Breezy Toes

Nontox Sandal Edit

We’re getting good at staying home. But it’s spring, and with temperatures rising, restless little feet and their 200,000 nerve endings will race to find warm pavement, cool grass, splishy water, and soft sand. An adorable pair of sandals will keep those feet protected and toes breezy.

This season we’re upping the ante on the sandal hunt, in order to find a pair that keeps our kids healthy with nontoxic materials. It’s more important than ever to keep their toxic burden low and immune systems up. Finding healthy shoes, however, is no easy task. But here’s why it matters: Summer shoes get hot and moist and are worn directly on the skin; which means there’s a much greater chance that harmful chemicals will migrate out of shoe materials and into a child’s body. It’s best if only nontoxic materials come in contact with kids’ feet (see below for more on materials).

We searched the globe for sandals that have it all—comfortable, nontoxic, eco-friendly, and supercute. Check out our finds in the slideshow above, from Pom D’Api‘s bright colors to Petit Nord’s beautiful classics to Bobo Choses‘ fashionable vegan minimalism. Little toes have never looked, or felt, so cool.

More about materials:
Chromium tanning of leather (the most common process) leaves residues that can cause allergic reactions such as contact dermatitis, and are possible carcinogens. It’s a serious health issue for leather workers, surrounding communities, and the environment. Instead, choose vegetable tanned leather. 
-Be sure shoes are free of AZO dyes (carcinogenic) and heavy metals (damages neural development).
-Popular slip-on waterproof shoes and clogs are usually made of EVA, which contains formamide, a carcinogen and reproductive toxin more harmful than phthalates. Try to find formamide-free EVA, although this can still have small amounts of formamide. Or look for natural materials.
Plastics, Polyurethane, PVC, and neoprene can all leach harmful chemicals, such as hormone disrupting phthalates, allergens, and carcinogens.
-Antimicrobial or antibacterial sandals may have materials made with nanosilver. Nanosilver can easily enter the bloodstream, passing the blood-brain barrier, has not been tested for children, and has been shown to damage human intestinal cells’ DNA.