The German-language consumer magazine Öko-Test has sent fourteen children’s sandals to practical and chemical tests. Of the sandals tested, two scored “good” and five “satisfactory”. This year’s test of children’s sandals finished with better results than five years ago.

In the current issue of Öko-Test of June 2018 neither carcinogenic chromate was found in the leather nor banned dyes. Last year, manufacturers took only small steps towards fewer pollutants in children’s sandals. In the 2013 Öko-Test, the best overall assessment was “inadequate”.

Öko-Test Testing

The shoes were tested for color fastness, tear strength, ingredients of concern, permanent bending test of the outsole and the correct size information. The “Elefanten Kiro Keiki” sandal in teal and the “Keen Moxie” outdoor sandal in blue received the rating “good”. The size of both models was correct. The colour fastness and tear strength of the “Elefanten Kiro Keiki” shoe and the “Keen Moxie” were “okay”. Both have also passed the permanent bending test of the outsole. In the test result for usefulness (makes up 40 percent), both models scored “very good”.

The Elefanten children’s sandal is made of leather and textile. Keen’s children’s shoe, on the other hand, is made of textile and synthetic materials. Despite the different materials that were used, chromium was discovered as an ingredient of concern in both shoes. The test result with regard to the ingredients (makes up 60 percent) was “satisfactory” for the Elefanten child sandal and “good” for the Keen shoe. Further defects were found in the “Kiro Keiki” from the Elefanten brand, so the test result in the “further defects” area was only “satisfactory”. Keen’s “Moxie” was found to have no further defects. It received the test result “very good” in the area “further defects”.

Sandals for children with leather

Due to the fact that leather is preserved, factories often have to use substances that irritate the skin or cause allergic skin reactions. The substances include chlorcresol and thiocyanomethylthiobenzothiazole (TC-MTB). Considerable residues of these preservatives were found in three children’s sandals.

Leather is usually tanned with chrome salts which is why chrome has been found in almost all shoes containing chrome. The shoes of the Swedish manufacturer Kavat, on the other hand, are made of chrome-free tanned leather. Chrome is harmful to the environment and can cause problems for people suffering from chrome allergies.

Poisonous substances

In other child sandals tested, an increased concentration of dibutyltin (DBT), dioctyltin (DOT) and the organophosphorous compound TDCP was found. TDCP is suspected of causing cancer and is banned in baby toys. Ingredients of concern were found in all fourteen children’s sandals tested.

Tear strength

To assess the sturdiness of the shoe profiles, experts pierced the outsoles with a mandrel and then bent them 30,000 times. Thirteen children’s shoes were “okay” in terms of tear strength, only one failed.

Öko-Test recommends

From a total of fourteen tested children’s sandals for girls and boys in sizes 30 and 31, which are priced between 18 and 80 euros, Öko-Test can only recommend two models: the child’s shoe of the Elefanten brand (44.90 euros) and the Keen brand (54.95 euros). Five brands received the grade “satisfactory” and three “sufficient” as a final result. Three sandals failed the test with “inadequate” and one brand with the grade “unsatisfactory”.

Click here for the Öko-Test children’s sandals:


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Image: ArtShotPhoto / istock