A Clog Primer & Review

Clog Collection | Grainline Studio

A few weeks ago I posted the photo below on my personal Instagram story while getting my shoes ready for fall and unwittingly set off a flurry of clog inquiries. Flurry might not be the right word, honestly it was more of a blizzard. I posted the photo just after getting home from work and answered questions until I went to bed, then woke up to more questions in the morning. I had no idea that so many of you had burning unanswered clog inquiries! Rather than respond to every single person with a full review of every clog I own I figured it would be easier to write a post about them. I’m breaking the post up into sections about each brand, Sven, No.6, Bryr, Sandgrens, and Swedish Hasbeens including company info, the pairs I own, my review, and my picks which is essentially what I’d buy from each brand right now if someone gave me a credit card I wasn’t responsible for paying. There are a million more brands out there but these are the 5 I have experience with so they’re the ones I’ll be discussing.

2017 Clog Review | Grainline Studio

Before we start I thought I should tell you a few general details about my feet so that you can better visualize how the fit and comfort of these might be applied to your own feet. As far as size, I generally wear a US women’s 6 / 36 and am on the narrow side. I have extremely high arches, my footprints are the heel and front of my foot unconnected at the middle, and because of this I also have a high instep. My feet are also very prone to blisters and if a blister is possible, it will happen. I have sciatica in my right leg caused by my L5 vertebrae which you may find important if you also have lower back issues. I am either standing or sewing most of the week (with the exception of Monday & Friday which are my computer days) on a wood floor at work, and I have worn all of these on typical city excursions which usually involves walking on pavement for over a mile. I’m also not a clog expert, I just own a lot of pairs, so keep that in mind. Now with that said, lets get into my clogs!

Please note that I have paid for all of the clogs in this post and all opinions are my own. 

General Clog Fit

A well fitting clog should not slide completely off your foot when you walk, nor should you step out of it, though you do want your heel to slip slightly in clogs with a back since the base doesn’t bend. My first adventure into the world of clogs was in college, before J.Crew made a real size 6 shoe. I bought a pair of the cutest (at the time, it was 2001 so…) brown clogs which were way too large, and scuffed around campus trying in vain to keep them on my feet. Eventually I very sadly donated them thinking that clogs just weren’t made for my feet. It was 2013 before I decided to give clogs another try after that experience. I now realize that not only was the size of those clogs all wrong, but the shape of the leather is also important. The leather of the J.Crew clog was sort of a generic shoe shape; too round and bulbous to form to any foot I can imagine. You’ll notice the clogs below have more narrow leather uppers, meant to form to the shape of your foot and hug them as you walk. As far as the noise of the clogs, the better fitting the clog, the less clomping you’ll do, but for the most part the clomp depends on the type of base, what sort of rubber is applied to the base, and how you walk.

Sven

Brand: Sven Clogs
Website: https://www.svensclogs.com/
Location: Chisago City, MN

Sven Black Clog | Grainline Studio
Sven Black Clog | Grainline Studio

Style: Peep Toe Clogs
Base: 3″ Austrain High Heel
Leather: Black Nubuck

Sven Black Clog | Grainline Studio
Sven Black Clog | Grainline Studio

Style: Sling Strap Clogs
Base: 3″ Austrain High Heel
Leather: British Tan Leather

Sven Clogs | Grainline Studio

Style: Vintage Closeouts
Base: Vintage Swedish Heel
Leather: Celery Suede

Sven Clog Boots | Grainline Studio
Sven Clog Boots | Grainline Studio

Style: Shearling Boot (mine have no straps)
Base: 2¾” Austrian Mid Heel
Leather: Black

About: Founded in 1974 Sven Clogs are made by hand in Chisago City, MN with leather from around the United States and Sheepskin from Texas, and the bases are from either Austria or Sweden. You can read more about the company here.

Sizing: I find these to run true to size. I’m a solid 36 in both my clogs and clog boots and find the width perfect for my slightly narrow feet, though as I mention below the leather is super soft and has molded perfectly into the shape of my feet. I have no problems with the height of the instep either. As I mentioned above I have super high arches and experience no discomfort wearing these.

My Thoughts: I love Svens and have 4 pairs currently. The clogs are really well made and very very comfortable. I wear a pair of Svens probably at least 4 days a week during the spring, summer, and fall, and during the winter I wear my shearling clog boots just about every day. I find that Sven has the softest leather of all the clog brands listed here, and I’ve never ever had any sort of break in period with my clogs or gotten a single blister. The leather of my traditional Sven clogs has molded perfectly to the shape of my feet with wear as well and sometimes when I put them on I swear I can hear my feet sighing with comfort. I purchased my first pair around 2013 and they’re still in rotation after being resoled once.

