A little while ago Öko-Test issued a test on those versatile colourful plastic clogs. Apart from being loved by children and parents, they did not fare well in the test…
Originally these type of duck-beak-shaped shoes with holes were developed mainly for water sports.
Three sailing friends introduced their patent in 2002 at a boat exhibition – and became rich pretty quick: the company’s revenue in 2007 was supposedly around 64.4 million dollars. And Crocs and Co. were now sported by holiday makers, hobby gardeners, fashion conscious teenagers, pensioners with foot or back problems, children as well as Hollywood stars.
The avid followers were gushing about “walking on air“, about how back pain just disappeared, how feet were well aired because of the holes in the shoes, less hard skin, good mood, awesome design and loud colours. The shoes are easy to clean and some manufacturers recommend a 40°C wash cycle in either washing machine or dishwasher. All of which make them absolutely perfect for children’s wear and tear.
Although other people were not so convinced by this fashion accessory…
The smell that emanated from the pile of shoes that were bought for the test, immediately took the researchers aback. The researchers that stayed for a prolonged time in the vicinity of these clogs, later on complained about slight queasiness and headaches.
And the result of the test does not necessarily fit the happy-colourful-healthy image of these soft shoes.
Only one brand could be recommended by Öko-Test out of 22 tested, six brands failed the test completely.
The plastic clogs‘ biggest problem: the substance group of the Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).
Some representatives of the PAH Group are mutagenic, teratogenic and carcinogenic. Legal regulations for PAH in consumer goods such as clothes are still missing. Although it is perfectly possible to produce uncontaminated plastic clogs as proven by the red Chung Shi Dux. They are made of ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), like many other clogs in the test.
Others contained increased levels of cadmium, lead and chrome.
On a more positive side, only traces of problematic plasticisers and organotin compounds were found in some models.
Here are some recommendations by Öko-Test about how to wear these clogs:
Socks and sock liners can protect at least to a certain extent from any harmful substances entering the body through bare skin. Wearing socks in plastic clogs is less of a fashion faux pas than wearing socks in sandals…
Leave strong smelling shoes on the shelves in the shop. Unfortunately though, even shoes with a relatively neutral smell could be contaminated.
The clogs are really only comfortable, if they are big enough: the toes should not push against the front when walking and at the back, there should be one thumb’s width of space.
But experts warn that they are not suitable for every use, especially on uneven ground, a secure grip is needed, which these clogs cannot provide.
The full article can be read in the Yearbook Cosmetics 2009 of Öko-Test:
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Next week’s newsletter will include a feature on Schlori’s swim aids and the next provider profile, this time sense organics.
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