Federation sets standards for elderly's shoes

Ke Jiayun
Consumer councils test 80 pairs of shoes aimed at older consumers and found that many failed in tests that included folding, resistance to abrasions and color fastness.
Ke Jiayun

The Yangtze River Delta Consumer Council Federation released the nation’s first standards on shoes for the elderly on Wednesday to ensure older consumers can have good-quality, comfortable and safe footwear.

The standards cover factors like folding endurance, abrasion resistance, comfort level and skid resistance.

As the number of elderly people increases, more products are entering the market which target older consumers, among them shoes.

The federation, which consists of of consumer councils in Shanghai and Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Anhui provinces, tested 80 pairs of shoes of different brands.

It bought 59 pairs from e-commerce platforms, 16 pairs from physical stores and 10 from TV shopping programs. Prices ranged from 49 to 439 yuan.

The tests revealed that shoes made for the elderly had better skid resistance and were lighter than ordinary shoes.

However, 14 samples came unglued or had cracks after folding tests. In abrasion resistance tests, eight samples failed to reach the standard claimed by their manufacturers.

Hardness tests showed that 16 samples were too soft while another 12 were too hard. Sixteen samples are found to have a poor ability to spring back after bending.

Three samples don't have enough color fastness with their color easy to fade or run.

Since there were previously no standards on shoes for elderly people, the standards most manufacturers used for their shoes were those of sneakers and casual shoes. Moreover, some brands' advertisements exaggerated the functions of their shoes and confused elderly consumers.

The federation entrusted the city's leather technology association to set standards. The association organized a team of professionals in March and collected 63 suggestions from 15 organizations to modify its draft.

So far, 50 shoemakers in Shanghai and eight provinces have promised to adhere to these standards.

Meanwhile, Shanghai Consumer Council said on Wednesday it had received 1,485 complaints from city consumers during the National Day holiday, an increase of 22 percent over last year.

About 60 percent were about services, with accommodation, transport and entertainment topping the list. Nearly 40 percent were about products, most of which were clothes, home supplies and telecom products.

Tourism-related complaints rose by 74 percent and the major problems included travellers being unable to check in at hotels they had booked online, itineraries not as specified,  on the dissatisfaction with tour guides and airlines' inappropriate solutions after flights were cancelled due to a typhoon.

Complaints about online shopping rose 30 percent, while those about ticketing increased by 60 percent.

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