I have 3 different bases on my 4 pairs of clogs, but the Women’s 83 Austrian 3″ High Heel Non-Bendable base (on the black and brown pairs) is the one I wear the most. I stand in them all day at work, operate my sewing machine and serger, take the dog for walks, errands, etc. without any trouble or sore feet/back at the end of the day. If you’re overly concerned about the loudness of your clogs, try the Austrian base, it’s a bit quieter than the traditional Swedish base.

Hot Tip: If you’re new to clogs, try the Closeouts section of the site. There are tons of great styles at lower prices so you can see if clogs are for you without investing a pretty penny.

What I'd buy off the Sven site right now

No. 6

Brand: No. 6
Website: https://www.svensclogs.com/
Location: Made in Chisago City, MN

No. 6 Clogs | Grainline Studio
No. 6 Clogs | Grainline Studio

Style: Classic Halo Strap
Leather: Black Nubuck

About: I don’t know much about No.6 aside from the fact that they’re based in NYC as their website has no about section. The clogs are made by Sven and while some bases are the same, I don’t know whether the differing bases are from the same place, nor do I know if they source their own leathers or use what Sven does. The nubuck seems similar to that of my open toe Sven pair, though I can’t say for sure.

Sizing: I found my one pair of No.6 clogs to run normally, though the instep on this pair is slightly lower than my Svens. No. 6 has a great Clog FAQ page here that answers a lot of sizing and other random cloggy q’s.

My Thoughts: I really like this pair though I don’t find them quite as comfortable for day to day wear as my Svens though I’ve never blistered from them. The shape of the base is slightly different from the rest of the clogs I own which I think is the contributing factor.

Hot Tip: No. 6 are made by Sven so if you want No.6 quality without the price tag or sometimes insane styles try those. The Sven store also has been known to have discounted No. 6 clogs if you’re in the area of Chisago, MN!

What I'd buy of the No. 6 site right now

Bryr

Brand: Bryr
Website: https://www.bryrstudio.com/
Location: San Francisco, CA

Bryr Clogs | Grainline Studio
Bryr Clogs | Grainline Studio

Style: Emma Cross-over High Heel
Leather: Blush Nubuck

Bryr Clogs | Grainline Studio
Bryr Clogs | Grainline Studio

Style: Millie Lace-up Clog with Kilt, High Heel
Leather: Whiskey Leather

About: Bryr was founded by Isobel Schofield and is based in San Francisco, CA. They make all their clogs in house and use leathers sourced around the US. They have super modern clogs with really great color combinations! You can watch a cute short video about their process here.

Sizing: I’ve heard from others that they think Bryr clogs run large and I’d agree with that. I find them about a half size large. In the sandal I have it’s not a big deal at all, especially since my feet are usually a little swollen in the high humidity of Chicago. The closed toe pair I just bought is great because I can wear them with handknit socks, but if I want to wear them without socks, I just tighten the laces up a bit. I think a size down (to a 35) would be too small on me.

My Thoughts: I love Bryr! The styles are so cute and strike the perfect balance between classic and current, and the colors! So good! I also really love supporting a fellow small woman-owned business. As for the quality, it’s great on the pairs I own. The first pair I purchased in April of 2015 and they still look great and the suede is so soft and comfortable. The leather is a bit stiffer than my Sven but feels great and also hasn’t needed a break in period for me. A few people asked me about the leather back on the kilty clogs shown above, whether that’s annoying or not. In my opinion if you’ve got the right sizes clogs you don’t even know its there. I don’t notice it with or without socks. My Bryr clogs feel similarly in comfort to my Sven and I’ve worn them all day at work with no problems. If you need clogs in a rush then Bryr isn’t for you as there’s a 30 day delay from ordering to delivery, more when a new collection launches, but it’s pretty fun when the clogs you forgot you ordered arrive out of the blue!

Hot Tip: Bryr sells leather samples on their site so you can see which of their amazing colors looks best with your wardrobe before you order!

What I'd buy right now off the Bryr site

Sandgrens

Brand: Sandgrens
Website: https://sandgrensclogs.com/
Location: Påryd, Sweden

Sandgrens Clogs | Grainline Studio
Sandgrens Clogs | Grainline Studio

Style: Chukka Cap Toe (mine are sans cap)
Leather: Grey Suede

About: According to the Sandgrens website the brand was founded as a leather tannery in the 1800’s and has been making clogs for well over 100 years, which is completely blowing my mind right now. The clogs are handmade at their factory in Sweden which you can see in the video on this page.

