The proven natural rubber material convinces with its flexible properties
The new soft model series “Amigos” with natural crepe soles are real all-round POLOLOs. They are hand-made in POLOLO’s own manufactory in Franconia from particularly soft, vegetable-tanned nappa leather that is regularly tested for harmful substances – they are certified according to the strict “IVN Naturleder” standard. Their outsole is entirely made of natural crepe, a natural rubber obtained from latex, which is characterised by high elasticity and very high walking comfort: The soles offer the little world discoverers a special grip as well as outstanding cushioning properties – they are non-slip and extremely durable. Primarily designed as house and kindergarten shoes, “Amigos” can, however, also be worn outside for a certain time during the dry season, so they are particularly suitable for first walkers‘ steps.
“Amigos” with soles made of pure natural rubber of the highest quality
Today, shoes with crepe soles are considered a rarity and are the hallmark of high-quality products, as their processing is very complex and therefore more cost-intensive than that of plastic soles. POLOLO deliberately uses pure natural rubber of the highest quality for its “Amigos”.
This natural material, already valued by South American natives, is still obtained from the milk of the hevea tree in tropical rain forests. It is obtained by making small incisions in the bark of the tree.
The draining off of the hevea milk, about 50 grams per day, even contributes to the tree’s flourishing. In addition, the trees are given sufficient opportunity for regeneration in the meantime. The harvested rubber is filtered, solidified in collecting tanks by adding a naturally occurring, biodegradable coagulant and then cut.
From rubber milk to latex sheet to crepe sole…
At this stage, the material still contains almost half of the water, which is removed by rolling and thus leads to latex sheets, which are further processed by pepeated rolling passes into a crepe fleece that is only about one millimeter thick.
After a drying phase lasting several days, layers of fleece are stacked flat on top of each other and pressed together – sheets can now be cut out of the webs produced in this way and the soles can then be punched out of them.
This is still genuine – traditional – manual work in several steps, which, apart from the natural coagulant (formic acid), does not require any chemicals.
Natural crepe with ist plant origin is biodegradable
Natural crepe is characterized by its porous structure, which is decisive for its flexibility and grip on the ground. Orthopaedic advantages of crepe soles are therefore their outstanding elasticity and their protective function for the metatarsus by supporting the natural rolling movement when walking.
Its porous material structure enables a natural shock absorbing effect. However, it is somewhat heavier than comparable artificially produced sole material. This natural material can soften when warm, so it should not be worn in extremely hot weather. In addition, contact with solvents, petrol and oil should be avoided.
An indication of the authenticity of the natural material is also its colouring: POLOLO’s “Amigos” crepe soles, for example, are characterised by a natural honey brown colour. In the course of use, however, the soles acquire a certain “patina”. A further advantage of natural crepe soles is their biodegradability during the disposal phase.