Did you know that the names for Wildling shoes are not chosen randomly? They all have a special meaning, which connects them to the plant or animal whose name they have. This year, the name for Feather Api sandals brings a very important message. Namely, Apis in Latin means bee.
Why bee? The bee is an important part of the biodiversity embodied in this year’s Wildling collection. And Eden and Api are very unique models in this collection. Needless to say, also the honey-gold color of Api sandals is not chosen at random.
When Wildling Shoes started to create the sandals, their aim was to use as little material as possible. Therefore, each strap position was carefully thought out and there is also a reason why the big toe is covered. Have you ever heard about windlass mechanisms already? No? What Feather sandals have in common with it, you can read it here.
Wildlings sandals have evolved over time. In such a form as I review them here, they are available for the third season already and me and kids are big fans from the day one. There are some small changes in this year’s models, which makes them more suitable for a wide variety of feet and I’ll cover them all in my review.
UPDATE! In 2022, the sandals have undergone a minor design change. This year’s models have more material added to the sides to ensure even better grip, the straps have been refined and the sandals are made of fewer separate parts, including a pull-loop designed out of the upper.
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- Brand: Wildling Shoes
- Model: Feather
- Colour: Api (honey yellow), Amaranth (burgundy) and Jackdaw (black)
- 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 (see my how to measure guide and foot type) – wearing size 42
kids: 16.5/6.9 cm, 20.2/7.6 cm and 22.3/8.6 cm – all have skinny ankles, low or medium height instep
| Made in EU | Adult, kids | Vegan | Ship worldwide |
2. Material characteristics
The upper part of Feather sandals is made of microfiber (50% polyamide, 50% polyurethane), which is very durable even for active children. They are easy to care for and I’m washing sandals in the washing machine without any problem at all.
Each year sandals are available in different colours. In the photo below you can see colours for the year 2021.
Api and Amaranth are new 2021 colours and they are available in kids and adults sizes.
Api are honey yellow colour and this is the colour I’m testing this year. Amaranth sandals are burgundy red and this is the colour which I chose for my younger two kids.
Jackdaw model is their standard model in black colour, which is available each year since sandals were released for the first time. This year they changed the name of the sandals as they made some small changes, which I’ll show you below. This black pair is from my oldest son.
Feather sandals have a very special design of the straps. All the openings are positioned very carefully to ensure a secure fit and at the same time you get the maximum possible amount of openings.
Sandals have a velcro closure for easy on-off. Velcro is longer, which allows the sandals to be adjusted well to different heights of instep.
Heel part is closed. Pull loops at the top of the heel are the same as in other Wildling shoes.
There are some changes to this year’s model that have made the sandals fit even better to different foot volumes. Black pair in the photo are my old Feather Raven sandals and Api is a new, updated model from this year.
This year, straps are made wider, which means more material will be covering your toes now. Also there are some changes in the heel part, insole is now removable and the velcro is longer.
Insole is made from Lunatur (80% EVA and 20% walnut shell) and it is removable. This makes it easier to wash the insole or completely remove it to get slightly more volume.
The insole in Api model has the same print from orchids, mushrooms, cabbage leaves, and butterflies which you can find also in the Eden model.
Feather sandals featuring the same special Wildling separated “Ninja” outsoles which you can find in all their models. Only Feather sandals from Cubs collection (up to size 22) have a regular non-separate outsole.
The sole thickness is only 2.5 mm (up to size 41) or 3.5 mm (42 and up) and they give you an amazing ground feel.
As all Wildling Shoes, Feathers are extremely flexible and you can twist them with one hand in any direction effortlessly.
Also check my video for the close-up and to see how they look on my and my kids feet.
3. Sizing information
Which size to get in Feather sandals can be a tricky question, but here is my advice to you.
My usual size in all summer Wildling shoes is size 42, which is around 27.3 cm of internal length. This means that shoes are 10 mm longer than my feet.
See post How much space do we need in shoes if you want to know more about that.
This is also a size which is recommended to me to have if I use Wildling FitKit.
Tip for using FitKit: Make sure you print FitKit at the right scale. Fold the paper where the dashed line is and place it against the wall. Step on the paper with both feet while the heels touch the wall.
Api Feather in my review are the same size as all my other Wildlings – size 42. The internal length of sandals in this size is 27.3 cm, which should work for me well.
But what happens here?
When you put on your Feather sandals, your foot slides slightly forward. Which means you end up with less space in front of my toes and have some extra space at the heel. So no more 10mm, but less.
How did I solve this? When I put on my sandals, I push my heel back as far as it goes and close the velcro tightly. This way my foot stays better in its place and doesn’t move forward as much as it would otherwise.
Which size to get now?
- Get your regular Wildling size (according to FitKit “rolling space” line) if your feet are narrow and medium wide with less volume. But take in mind that you will need to close the velcro tightly, which can sometimes be less comfortable – in this case sizing up is an option too.
