This is especially appealing to medical and veterinary professionals who need to clean or sanitize footwear after each shift.

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DID YOU KNOW?
It’s a good idea to invest in shoe deodorizers, especially if you wear clogs without socks. Place them inside the clogs after each time you wear them.
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Classic clog prices

Classic clogs range in price from $100 to $350, mostly depending on the quality of materials and construction.

Inexpensive: Entry-level fashion clogs, as well as basic professional clogs, cost $100 to $150. Fashion clogs in this category often forgo all-wooden outsoles, but they may have stacked wooden heels. There are some classic clogs made with synthetic throats and vamps in this range, and the quality may be hit or miss with them. 

Mid-range: These classic clogs run between $160 and $250. Many are made with premium leather or suede with all-wood outsoles. There are many handcrafted and imported designs in this range as well.

Expensive: The most fashion-forward classic clogs cost between $275 and $350. These are manufactured by leading footwear brands known for producing durable, quality shoes. Clogs in this category often have premium embellishments, such as brushed metal studs or suede trim.

Some classic clogs, particularly those imported from Europe, come in European sizes. Refer to an accurate conversion chart to find the best-fitting size for you if you live in the United States.

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Tips

  • Try on more than one size. Classic clogs have a larger, wider toe box than most shoes. For this reason, some wearers size down half a size for a slightly snug fit.
  • Think twice about packing clogs. Only some clogs are comfortable for extended periods of walking, but even if they are, they’re rather bulky and heavy. Keep this in mind when you travel because they can add considerable weight to your checked baggage.
  • Store clogs in a breathable bag or case. Clogs made of leather and suede should be stored in a cool, dry area inside a breathable bag or case. This allows for enough airflow to prevent these materials from drying out and cracking.
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When the rubber outsoles of your wooden classic clogs wear down, take them to a cobbler to have them resoled. This is often less expensive than purchasing a new pair.

FAQ

Q. Do I need to break in classic clogs like other footwear?

A. Yes, and it’s not just a matter of stretching out the upper. Classic clogs have such a unique design, especially with what’s called a rocker sole, that there’s a bit of a learning curve when it comes to walking in them. If possible, wear them around your home for a few days before wearing them outside or to work.

Q. Are classic clogs considered too informal to wear to an office?

A. It depends on the dress code in your office. A nice pair of leather or suede clogs can complement tailored jeans or cropped pants in an office with a more relaxed dress code. For offices that require business attire, clogs may be too informal or casual for a professional appearance. 

Q. Do I need to invest in special products to maintain my classic clogs?

A. Yes. Leather clogs should be maintained with leather cleaner only, preferably one that is alcohol-free. Leather conditioner is also a good idea because it moisturizes the leather, keeps it from cracking, and smooths over superficial imperfections. Suede cleaner, which is formulated differently from leather cleaner, is essential to keeping suede fresh and stain-free. To clean wooden areas of clogs, wipe them down with a diluted mixture of warm water and dish soap.

Q. I have some medical issues with my feet and ankles. Can I still wear clogs?

A. It’s hard to say, and for safety reasons, it’s recommended that you discuss it with your doctor. Individuals with chronic ankle injuries may be advised against wearing clogs with open backs to prevent twisting the ankles. Very few clogs offer a high level of support, which could be problematic if you suffer from fallen arches or plantar fasciitis. On the other hand, if you have bunions or corns on your toes, the oversize toe box on some clogs may give you plenty of room without crushing these sensitive, tender areas.

 

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