FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

ABOUT POLOLO

The design is of course important but should not be the main criterion when choosing: shoes must first and foremost fit properly – they must neither be too small nor too big in order to avoid damaging effects on the development of the foot shape and the course of movement! Since little ones do not yet have a pronounced sense of pain, a child is usually unable to recognise too tight for fit by itself.

The growth of the little feet should therefore be checked regularly, every two to six months depending on the growth phase: Since even small foot sizes are subject to daily fluctuations, the measurement should take place in the afternoon if possible. To do this, you can place the bare feet on a cardboard (if the child can already stand) and trace the outline with a pen held perpendicular to the pape – then add about a good centimetre (12mm) to the longest of all toes and cut out the template.
If this can then be inserted into the selected shoe easily, flush and without deformation, it can be shortlisted. Alternatively, with some children’s shoes – like POLOLO’s – you can remove the insoles of the shoes and make a direct size comparison by putting them on your feet. This is of course the best thing to do. This is the best way to check where the toe print is on the sole, even when wearing the shoe. If the toe is already very far forward, your child has grown again and needs the next size.
However, the official size specifications and the selection with the template or sole cannot replace a try-on by the child, especially since the individual shape of the feet has to be checked in all directions. The thumb test can then be used, if possible on a standing child, to check whether the shoe fits in terms of length:
The thumb must fit between the longest toe (not always the big toe) and the tip of the shoe – but be aware that when children apply pressure to their toes, they can reflexively pull them together and the shoe could then appear larger than it really is: therefore, you should place one hand across the shoe and hold the toes in place!

POLOLO shoes are available from over 800 specialist retailers (specialist shops, catalogues, mail order companies, etc.) in Europe, Asia, America and Australia – you can get a good overview of the shops on the POLOLO world map. You can also order via the POLOLO webshop.

The leathers we use have been awarded the ECARF Seal for allergy-friendly products by the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation: Our POLOLOs are regularly certified as being particularly skin-friendly, because soft, vegetable-tanned, chrome-free nappa leather is always used as the material.

Under the motto “Quality of life despite allergies”, ECARF awards everyday products that demonstrably facilitate and improve the lives of allergy sufferers. The quality criteria are based on current research findings.

The POLOLO collection is manufactured by a Spanish cooperation partner near Alicante according to our quality specifications. There, two friends of a few years have set up their own business to produce beautiful, high-quality children’s shoes.

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THE RIGHT SIZE OF SHOES

Children’s feet are not miniaturised adult feet, because they are very soft and easily deformed. They still have to develop undisturbed, be trained regularly and need a lot of time to mature completely – even into early adulthood. The skeleton of the baby’s foot still consists largely of cartilage tissue, which is only gradually replaced by bone.

After birth, the little feet grow in short spurts until they reach half of their final length in infancy. The baby foot is a constantly developing system of cartilage/bones, ligaments, muscles and various joints and tendons, which together ensure the mobility of the foot. It grows much faster than the other parts of the body – the growth rate for young children is still up to two centimetres per year, which can correspond to three shoe sizes. From the age of five until puberty, the feet grow by an average of one centimetre per year.

We have adjusted and standardised our sizes in 2021, so the shoes usually fit normally.

Children only need their first pair of sturdy shoes when they are already walking outside and their feet need to be protected against cold, dirt and injury. Otherwise, children should walk barefoot or in soft leather shoes whenever the ground and climate permit. Baby first walkers shoes, which fit around the foot like a second skin, are a great alternative to healthy barefoot walking. Barefoot shoes or toddler shoes are just right – they give the feet the freedom of movement they need for healthy development: Like a non-slip second skin, they nestle around little children’s feet, keeping them warm and protected.

The soles of the selected shoes should be soft, light and flexible to have as little impact as possible on the natural development of the feet. Look for non-slip soles and a rounded design that helps prevent stumbling and tripping! The materials should be free of harmful substances, breathable and uncoated.

