Home ˃ Reviews ˃ Wildling Shoes Panther, Blackbird, Elderberry, Fir and Marten- Review

Wildling Shoes Panther, Blackbird, Elderberry, Fir and Marten- Review

This year’s Autumn/Winter Wildling Shoes collection also offers a diverse range of natural materials, different shoe heights and colors. Monochrome models predominate, there are fewer patterns and a lot of warm autumn tones.

This fall my whole family is testing Wildling Shoes. For testing, we chose different models to make it easier to compare materials and test shoes in different conditions. You will be able to spot the Fir, Panther, Marten, Blackbird and Elderberry models in the photos in my review.


1. General

  • Brand: Wildling Shoes
  • Model: Marten, Elderberry, Fir, Panther, Blackbird
  • Colour: Marten – beige, Elderberry – burgundy, Fir – leaf green, Panther – black, Blackbird – 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
  • Tested also on: male 27.5 / 10.5 cm (size 45) and children 17/7 cm (size 28), 20.6 / 7.9 cm (size 33) and 22.5 / 8.5 cm (size 38)

| Made in EU | Adult, kids | Vegan (some models are made from wool) | Ship worldwide |

2. Material characteristics

2.1 Upper

Wildling Shoes are made from a combination of different materials and are available in different shoe heights. Most models are vegan, and some models also contain wool. Depending on the composition of the materials, they are suitable for wearing in autumn, winter and early spring.

The Marten, Elderberry, Fir, Panther and Blackbird models will be presented in more detail below.

Marten is an autumn ankle boot and is available in kids (Wildling) and adult (Rewild) sizes. Of all the autumn / winter models, this model is made of one of the thinner materials, due to the use of a thinner cotton lining. The upper part is made of canvas (100% recycled cotton) in beige color. The edging is made of microfiber. The model also has a built-in membrane for greater water-resistance.

Elderberry is an ankle boot that is also available for kids (Wildling) and adults (Rewild). The upper part is made of canvas (100% organic cotton) in burgundy color, the lining is made of cotton and hemp-flax fleece and it is extremely soft and pleasant to the touch. The material here is thicker than in the Marten model. The edging is made of microfiber. The model has a built-in membrane for greater water resistance.

The Fir model is available in all sizes – even for the youngest (Cubs, Wildling and Rewild). It is made of canvas (100% recycled cotton) and lined with felted wool. This model also has a built-in waterproof membrane.

Panther is a slightly higher autumn / winter model, which is similar in composition to the Elderberry model (the lining is the same), for the outer part, a cotton twill in black denim colour is used. The edging is made of microfiber in black. The shoes have a built-in waterproof membrane.

In addition to the special denim look, the Panther has a very special detail added to the top, which has not been used in any Wildling model so far.

Blackbird is identical in composition to the Fir model, except that it is a low-cut model. It is only available in adult sizes. This model also has a built-in waterproof membrane.

Wildling Shoes also has models made entirely of wool this year. We tried the North Wolf model, but unfortunately it was too narrow for my youngest son. Wool models are the warmest of all the models they offer.

All children’s models have elastic laces and adult models have regular cotton laces. Of course, you can replace the laces if you wish and buy elastic or regular laces in any color from their offer.

A distinctive fox logo with a pull loop on top is added to the heel for easy on-off. The fox is more colorful in children’s models.

2.2 Lining

All autumn / winter models are equipped with a polyester membrane, which ensures greater water resistance of the shoe. The interior is made of different materials – wool, cotton, hemp, flax – depends on the model. The insole is removable in the Marten model. The wool models have no insole, and the Panther and Elderberry models have a sewn-in insole made from a mixture of hemp and flax.

2.3 Sole

Of course, Wildling shoes just don’t go without their distinctive split sole. The openings of these new models do not need to be protected with glue anymore, because the opening in the sole is already additionally protected.

The shoes have an extremely thin (3.5 mm or 2.5 mm – depending on the number) sole and the ground feel is excellent. One of the best.

Also check my video for the close-up and to see how they look on my feet.

3. Sizing information

3.1 Length

Wildling Shoes are available in sizes 18 to 48 and are divided into the Cubs (18-22), Wildling (23-35) and Rewild (36-48) collections. Not all models are available in all sizes.

At Wildling Shoes, when determining the right size, it is necessary to follow their FitKit template, which you can print on their website (make sure you print the template in the right scale) and the descriptions below the individual models.

According to FitKit, I need size 42 for my foot length 26.3 cm (see ‘Rolling space’ line). This is also the size I usually wear in summer Wildling models.

However, it is necessary to choose the size a little differently for winter models. In doing so, I recommend that you follow the descriptions on the Wildling website and consider whether you will be wearing the shoes with a winter insole and thick socks or without.

An example of such a description is here. If the description states that the shoe is wider, it means that only the circumference of the upper part is bigger compared to other models. The width of the sole remains unchanged.

