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From our hands for their feet!

Hi! I am Juliane Henkel, Julie for those who know me. I was born in Brazil where my parents worked at the time but grew up in Germany. Today I live in a village of Corfu with my husband and three children.

When my son was ready for his first pair of shoes his little chubby feet didn’t fit in any of the shoes we tried on. It was harder for me than for him. I doubted he felt comfortable in them and I was worried because he couldn’t say so. He couldn’t talk yet and so neither of us felt any security in how he felt in his first shoes.

Curious about what would make my child happy in his new shoes I read up on lots of articles. That’s how I found out my son, as well as all babies and toddlers, need soft soled shoes, that allow ankles to move freely and are made from quality materials which allow little feet to breathe. They needed to be as healthy and safe as possible for a little child who likes to put their shoes in their mouths!

Unable to find the simple and natural shoes I envisaged for my child…I made them myself.

Today I design and create CORFOOT children’s shoes in my workshop in the Old Town of Corfu. The specifications for my work today remain the same ones I had from the very beginning set by my first child’s little feet!

I get enthusiastic when I explain how CORFOOT shoes are made because it is something I am very proud of:

Every pair is made in our workshop using 100% genuine Nappa leather that has been naturally tanned with vegetable dyes. It is very important to me to use only the best materials and that’s why our leather is certified by IVN, Biokreis e.V. and ECARF. It is very soft, chrome-free and not coated, which means it is free from plastic. This way little feet can breathe and do not sweat in Corfoot shoes.

All CORFOOT features contribute to a friendly environment and the healthy development of babies’ and toddlers’ little feet.

In the Workshop

The sound of a sewing machine across traditional Corfiot rooftops and the smell of genuine leather somewhere in the oldest part of Corfu Town, make for the ideal creative environment: the CORFOOT workshop.

This is where we design and produce shoes that are made from incredibly soft and natural smelling leather that make little feet happy.

I am proud of every new pair of CORFOOT shoes we make because they combine my passion for all things handmade, my respect for natural materials and my love for children.

Every pair contains the energy we put into our Corfiot workshop: aesthetic beauty, soft and gentle touch, a sense of wellbeing, affection and care.

Is being leather enough?
A few words about natural tanning

Tanning is the conversion of animal skin into leather, a process developed by humans from their earliest history.
Tanning hide into leather was a lengthy process which took time and effort.

Before the industrial revolution natural tanning agents were used like cedar oil, oak tree bark or aluminum. The process evolved through the use of large rotating vats of increasing concentrations of tannin.

The leather used for the manufacture of Corfoot are certified by IVN, Biokreis e.V. and ECARF.

Certification stamps and regular quality controls guarantee the excellent quality of our leathers and their friendliness to the environment and health, through checks at every step of processing, from storage to herbal dyeing.

What do Paediatricians Say

“Walking barefoot is good for a child’s health.”


Both experts and research alike, recommend we allow children to walk barefoot as it helps them to balance, to coordinate their moves and improves their sense of perception in space. It also assists in healthy foot and myosceletal development. This is as much the case for a  baby’s first footsteps as it is for older children as well as adults. Of course it’s not always feasible. It is important, however, not to miss the opportunity when it arises. This is the logic behind CORFOOT: to give little feet the feeling they’re walking barefoot.

Have a look what experts from all over the world say about the development of a baby’s foot, why walking barefoot is healthy and how to choose a toddler’s first shoe.


When you review the pediatric orthopedic literature on shoe gear, it is also clear that children should be wearing shoes that are flexible and allow the foot to bend and move as though the child is barefoot. Source:



The American Academy of Pediatrics does not advise placing children into shoes until the environment necessitates it.  Source:


A child learning to walk receives important sensory information from the soles of their feet touching the ground. Footwear helps to protect their feet from injury and from the heat and the cold.
When toddlers are learning to walk, they should be in bare feet or a soft soled shoe as much as possible so they can feel what they touch with their feet and develop muscle strength. Source:


Around 97 percent of babies under 18 months have flat feet and they’re neither abnormal nor in need of any type of corrective footwork. Source: Paediatrics and Child Health, 1998


I firmly believe that children should play in their bare feet or in activity shoes that complement natural foot development and proper biomechanics of movement.  Personally, as a doctor I firmly believe that the strongest support for a child is a strong foot that is flat on the ground. […] Most of a child’s developing foot is composed of cartilage, which is gradually replaced by bone. If the cartilage is deformed by badly shaped or rigid shoes, the bones will take on the deformed shape. More than 80% of foot problems, bunions and injuries are a result of misshaped and inflexible shoes. It’s vital that kid’s shoes allow enough room for natural growth, until the foot bones mature. […] Simply put; inflexible, poorly shaped shoes are potentially harmful – they restrict the natural movement and development of the foot. Mark Cucuzzella MD FAAFP. Source:


Poor fitting shoes can lead to foot deformities, so it’s important that you get shoes that fit properly right from the very start. Source:


Soft-soled baby shoes allow the beginning walker to grip the floor, developing strong ankles and flexible foot bones. This creates a solid foundation for bone and muscle formation in the rest of the body, especially the spinal column. A level pelvis and straight spine depend upon healthy feet throughout our entire lives, beginning in infancy.” Lisa C. Moore, doctor of chiropractic medicine in Auburn, California. Source:


“Overall, I feel very strongly that a child’s foot should have some protection from the ever-present danger of foreign bodies at home as well as outdoors. The soft-sole shoe clearly is adequate in providing this type of protection while allowing the foot to have a normal freedom of motion.” Dr. Ronald L. Valmassy, podiatrist, Center for Sports Medicine at St. Francis Memorial Hospital, San Francisco, California. Source: