Polegato was born in 1952 near Treviso. Originally groomed to take over the family wine-making business, company promotional material has it the idea for the shoe came when he participated in a wine industry conference in Reno; while out jogging in Reno's hot desert climate, his feet got hot from the exertion and he had the idea to cut a couple of holes in the soles of his shoes with a Swiss Army knife.
He developed the idea into a viable product with the help of a small leather-goods business his family owned.
After unsuccessfully pitching his invention to several established footwear manufacturers, but after having passed the market testing phase for a line of children’s footwear, Polegato began large-scale production of shoes under the Geox brand name. That same year, he improved the original patent and extended the product range to men’s and women’s footwear.
Research and development
The Geox group has consistently invested in innovation, ever since it was founded. It's Montebelluna head offices are host to R&D facilities, which are unique in their kind. Here, 15 engineers, chemists and physicists are employed in research on perspiration and human-generated heat-movement patterns, testing all materials used in their footwear and manufacturing clothing.
The Montebelluna-based team of scientists have created and patented new machinery to help them pursue their research. Geox also works with major research labs and universities to test and refine new technology.