Sizing: I think these clogs are right on for sizing. I’m typically a 36 as mentioned above and I went up a size to a 37 so that I can wear them with my handknit socks and they’re a perfect fit! They seem average width for a clog and I have no trouble with the instep, though these are a tie clog so likely it would be hard to really tell because of this.

My Thoughts: I really like the pair of Sandgrens chukkas I have and the leather/suede on this pair is really soft, pretty on par with my suede Svens. The quality on my pair is top notch and have survived 3 winters so far; the comfort level is great as well. I wear them a lot with wool socks in the winter and I think they’re so cute with my handknit pairs. This is the pair of clogs I get the most compliments on hands down. Actually Sandgrens has some of the cutest clog boots and closed back clogs I’ve seen while researching this post so I’m really hoping to get my hands on another pair before spring. The 70’s inspired colors and dark clog base are so up my alley right now!

Hot Tip: I’ve got no hot tips on this one, but their Instagram account is super cute!

What I'd buy right now off the Sandgrens site

Swedish Hasbeens

Brand: Swedish Hasbeens
Website: https://www.swedishhasbeens.com/
Location: Company based in Sweden

Swedish Hasbeens | Grainline Studio
Swedish Hasbeens | Grainline Studio

Style: Jodhpur
Leather: Black Leather

Okay guys, this is where things get real. I do not like Swedish Hasbeens clogs. The leather on this pair of boots is beyond stiff. To the point where within 10 minutes of putting these shoes on, with or without socks, parts of my feet are bloody. I’ve talked to a good amount of people who also own Swedish Hasbeens (including the comments on this IG post) and this has been their experience with both the boots and sandals, leather super stiff and hard to break in. It’s a shame because when talking to people who tell me they can’t wear clogs, or have tried and they don’t work for their feet, or hurt all the time, many of them tell me they tried Hasbeens as their first pair. I’m SO glad that these were about my 4th or 5th pair of clogs so I could identify it was the shoe, not me, because if this had been my first pair I would never have tried another pair again. So that’s my take on these suckers. I have no picks because even if someone else was footing the bill I still wouldn’t take a pair. If you’ve got tough feet these could be for you, but they’re definitely not for me!

Okay so that’s a lot of info and photos! I really had no idea this post would become so long, but if you have any cloggy questions, comments, concerns, advice, whatever, pop it in the comments below! Lets discuss!!

48 replies on “A Clog Primer & Review

  • Joyce Templeton

    I love clogs too but sadly, due to a foot ligament injury years ago, my clog wearing days are over. But seeing the New York Clog Boot reminded me of the first time I wore clogs. Ever! This was when I visited my great-aunts on their farm in south Scotland in the 1970s. My brother and I were told to wear a pair of clogs to go with my great-aunt to ‘help’ her feed the calves and then go to her bee hives to check on honey-making progress. Now, these clogs were not fashion clogs, they were made for work, and they had a metal strip attached to the clog sole, much like a horseshoe. My brother and I loved the clackety-sound of the clogs but they were really slippy on the concrete yard! Oh, and the clogs looked very much like the New York Clog Boots!

    Reply
    • Jen

      Oh that is sad, but I love your story! My mom and grandparents are Dutch so I grew up with my grandma giving me wooden shoes and I always thought, how the heck does anyone walk in these things?! But I did love clacking around the house in them. Now here I am wearing a version of that same thing. So glad someone invented the leather upper though!

      Reply
  • Ann

    I love clogs so much, and this post was amazing, thank you! It makes me feel a bit better that you said that about the Swedish Hasbeens — I bought a pair of their clog boots on sale, and I adore the way they look, but I cannot wear them for even the shortest walk. If I’m working in an office I can wear them around the office, but that’s it, I certainly wouldn’t survive the commute in them. I have a pair of shearling lined lace up clog boots that I got at a vintage store for $100, and they’re super comfy so that restored my faith in clog boots. Unfortunately I don’t know what brand they are — it’s weird, I can’t find any markings anywhere! I would buy more of this brand, if I could. I suspect they are Svens but I don’t know for sure. Danskos mostly work for me too, and due to price they’re mostly what I’ve dabbled in. Anyway, I have rambled….in short, my clog collection is nowhere near large enough, and you’re making me long for more!

    Reply
    • Jen

      So glad you enjoyed it! I know how you feel about the Hasbeens. I was so excited to nab my pair bc the boot style is so cute and then when I put them on it was so confusing. They were all over the internet at that point and I couldn’t figure out how everyone was singing their praises while I couldn’t even wear mine for 10 minutes without blood soaking through my socks. I posted randomly to IG that I hated them and got the HUGEST response from other people with the same problem and I felt like omg, I’m not the only one! As for the laceup clogs, could you try sending Sven an email with a photo and see if they’re theirs? I actually don’t think my shearling Svens say their name on them anyway but I’ll bet someone there would know if its their style.

      Reply
  • triciaroyal

    I have several pairs of Sven Clogs, and all are extremely comfortable. I had the same exact experience with Swedish Hasbeens, I almost never wear them because they are so stiff it’s akin to wearing razor blades. This post is making me want to buy several more pairs of Sven’s. Thanks a lot, Jen!

    Reply
  • Larissa

    Thank you so much for this! I have one pair of Swedish Hasbeens but they are sandals so they feel fairly comfortable. I had wondered a lot about getting other styles and if they would be comfortable and what brands are truly worth it. This is a REALLY useful post! Yay!

    Reply
    • Jen

      Glad you found the post useful! I’d be interested in trying Hasbeens sandals to see if they’re better, but honestly after the boot fiasco I’m not likely to try another pair.

      Reply
  • Melizza

    I’m happy to read that Bryr runs large because as a 10/10.5, I was nervous about investing in a pair.

    I have a pair of Swedish Hasbeens braided sandals and rarely wear they because they are so stiff. I am very much a Sven gal, and Danskos hold a special place in my heart too.

    Reply
    • Jen

      I hope I don’t steer you wrong, but mine are definitely about a half size too large. And I think you just answered my question about the Hasbeens sandals. I wondered if they’d be any better or if the sandal would cut into my foot. I wish I could have included Danskos in here but the styles I’ve tried on have been way too low for my instep, cutting off blood flow on the top of my foot, but they have so many cute ones! Ahhhh!!!

      Reply
  • Sarah

    Couldn’t agree with you more about the Svens- they are the best. I have the black high heel plain clogs you have on your wishlist and they are my favorite shoes. I have been disappointed with Bryr, I’ve gone down a whole size in two pairs and although the base fits my foot, the leather is too big/baggy so my feet just slide around in them. It’s too bad because their styles are pretty great. I’m excited to try Sandgrens! Thanks for the post!

    Reply
    • Jen

      That’s too bad about the Bryrs! I think next time I’ll size down to a 35, but as far as the leather, I’ve noticed that in all my brands the suede & nubuck fit much tighter than the leather. I’m wondering if that has something to do with it since most Bryr clogs are leather? Very interesting info though!

      Reply
  • Lisa Keown

    I own a pair of dansko xp clogs and wear them almost half the time. I walked the Vegas strip the day after I bought them with nary a blister. I know they are geeky and utilitarian. I’m afraid to turn my ankle in anything higher as I am pretty klutzy. Still I kinda love some of the dressier danskos

    Reply
    • Jen

      I don’t think they’re geeky at all! I didn’t include them bc my instep is too high for them which makes me so sad bc I think Danskos are super cute! I’m pretty jealous you can wear them and besides choking the top of my foot, they’re super comfy!

      Reply
  • Lynn

    My first pair of clogs were Bastaad clogs I bought when I was in college in Minnesota – years ago. I’ve since owned many pairs of Bastaad and Dansko clogs and have now rediscovered the Troentorp clogs from Bastaad. It feels like going home when I put on the pair of patent leather Troentorp clogs that arrived from Sweden yesterday!

    Reply
    • Jen

      Ooh I haven’t heard of Bastaad, I’ll definitely be checking those out! I can’t wear Danskos bc of my high instep which makes me so sad because I love their classic clog, I’m forgetting what it’s called now though.

      Reply
  • addybryceweiler

    This post made me so happy as a fellow clog collector. I’m glad to know you think Svens are worth it; as well as Sandgrens. I would like to suggest Moheda and Lotta from Stockholm as those are my two sources. My sandals from Moheda are my go to summer shoe. They go with everything!! I also appreciate your sizing advice as I have one pair that slide a lot; maybe I need to size down. Now to go browse the Sandgren website….

    Reply
    • Jen

      So happy you got some good info from the post! I haven’t tried any non-boot styles in Sandgrens but everything I’ve gotten from Sven has been a home run. I’ve not heard of Moheda so I’ll definitely be checking them out!

      Reply
  • Renee

    I love this post! Can you talk a little about your clog cleaning routine? All of your pairs look very clean! I only have one pair (Lottas) and the wood is pretty scuffed up after wearing them for a summer.

