The term clog can be used to describe several different types of shoes that all share some similar characteristics; namely the fact that they can be slipped on without the use of shoelaces or Velcro as fastening devices.
Traditionally clogs were made out of wood however in recent times it has become popular to make certain types of clogs out of rubber both to reduced costs and increase durability; though it should be noted that rubber clogs do not have the same protective abilities as wooden clogs.
Originally the purpose of the clog was to act as a protective barrier for the feet against damage and the elements. They were especially popular among farm workers who were looking for a means of avoiding the mud commonly found in fields.
It is a common misconception that clogs are a Dutch invention; in fact most agricultural societies have at one point or another independently developed the idea of a wooden outer shoe to protect more delicate leather or fabric shoes.
One specific type of clog that differs from all others is the dancing clog. While this shoe shares similar characteristics with other clogs, they also have special taps attached similar to what can be found on tap dancing shoes.