Associate member and footwear distributor Gardiners are about to stampede the UK with a new brand of children’s footwear called Zooligans™ – a wild menagerie of animal shoes for kids!

Already a success in the USA, with a strong following at retail level, creators Joel Rusnak and his wife and marketer Cheryl Andonian are teaming up with the Gloucestershire family-run business to launch in the UK market.

Former toy designer, Joel, had the idea of creating a playful collection of children’s shoes that would appeal to kids for their fun and toy-like characters and would also appeal to parents for their fit, quality, comfort and functionality. Joel and his wife teamed up with Art Rogers, an experienced footwear business pro and former colleague of Joel’s and together the three launched a new company called ShoeString Shoes LLC to create and build their Zooligans line.

Zooligans shoes are designed with little kids in mind. They are fun and functional and made with soft leather uppers, breathable linings, adjustable straps and super flexible bottoms. Zooligans are crafted for fit, comfort and durability to stand up to everything any little animal can dish out! Each pair of shoes features Zooligans’ signature colourful Paw-Flex™ bottom that looks and flexes like an animal paw, and will leave a tiny trail of paw prints behind! Every pair is packed in a multipurpose shoebox that magically transforms into a pet carrier for Zooligans and favourite stuffed animals.

Zooligans are engineered to be flexible just like the best athletic shoes, utilising modern construction methods and materials. The unique Paw-Flex sole design provides extreme flexibility in all directions, similar to an animal paw. The design provides a perfect natural feel, yet offers maximum foot protection for small feet. A wide and roomy toe box gives little toes a place to grow, grip and flex, a key feature for healthy foot development.

Ben Gardiner, Buying Director at Gardiners says, “It’s a fun, playful product with a personality and there is currently nothing like this in the UK market. Everything about the construction of the shoes is made to be as comfortable and supportive to growing little feet as possible. The products are innovative, practical and lovable, so they connect with kids and parents. In the US, the shoes are loved by blogging parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents, and we have a UK Facebook page where Zooligans fans can share their pictures and stories.”

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