    Reply
    • Jen

      I usually clean my shoes with a mild leather cleaner, then use a conditioner to keep the leather from cracking both when I take them out for the season and then before I put them away. I’ll try to put together a post on my shoe care routine since I got a lot of q’s in my IG messages about this too!

      Reply
  • Dianne

    I love this post, thanks for sharing! I do have a question: I also have high arches and associated hammer toes/pain in the balls of my feet with wooden soled shoes. Do you have any experience with this/do you think the Sven clogs could work in this situation? I had a pair of Dr. Scholl’s exercise sandal clogs in my youth (fixed wooden sole) and they were agonizing on the balls of my feet so I have avoided clogs out of fear of a similar experience. Thank you, love your business and your aesthetic!

    Reply
    • Jen

      Hmm, I don’t have experience with this, sorry. You might try contacting the company and see if there’s something they recommend for that issue. I feel like I should have mentioned that I walked around barefoot for as much of my birth to pre-college life as possible so my feet are weirdly strong, which could have prevented this problem with my high arches.

      Reply
  • Melissa

    I have always been a Dansko girl and I’m wondering why you don’t mention them. Have you tried them? Based on your list, though, I’m definitely going to give Svens a try. Thank you for this fun post!

    Reply
    • Jen

      I’ve tried Danskos but my instep seems to be too high for them sadly because I love some of the styles! It’s to the point where they cut off the circulation on the tops of my feet and leave deep indents for hours, and somehow never seem to stretch to the right shape. It’s possible I haven’t tried the right style but since I’ve found others that work well for my feet I stopped trying ones that weren’t.

      Reply
  • Jeanine

    Great post! I also love bryr and have a few pairs- such great styles and.colors- I live in the Bay Area so I can go to there shop and isobel has custom sized some for me to accommodate my wide feet! I have been eying the sandgren boots and tie shoes for over a year so think it’s time to buy a pair! I also love dansko boots, so so comfy! I have a pair of Lottas and Moheda sandals, both with very soft leathers. I have no idea why so many stores sell the Hasbeens, they are so stiff and uncomfortable!

    Reply
    • Jen

      That’s so amazing! I know it can be super hard for wide feet – I’m on the other end with narrow and I wish I could do this with shoes sometimes. You’re the second person to mention Moheda so they’re definitely on my list to check out! I’ve wondered about Lottas – after my Hasbeens disaster I’m hesitant to try them for some reason. Do you find the leather softer/more comfortable than Hasbeens?

      Reply
  • Katelyn

    I’ve been searching for a blog post like this for years!! Super helpful before investing in a high quality shoe. Love your collection, thanks so much for sharing your experience with each brand!

    Reply
  • Marisa

    As a clog obsessive, I love this post so much. Troentorps are my go-to brand these days. It used to be Sven devotee, but developed an allergy to the leather they use (I was so sad, but my sister was delighted to inherit my entire Sven collection). Maguba is a brand I’ve been exploring a little lately and like them (though some people say to size up, I feel like they are pretty true to size). I just got my first pair of Bryr clogs and I like them a lot, though I find them a hair too narrow. I’m hoping they’ll stretch just enough to be perfectly comfy.

    Reply
    • Jen

      Oh man that is so sad, but amazing for your sister!! I’m definitely going to be checking out the Troentorps, you’re the second person to rave about them. Also Maguba I haven’t heard of. Thanks for all the new shoes to check out!

      Reply
  • kelly

    It’s weird, I swear there used to be a Sven outpost in LA because I swear I bought some there in college in literally 1995…

    My feet are really narrow so many clogs (i.e. Dansko) are way too wide for me — I’ve had some success with Maguba (which are sold at a few retailers in San Francisco) they have super cute sandal styles but way less expensive than No. 6 or Bryr which while handmade are cray cray expensive.

    My issue is that I’ve had a few ankle issues over the years and I’m totally paranoid about rolling an ankle, especially with the 3 inch heels – do I not feel stable because I’m blessed with banana feet, or is this a concern for other clog wearers?

    Any suggestions??

    Reply
    • Jen

      Yeah I feel you on the narrow feet. I feel like Svens are really meant to mold to your foot so they always feel perfect for me. As far as the ankle issue, I don’t think I misstep more often than in regular shoes, usually on a sidewalk that’s two heights and I wasn’t paying attention. Most clog brands should have multiple heel heights on offer, so you can easily do a low or mid to start out.

      Reply
  • Laura

    I love lotta from Stockholm and moheda, they are made in old clog factories in Sweden. I find they fit the shape of my feet better. Never tried any of these brands.

    Reply

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