Spring brings a new era at Wildling Shoes. A new logo, a new website, new designs and a new slogan ‘We are part of the RE:GENERATION’.
Regeneration – an idea that brings a change at Wildling Shoes. A word that symbolises not only the regeneration of feet and body that barefoot shoes bring us, but also the responsibility for ecological and social problems.
This year’s Spring collection is dominated by monochrome designs, and the names of the models are not chosen at random. Most of them have a Kyrgyz name or are inspired by Kyrgyz nature. In fact, some of the materials come from this Asian country and a project called ‘Cotonea organic cotton project’.
All spring models have a removable insole to make cleaning even easier, there are no models with membrane (there is a Marten model from the autumn collection with membrane) and the Feather sandals have been slightly redesigned.
But there are still Basic models available all the time.
My family has also received a few models for testing and this review is a presentation of these models.
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- Brand: Wildling Shoes
- Model: Manul, Tanuki Kokoro, Tengri, Feather Forest
- 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 kids: 17.2/7.1 cm (size 29), 21/8 cm (size 35) in 23/8,6 cm (size 38)
| Made in EU | Adult, kids | Vegan | Ship worldwide |
Manul stands out in this year’s collection for its extremely minimalist look. It is made of 100% linen and is not dyed (neither the exterior nor the interior). Linen is also used for the edging, where Wildling usually uses microfibre. The eyelets are embroidered, so they are almost invisible.
The material is a little more compact than you are used to seeing in Wildling shoes, but it starts to soften extremely fast (we’re talking minutes).
Manul is available in all sizes – for toddlers, kids and adults. I wear a size 42 on this model, but the shoes are about 2-3 mm longer than the Tanuki model for example. The internal length is approx. 27.5 cm.
The width of the sole of the Manul model remains the same compared to the other models, so the shoes are not suitable for wide feet (best suited for medium wide and medium to wide feet), but the model has more volume (more material in the upper or bigger circumference across the ball of the foot), so it will also suit better to feet with more volume. In case your feet are less voluminous, this model may feel more generous compared to other Wildling models.
They are best suited to average ankle widths and adapt well to different heights of the instep. Narrow ankles won’t have a snug fit, but I don’t find this distracting in my case. To what extent the material will stretch further in the future, I cannot comment at the moment.
Here is a small comparison of the new Manul model with the Tanuki Niji model.The colours of both models are described on the website as offwhite, but the Manul colour is a little darker. Both colours are quite neutral summer colours.
Tanuki is made of a very thin and breathable washi material, linen in Manul feels a bit firmer and thicker than the other Wildling models at first, but starts to soften extremely quickly with wear Both materials are suitable for warmer days. On windy spring days, the Tanuki material felt even thinner and more breathable, but I haven’t had a chance to test the Manul in summer.
In both models I wear a size 42 , but the Manul is approx. 2-3 mm longer in the same size.
Also, the Manul feels roomier than the Tanuki in the same size. The difference is due to the higher volume of the upper, the width of the sole is the same in both models.
The Manul are slightly wider than the Tanuki around the ankles and the Tanuki grips narrower ankles better.
2.2 Tanuki Kokoro
Tanuki designs have been delighting all Wildling enthusiasts for years. This year, the Kokoro model in boysenberry, a beautiful purple/pink colour, joins the basic colours.
Tanuki models are made of washi material, which is extremely breathable and thin. Perfect for warmer days. Available in kids’ and adult sizes. Kids’ models have elasticated laces, adult models have cotton laces, and as always you can change them if you wish.
Tanuki models are best suited for medium wide feet. They also fit well to narrower feet and medium-wide feet that have less volume. Despite the same sole width, they appear narrower than the Manul model at the expense of a smaller upper volume. They are also slightly shorter in the same size compared to the Manul model.
I already reviewed Tanuki designs last year, so you can read my detailed review here.
The Tengri model is made of unbleached cotton from the Cotonea project, which is extremely soft to the touch. The silky sheen and velvety feel make them look very elegant.
The material is not the only special feature of this model, but also the cut, which Wildling has developed a little differently this time. The shoe is made up of fewer pieces than usual, so you’ll also notice fewer seams on the Tengri model. Also the tongue part is designed differently.
Another special feature is the pull loop, which is made of a single piece of top material. Like the Manul, this model does not have a microfibre edging.
