If anyone knows how to make the softest shoes you can imagine (and this means every single model), this is Wildling. After you find out what a pleasure it is to wear them, you just don’t want to take them off anymore. And my kids could not agree with me more.
My first pair of Wildling Shoes was a Kelpie model from their winter collection from 3 winter seasons ago. I must admit that the look on their website was not the first thing that attracted me to buy them, but recommendation by people and their enthusiasm about them.
I decided to try them and since I got my first pair I’m in love with this brand. No wonder that this is a brand from which I have the most pairs of barefoot shoes.
Therefore, I was really honoured when Wildling asked me to review their new winter models. I decided to choose Crow for me and Winter Heath for my daughter.
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- Brand: Wildling Shoes
- Model: Crow and Winter Heath (on some photos there is also Nessie, but it is not reviewed in details)
- Colour: Black & White (Crow) and Rosewood (Winter Heath)
- Tested on:
– woman, medium-wide feet, 26.3 cm long and 10 cm wide (10.3 cm between metatarsal heads), low instep, skinny ankles with narrow heel, fin-shaped foot
– girl, medium wide feet, 19.3 cm long and 7.4 cm wide, low to normal height instep, skinny ankles with narrow heel, fin-shaped foot
– see my how to measure and foot type guide
|Made in EU|Adult, Kids|Vegan options|Ship Worldwide|
2. Material characteristics
This Autumn Wildling Shoes launched several new models in their new winter collections for kids and adults.
Winter Heath is a new winter ankle high model in rosewood colour which my daughter chose for herself. This model is available in their Wilding (sizes 23-35) and Rewild (sizes 36-48) collection.
For kids they are available with elastic laces and for adults with regular laces. But you can always buy the laces separately too if you want them to be different colour, material or style.
The canvas upper in Winter Heath is made from 100% recycled cotton in rosewood colour with a microfibre edging in walnut colour. Elastic laces are in the matching colour with the microfibre edging.
The upper in Crow model is made from 100% virgin wool from certified organic husbandry and according to Wildling Shoes it ‘sports a salt and pepper design’. The microfibre edging is in black colour.
Shoes are available in Rewild collection and in Cubs collection (sizes 18-22) as Starling model with slightly different design, but with the same upper material.
Crow is completely new model from Wildling Shoes. So far, none of their models was as high as the Crow model is.
In the photo below you can see a comparison of this extra height model with all the other model heights from Wildling.
Crow features a special pin buckle clasp which you use for closing the upper part of the Crow boots. These claps can make boots less suitable for wider calves, but I’ll talk more about that in the fit section.
At the heel part, microfibre edging is elongated up and it covers all the heel part. There you can also find the Wildling fox logo.
Pull loops are big and strong and they are definitely very practical too as they help you to put on your shoes much easier.
The Winter Heath model is lined with 100% virgin wool and the Crow model has no special lining as the whole upper is made from wool.
Both shoes also have an integrated membrane inside the shoe. The heel part inside the boot is reinforced with an extra piece of microfibre too.
The outsole is very thin. Its thickness is only 2,5 mm in sizes up to size 41 and 3 mm in sizes 42 and more.
All Wildling soles (except Cubs collection) have special split sole design inspired by Japanese ninja boots. Black patch, ironed directly on the sole gives the outsole an extra protection on the most exposed part in the middle part of the boot where the sole is missing.
With this amazingly thin split sole and soft upper, Wildling created shoes that are extremely flexible in all directions.
There is no question about the flexibility also in the Winter Heath model. And I’m sure all the others are fantastic too.
Also check my video for the close-up and to see how they look on my and daughter’s feet.
3. Sizing information
Wildling Shoes are available in sizes 18-48. They are separated into groups – Cubs (18-22), Wildling (23-35) and Rewild models (36-48). Not all the models are available in all categories and there are also slight differences if the same model is available in different groups (like different laces or different sole in Cubs section).
For choosing the right size I recommend you to use their template which is available in their Size finder section. My feet are 26.3 cm long and I usually wear size 42 in my Wildling Shoes. But…
This is my third winter season in Wildling shoes and I knew where I made a mistake in the past. I chose the same size as I’m wearing in my summer models. This meant that I haven’t had enough space left for thicker socks and wool insoles in my shoes.
Therefore, this year I decided to size up. In the photo below you can see how my foot looks on a template in size 43 and my daugher’s feet on size 32. For size 42 check my Wildling Crane review here.
The same amount of space I choose also for my daughter (for her even slightly more as her feet still grow) and you can see where our toes are in the shoes.
Don’t forget that the recommended space inside the shoe is 12 mm and if you add wool insoles and thicker socks, this takes away space inside the shoe. You need more space to accommodate all this. On the photo me and my daughter are wearing them with the wool insole in.
See my post How much space do we need in shoes if you want to know more about that.
3.2. Toebox shape & width
Wildling shoes have a nice foot-shaped toebox. It is best suited for feet with the longest second toe or more square-shaped feet.
They also work well for feet with the longest first toe, but if you have more significant slope towards the little toe, take in mind that you will have more space left in front of your little toes, which can be disturbing sometimes.
More about different foot types you can read in my post What is my Foot Type?
Winter Wildling models feel slightly narrower than their summer models and I find them best suited for medium wide feet. Although women with wider feet can fit well in sizes 43 and above as those generally feel wider and also have more volume.
Namely, I find a noticeable difference in width and volume between my Wildlings in size 42 and in size 43. Wildling Shoes are unisex models and it feels to me that just between those two sizes is that switch between women’s and men’s last.
