The POLOLO experts‘ talk with Bodo Renghausen, Tapir company, and Klaus Röhrle, Ulrich natürlich company

All parents are familiar with this: We have hardly bought new and good children’s shoes for the kids, when after wearing them twice they already look like they are two years old. This is annoying and not completely unavoidable, but there is good news: If you care for children’s shoes properly, they will last longer and stay beautiful for longer!
We spoke to Bodo Rengshausen, Managing Director of the Tapir company, and Klaus Röhrle of the Ulrich natürlich company. Both brands offer natural leather care, which means that only natural and ecologically degradable ingredients are used – no mineral oils, phosphates, aggressive acids or gases.

Impregnating children’s shoes naturally

Both experts advise against conventional impregnation sprays because they contain greenhouse gases and also because a lot goes wrong when spraying. Fluorocarbon compounds also destroy the ozone layer!
Because the dyeing process draws all the fat out of the leather, new leather shoes must be re-greased before they are worn for the first time. There is then, if you use natural products, a minimal after-darkening effect. However, this makes the leathers moisture-repellent. Both companies offer a special impregnation for suede leather, smooth leather shoes can simply be impregnated with normal leather care.

Durability through care

Both Röhrle and Rengshausen recommend that children’s shoes be well cared for, especially the seams, so that the suppleness of the leather and the shoes is maintained. Well-maintained leather breaks less, so it lasts longer.
Children’s shoes do not have to be polished to a high sheen, but regular application of a cloth and leather balm or care cream prevents premature wear of children’s shoes. With natural products, a small residue may remain on the shoe.
The use of “home remedies” such as coconut and olive oil is not recommended, as these oils can oxidise and become rancid.

How to clean children’s shoes

We at POLOLO recommend rubber brushes and leather erasers for rough and smooth leather, with which you can get the dirt out of the leather very well, especially with our soft leather shoes. This is the best way to get shoes clean again, especially for slippers.
For street shoes, the two experts from Tapir and Ulrich naturally advise cleaning with a little water and soap foam (vegetable soap or special leather cleaner); however, the foam should never be too wet, because otherwise the leather of the shoes is in danger of becoming rock-hard. Wet shoes should always dry slowly and never be dried on a heater or even blow-dried!
Remove dirt with a damp sponge and two drops of soap or special leather cleaner and grease the shoes again when they are slightly damp, as damp leather absorbs care better. After greasing, the shoes may feel a little oily – we at POLOLO find this quite pleasant, as it makes the shoe very supple.
For smaller stains in suede, it is always good to use a special dirt eraser.
However, cleaning with water and damp agents only applies to sturdy shoes or street shoes; please only clean our POLOLO slippers with the dirt eraser or rubber brush if possible, as these shoes are uncoated and stronger colour shades may rub off on lighter applications.

Finally, a tip on sustainability from Bodo Rengshausen

“You can turn a dirty rough leather shoe into a smooth leather shoe by simply greasing it well with leather balm. That way you don’t have to just throw shoes away, you can still enjoy them or their smaller siblings for many years to come.”
We are pleased if you liked this article. What other tips do you have for caring for children’s shoes?

POLOLO care icon: If you care for children's shoes properly, they will last longer and stay beautiful for longer!