For an adult, choose a size in which:

  • your toes reach to the “rolling space” line, if the shoe is described as “true to size” or “a little longer” + you will not use a winter insole and thick socks in the shoe
  • your toes reach the “growing space” line if you use a winter insole + thicker socks in your shoe
  • your toes reach to the “growing space” line if the shoe is a little shorter as described (even if you will be wearing the shoe without an insole)

The Panther model is a bit longer in description (the internal length in size 42 is 27.6 cm, which is about 3 mm more than in their summer models), so I decided to stay with my standard size 42. This length suits me perfectly, if I wear shoes without an insole. With a wool insole I have enough space in them only on a bare foot or a thinner sock. If you are going to wear this model with thick wool socks and a winter insole, you need bigger size (in my case size 43).

The Blackbird model is shorter, so my husband chose size 45 (‘growing space’ line), while he is wearing size 44 in his summer model.

See my post How much space do we need in shoes if you want to know more about that.

For children, it is necessary to consider the space for growth, so choose one size bigger shoes than you would choose for an adult foot according to the FitKit template.

The criterion for the appropriate length inside the shoe should be the seam above your toes. The toes of an adult should reach to this point. That way you ensure enough space in the shoe.

3.2. Toebox shape & width

Wildling shoes have a more square-shaped toebox and ideally fit the foot types 2, 4 and 5. However, the shape is quite universal and can fit well to other foot types too. More extra space in front of the smaller toes may remain with the type 1 due to the steeper slope towards the little toes.

More about different foot types you can read in my post What is my Foot Type?

The shoes are best suited for medium wide feet, but with sizing up they can accommodate well even slightly wider feet. Due to the thicker material, winter models usually feel narrower than summer models, which are made of thinner materials. Also, some extra volume in the shoe is taken away by winter insoles. You can definitely get some extra width by choosing a bigger size, but the shoes are not suitable for very wide feet.

For my 10 cm wide foot, size 42 still suits me in width, but I don’t have any extra width left. E.g. I chose the bigger size 43 last year in the Crow model, which I reviewed here. Crow is my winter snow boot where I have enough space in length and width even with the thickest socks and winter insoles.

3.3. Fit around the instep, heel and ankle

The shoes fit nicely at different heights of the instep and are well regulated in this part with laces. They are suitable for both lower and higher insteps.

In the photo, my son (Fir model) and I (Panther model) are wearing shoes with winter insoles and my daughter is wearing the Elderberry model without an additional insole.

4. Comfort

My whole family agrees that Wildling Shoes are one of the softest shoes of all time. It’s really a pleasure to wear them because they give you the feeling like you’re wearing nothing but just socks.

Their only downside is that the higher models require a little more time to put on, which can bother the more impatient. However, the pull loop is very strong and large enough to easily pull the shoes on the foot.

5. Water resistance and warmth

I haven’t had a chance to test this year’s models in the snow yet, but based on past experience, I know roughly how they perform. The best models for snow for me are higher wool models, like this year’s North Wolf or Astron models. Namely, it is harder for snow to get into these models from above, and at the same time, wool models are also the warmest. I will also test this year’s Panther model in the snow.

Wildling Shoes are ideal to wear from fall until spring. They are suitable for most of the winter time in Central Europe, but your feet can still get cold at extremely low temperatures, which are very rare in our country.

On cold winter days, I definitely recommend you to use the winter wool insoles and thicker socks, which also take up some space in the shoe – a larger size is needed (I talked more about this in the Sizing chapter). With some children’s models (eg North Wolf, Elderberry) it may be necessary to trim the insoles a bit to make them fit better in the shoe in width.

All models have a built-in waterproof membrane, which protects the shoe from moisture intrusion for a certain period of time. They performed great in dry snow, but shoes can get wet at the heel and toes in wet snow or heavy rain after some time (this happend to me last year after 2 hours of walking in melting snow as my shoe wasn’t impregnated).

Therefore to avoid this, I recommend that you impregnate at least the microfiber edging for greater water resistance, but you can also impregnate the upper cotton part (not wool). The color of the shoe may change slightly after impregnation, which is more noticeable on lighter colors.

6. How and when to wear them?

Wildling shoes can paired with almost any casual outfit. A diverse range of colors and materials ensures that something can be found for every taste.

7. Price & where to buy

Wildling shoes can be purchased on their official website. The price depends on the model and ranges from 69€ to 149€.

Since June 2021 Wildling Shoes have a separate website for US and Canadian customers.

8. 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.

Shipping to US and Canada is $9,90. Free shipping is for all orders above $200. First return is free of charge.

For ordering I recommend you to use Paypal and you can use their free return service.

9. To sum up

I always look forward to the launch of new Wildling Shoes collections with the greatest joy and enthusiasm, and the Wildling Shoes certainly did not disappoint this fall. Their wool and cotton models are here in new colors and designs. This year’s novelty is also a new, extremely soft lining used also in the Panther and Elderberry model from this review. My kids could hardly wait for the colder days to be able to start wearing them. Well, I totally understand them. Me too 🙂


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