NATURAL LEATHER

It is considered proven that tanning with vegetable substances was already known in ancient Egypt in the 4th millennium BC. Vegetable tanning was the usual method of manufacturing leather for many generations – today only about ten percent of all leather is tanned using plants. The tannins contained in plants, which actually serve as a defence against animal predators, are used as the active ingredient. Worldwide, about 300 different plant species can be used for tanning.
The leathers used by POLOLO are tanned with parts of the Valonea oak and extracts of the tara fruit. Vegetable-tanned leathers are very kind to the skin, and uncoated leathers are also particularly breathable.

Only vegetable tanning agents from harvestable parts of renewable plants are used to tan the leathers we use. 80 percent of these remain in the leather, the remaining tanning agents are completely biodegraded.
Out of responsibility for future generations and as an active member of the International Association for Natural Textiles (IVN), POLOLO consistently follows the strict ecological guidelines of the IVN “Natural Leather” certificate.
By the way, the leather of worn-out POLOLOs is compostable to close the ecological material cycle and avoid waste.

TO VEGAN LEATHER ALTERNATIVES

The so-called “cactus leather” used for our new sneaker line is not really leather! In these shoes, the raw material is a vegan leather substitute. The material is made from the leaves of the prickly pear cactus. The plant is not uprooted, but only renewable leaves are used for the production. The cactus cultivation is controlled organic. There is no extra irrigation and no use of pesticides. Our cactus leather comes from Mexico! Viva México!

Cotton, when produced organically, is a wonderful material. It refreshes, is particularly skin-friendly and does not scratch at all. We at POLOLO like to use cotton (organic) as an alternative to leather for our sneakers. Cotton is also particularly elastic and light on the foot. Like leather, it is very breathable and also has good absorbency – so it is ideal for children’s feet, especially for the summer months. It is important for us that the cotton comes from organic cultivation. Because with organic cotton, monocultures are avoided and synthetic pesticides and fertilisers are deliberately dispensed with during cultivation – as an alternative, plant-based agents and humus are used. In organic cultivation, about 30 per cent rain-fed agriculture is used to avoid additional irrigation. The undamaged soil stores much more water.

POLOLO organic cotton shoes:

  • 100 % cotton (organic agriculture)
  • Ban on genetic engineering
  • No synthetic pesticides
  • Optimised water consumption
  • High social standards / fair wages
  • Preservation of the ecological balance
  • Health friendly colours
  • Washable at 30 degrees Celsius on the gentle cycle

“Together for a clean ocean!” This motto of the SEAQUAL Initiative inspired us to create our new colourful children’s shoe collection made from recycled marine plastic.

Unfortunately, many millions of tons of waste still end up in our oceans every year. We all know this is a threat to our environment! At Seaqual®, this plastic waste is collected from the seabed off the Spanish coast by around 400 partner fishermen and then processed into Seaqual ® fibre. Each kilogram of Seaqual® produced corresponds to one kilogram of waste.

The goal is a clean sea!

SEAQUAL focuses on plastic waste from the seabed. The SEAQUAL partner network starts with fishing boats and extends to spinning mills, weaving mills and brands dedicated to ridding the ocean of waste and producing ecologically sound yarns, fibres and fabrics.

The Seaqual® material: We normally do not use polyester, but this system and the quality of the fabrics more than convinced us. Seaqual ® has the same properties as fibres made from conventional polyester, but is far superior to them from an ecological point of view. It actively contributes to cleaning the oceans, saves water and energy consumption and reduces CO2 emissions. Material traceability and certificates also assure the end consumer that by choosing a Seaqual ® product, they are supporting the end of plastic pollution in a sustainable way.

In a nutshell:

  • Seaqual® fabrics – outer material
  • Cotton (organic cultivation) – inner lining
  • Shoe sizes 18/19 to 26/27
  • Non-slip POLOLO sole
  • Integrated elastic for perfect fit
  • Washable at 30 degrees Celsius on the gentle cycle

 

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