I ran across this beautiful sign online and noticed the wooden shoes, as I had made a couple of pairs previously. I hadn't thought they were anything but Dutch. So I looked into the French shoe of this type. They are known as Sabots.
This pair of hand carved 1:12 scale miniature Sabots replicate a pair from the late 1890's. They are carved from Cherry wood with real leather straps.
Sabots were worn by the lower class throughout Europe. Peasants were so highly associated with sabots, that eventually, the term "sabot" became a slang name for the country peasants. During France's Industrial Revolution, the peasants were called from the fields to work in the factories when all the city folk went on strike. The sabot-wearing peasants did not know how to properly work all the modern machinery, which is when the term "saboteur" became slang for "to bungle a job" and the word "sabotage" described the act damaging of something, which the peasants inevitably ended up doing to the equipment.
Below are the pictures I worked from:
I found several pictures of French wood shoes as a collectible in a current day setting.