Why Did Dutch People Wear Wooden Shoes?

The wooden shoe is symbolic of the Dutch for many of us, but how did they come about, and why? The shoes have several advantages, including one illustrated by a Jackie Chan video in this post at Rue the Day. Link

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Dutch wooden shoes are not just a thing of the past either - they are still sold in gardening stores and routinely worn by farmers and other people who work in fields or with plants.
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