- Size up (longest toe located on “growing space” line for adults) if your feet have more volume and they are slightly wider than the sole in your regular Wildling size. You won’t have to close the velcro so tight, as sizing up will ensure you enough space in front of your toes, even if your foot slides slightly forward.
So, my general recommendation would be to size up in Feather sandals for most of the cases. For adults, choose a size where your longest toe is positioned on a “growing space” line and not on a “rolling space” line.
On the photo below you can see a comparison between size 42 and size 43. I’m wearing Api in size 42 (right photo) and similar feet (the same length and simialr width, but even skinnier ankles) are wearing Amaranth in size 43. You can see that even a larger size fits feet with a smaller volume, so a larger size would be suitable for me and I would choose it next time as well.
What size to get for kids?
For kids choose one size bigger than what FitKit shows. Don’t buy sandals with toes positioned on a “growing space” line, but get one size bigger than that to ensure space for growth.
In the photo below you can see my kids feet standing on FitKit. My daughter’s feet have grown a lot in the past month (4 mm), so her toes are already touching the “growing space” line now (middle photo), but they didn’t when I got the sandals. For my sons, there is still more space left for their feet to grow.
At the moment my kids are wearing size 27 (foot length 16.5 cm), size 33 (foot length 20.2 cm) and size 37 (foot length 22.3 cm).
If your children are younger and you choose more room to grow, their toes may “escape” from the sandal during some activities. This only happened with my youngest son who has the most space in front of his toes. This never happened to him while walking or running, but it did happen when he was climbing or while driving a tractor and pulled his sandals off his toes during the activity.
3.2. Toebox shape & width
3.2.1 Toebox shape
Wildling shoes toebox is square-shaped and it suits the best to feet with the longest second toe and feet with first two toes with similar length, but they can definitely be worn by people with other shapes too.
If you have feet with the longest big toe with stronger slope towards the little toe, the empty space in front of the smaller toes can be visually disturbing, but this year’s model hides this empty space much better than models from previous years.
More about different foot types you can read in post What is my Foot Type?
This year Feather sandals were updated to fit better also to high volume feet. In this section I’ll talk only about the fit in the toebox area and around the ball of the foot, fit around the instep will be covered in the next section.
How Feather sandals will fit you in the front part, depends on the width of the sandals, which is determined with the width of the sole and the circumference around the ball of your foot.
The width of the sole in size 42 is 10 cm, which makes them best suited to medium-wide feet. But as most of the cases require sizing up (see Length section) where I talked about that, also slightly wider feet can wear them too if you decide to size up.
In the photo below you can see a comparison of two feet with the same length, but very different width and volume.
Regarding the width my foot (right photo) just fit on the sole in size 42, for left foot sandals have enough volume, but the sole width is too narrow.
This foot has mild hallux valgus and at the moment, so his toes are on the sole, but with walking regularly in barefoot shoes his toes would align in the proper position and toes would start hanging over the sole. Sizing up is an option for that foot, but it might won’t be enough.
What to do if your foot is wider than the sole?
- If you took your regular Wildling size according to FitKit, try to size up. If your foot is only slightly wider than the sole – the next size might work for you
- You are already sized up – if your foot is hanging over the sole even in a bigger size, then this is unfortunately not the sandal for you.
3.3. Fit around the instep, heel and ankle
This year there are some changes in the velcro length, which is now longer to make them fit to different heights of the instep. Because of the longer velcro, they can be adjusted well to low and also high instep and also high volume feet.
In the photo below, you can see that sandals can be well fixed on both the low and high instep. At a higher instep, you may notice small rotation of the velcro, but this is only visually disturbing and does not affect the function of the sandal.
All my kids have shallower feet, so their velcros are closed very tight.
Sandals are very comfortable to wear. If you will choose the right size with enough space in front of your toes, they will be a pleasure to wear.
5. How and when to wear them?
Feathers are casual sandals. I love wearing them with jeans and T-shirts or in combination with leggings for a sportier look. Api colour is more special, but I find it easy to match with beige colour and T-shirts in warmer tones.
My kids wear them just with everything. They are wearing them as “nice” sandals and also for playing around the house. Yes, they were tested already in water, dirt and sand. These are not water sandals, but water won’t harm them. They just won’t dry as fast as some other sandals.
6. Price & where to buy
Wildling shoes can be bought only from their official Wildling website. The price for Cubs sandals is 59 €, for Wildling 69 € and for Rewild (adults) sandals 79 €.
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.
For ordering I recommend you to use Paypal and you can use their free return service.
8. To sum up
Feather sandals indeed have a very unique look. They are a very innovative combination of shoes “with holes” and sandals. Their advantage is definitely that they have no straps between the toes, velcro closure for easy on-off and super thin sole for amazing ground feel.
This year’s upgrade certainly made them suitable for a wide variety of feet (low and high volume feet), the only limitation in fit is mostly in the sole width.
Even though their design may look uncommon to you, try them and you won’t regret it. We are already wearing them for the third year in a row and we will choose them again and again.