Size 43 feels much wider and with more volume everywhere to me. But I’m perfectly fine in them with the wool insole and if I wear them with my socks on. Actually, this is how I planned to wear them all the time.
On the photo I’m wearing them with the socks and wool insole in.
My daughter medium wide-feet fits in them perfectly without the insole in. In the photo above, you can see the comparison of the shoes with her if she is wearing the insole in (right foot) and if she is wearing them without the wool insole (left foot).
You can see how much space the wool insole takes. You should have this in mind if you have feet with more volume. With the wool insole my daughter is on the upper limit regarding the width.
Wildling winter shoes will fit the best to narrow and medium wide feet and not so good for very high volume feet. Especially with the insole in and in sizes smaller 42 and smaller. But it could still work for women with more volume in bigger sizes (43 and more) and for kids in adult sizes (36 and more) with slightly wider feet.
3.3. Fit around the instep, heel and ankle
Because of the elastic laces, kids models can be adjusted well to skinny ankles and heels as my daughter has. I would recommend them for feet with lower to medium high instep, especially if your kids are planning to wear them with the insole in.
Regarding the adult Crow model, I find size 43 a little bit wider around my ankles and heel as my wildling shoes in size 42 are, but this doesn’t bother me during walking as I can adjust them well around my skinny ankles. This is probably because size 43 is already designed for men’s feet as I mentioned above.
Extra high cut Crow model is something special in the Wildling gang. I find that the top pin buckle clasp can make the boot hard to fit to very wide calves. My calves are super skinny and I have pin buckles closed on the second hole.
Before you make a purchase, I really recommend you to check the circumferences at their website to see if the boots will fit your circumference or not.
For reference, my circumference at 18 cm height is 26 cm.
4. Comfort & Practicality
I have yet to come across a Wildling shoe that would not be comfortable. For me Wildling Shoes are one of the most comfortable barefoot shoes on the market and you will feel like you are wearing socks or slippers.
If you will find that normal laces take too much time to put the Crow model on, you can swap them with elastic laces too. I haven’t tried this by myself yet, but my follower confirmed to me that they are great with elastic laces too.
Elastic laces are more practical for kids too, so they can put them on fast. But my daughter definitely needs to use pull loops at the back too, to be able to put them on by herself.
5. Durability, caring & cleaning tips
On the Wildling website you can find different accessories which will help you to keep your shoes in its best shape.
You can buy an extra pair of elastic or cotton laces in different colours, different insoles (I definitely recommend you to get the wool insoles for winter) and also a brush, glue, impregnation spray, etc.
You can use their brush for cleaning the upper, when the mud is dry. If you take care of them properly they will look good for a longer time.
I still find the upper more sensitive in some colours (usually lighter) and models. Especially with very active kids, they can get used look faster than other shoes and they can be harder to clean. I usually let the mud dry and then I brush the dirt away. For example, wool cleans really well, but cotton upper is harder to clean.
But my kids really enjoy wearing them. And this is something that matters.
I find the sole quite durable. This is my first pair of Wildlings which is now getting into its third season. It has very minimal signs of wear, which is really good for such a thin sole. But I protected the sole in the slip part with their glue.
6. Warmth & waterproofness
Winter models Wildling are most suitable for autumn and spring (without added insole) and for milder winter days, where you definitely need a wool insole.
They are most comfortable to wear up to 0 degrees Celsius. At that temperatures I can also wear them without socks. I also tested them at temperatures down to -5 degrees Celsius and my feet stayed warm. However, these shoes are not suitable for very low temperatures.
The shoes have an integrated membrane, which protects the shoe from the intrusion of moisture for a certain time. In dry snow, the inside remained dry even after 2 hours, but after one hour in wet snow, the water got in at the heel part (but my shoe was not impregnated at all).
To improve their water resistance, models with a cotton upper can be protected with an impregnation spray, in woolen models you can protect the microfibre edging. Keep in mind that the shoes may change color slightly.
I would recommend winter Wildlings for dry weather, light rain and dry snow. With walking in heavy rain or wet snow, you can still get wet feet.
5. How to wear them?
This special extra high cut Crow model will fit them best to those with skinner legs and calves. They suit my style and clothes I wear.
I prefer wearing them with a pair of skinny jeans or just with black leggings. Nothing too formal, but great for casual and relaxed look.
Kids can wear them with their everyday clothes. My daughter is usually wearing them with leggings and a T-shirt, but they can work well with her dresses too (but nothing too formal).
6. Price & where to buy
Wildling shoes can be bought only from their official Wildling website. Full price for the Crow model is 145,24 € and Winter Heath for kids 96,50 €.
7. Shipping info
Shipping costs for Germany are 4,90 € and for international orders 8,90 €. Free shipping is for all orders above 200 €. Wildling offers free first returns and you can arrange your return through DHL.
8. Where are they made?
Wildling Shoes is a brand that really cares about sustainability in the shoe industry. All their materials are carefully chosen and most of them came from EU.
This year they decided to go even a step forward with their collection of Refoxed models, where they used the materials that were left from previous collections. Also, their shoes are made in Portugal to keep the distances short.
9. To sum up
If you care about sustainability and if you love natural materials and super soft shoes with amazing ground feeling, then you definitely need to try Wildlings.
Shoes from their winter collection can be worn all the way from autumn, through milder winter days and all the way to the spring. Just take in mind that it is good to size up to accommodate extra space for thicker socks and wool insoles if you plan to wear them that way.
They impressed me and I hope they will you too 🙂