My son wears a size 38 and the model fixes extremely well to his narrow ankles and low instep.
2.4 Feather Forest
Feather sandals are another constant among Wildling models. The kids and I have been wearing them since they were first released. In addition to the fresh new colours (Forest and Plum), this year there have been some minor design changes, so the adult black model has also been renamed to Magpie.
This year’s models have more material added to the sides to ensure even better grip, the straps have been improved and the sandals are made of fewer separate parts, including a pull loop formed from the upper.
For the Feather model, I recommend choosing one size up from your usual Wildling size, but for full details check out my detailed review of the Feather sandals here.
With the son’s size in the photo, keep in mind that we chose the size in the winter and that his foot will still grow by the time he can wear them.
2.5 Basics – Nebula & Tanuki models
In addition to this year’s seasonal models, there are also basic models, among which we have already tested the Nebula, Tanuki Niji and Umi models (I bought Tanuki models myself).
Nebula is an exclusive design from Wildling Shoes, made of only three pieces. It took Wildling Shoes over three years to perfect the knitting pattern and add it to their permanent collection. I have not tried it personally, but my son did last summer.
He said the shoes are extremely comfortable. He liked them immediately because they feel like he is wearing socks and not shoes.
The model may run slightly shorter due to the way it is made, so I recommend you to choose one size bigger from your usual Wildling size.
Tanuki Niji & Umi
Tanuki Niji and Umi are made of the same material as this year’s Tanuki Kokoro model, the only difference is the colour. You can read more about the Tanuki models in my detailed review here.
3. Sizing information
Wildling Shoes are available in sizes 18-48 and are divided into Toddlers (18-22), Kids (23-35) and Adults (36-48) collections, but not all models are available in all sizes. The models available in all sizes this year are the Yak, Manul and Kul and Feather sandals.
To determine the correct size, I recommend you print out their FitKit template (make sure you use the correct scale). At the same time, I recommend you to read the descriptions under each model, because sometimes some models may be a little longer or shorter.
ADULT – choose the size where your toes reach:
- “rolling space” line – applies to all closed shoes from the spring collections
- “growing space” line – in case you are buying Feather sandals
According to FitKit, I need a size 42 (see the ‘Rolling space’ line) for my foot length of 26.3 cm. This is also the size I usually wear in the summer Wildling models. If you orient yourself according to the template, you will have approx. 12 mm of space in the shoe.
See post How much space do we need in shoes if you want to know more about that.
You can use the seam above your toes as a measure of the correct length. This is the point where an adult’s toes should reach to make sure there is enough room in the shoe.
For CHILDREN, please choose a size:
- where the toes reach the “growing space” line – applies to all closed shoes
- one size larger than the “growing space” line if you are buying Feather sandals
Choosing this size will give your child adequate room to grow in the shoe. For more detailed information on choosing the right size for Feather sandals, read my post here.
3.2. Toebox shape & width
Wildling shoes have a squarer toebox shape and are ideally suited to foot types 2, 4 and 5. However, the shape is quite universal and can also fit other foot types well. More extra space in front of the smaller toes can be left with type 1 due to the stronger 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, maximum medium-wide feet. Some extra width can be gained by choosing a larger size.
Some models have a bigger circumference over the ball of the foot, but this does not mean that they will fit wide feet (the toes must remain in contact with the ground and not hang over the sole), but they will fit feet that have more volume (read more circumference/volume, not more width).
For my 10 cm wide foot, the Wildling Shoes size 42 fits me width-wise well.
I have never met a person who felt uncomfortable in Wildling shoes. It is very hard to imagine how extremely soft a shoe is until you try them on.
6. How and when to wear them?
Wildling shoes are perfect for pairing with casual clothes. This season’s colour palette is suitable for those looking for more vibrant tones, as well as those who prefer more neutral summer colours, like this Manul model is.
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 119€.
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.
9. To sum up
Yes, it’s always a pleasure to see and try out new Wildling Shoes designs. Their collection releases always arouse a lot of anticipation and a bit of impatience too 😛 Especially as they also like to surprise us with special designs, limited edition colours and cuts.
This year’s collection is even more special, because of their new logo, new cuts and materials, but don’t forget to check out the other amazing designs from this year’s spring collection.