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The “WHERE TO BUY” section can be found at the end of this post, or visit the SHOP page.
You can see more photos of our Wildling Shoes on the GALLERY page.
GET TO KNOW WILDLING SHOES
Wildling Shoes’ own inspiring words…
“We love kids, just as they are- wild, active and playful. Our shoes allow them the freedom of movement nature intended and let them sense adventure in every step.”
“Run Wild. Shoes for robbers’ daughters and sons of kings.”
“We like shoes better.”
“Our motivation- We want to play our part in bringing kids into more direct contact with their environment again, and in offering them incentives for a more active lifestyle. Wildling’s thin, flexible sole turns every step into a sensory experience. Unlike conventional kids’ and sports’ shoes, the minimal shoe concept allows for natural motion and restores kids’ joy in movement.”
Wildling Shoes are a company in Germany that make barefoot shoes (shoes that have no arch support, no heel rise (also known as zero drop), a sole that lets your feet feel what you are walking on- meaning it has bend or gives with the movement of your foot, plenty of toe space both from side to side and top to bottom, materials that don’t restrict your foot’s movement by being too stiff, and have a way of staying securely to your feet (i.e. they don’t flop around).
The demo video on their main page is a must see! This is how kids should run. The minute my children put them on, this is how they ran. It was night and day difference from any of their previous shoes. I can’t say enough about Wildling Shoes or how grateful I am to have found this company.
Wildling Shoes is only about a year and a half old, which makes me feel a little better that my children didn’t have these wonderfully well-made barefoot shoes right from the start of their walking adventures (because they didn’t exist yet).
Dear Wildling Shoes, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.
When my oldest child was nearing walking age, I was introduced to the levels of Stride Rite. I didn’t give it as much thought as I should have. I just followed Stride Rite’s instructions for their brand’s different stages of walking. The first stage included a sole that bent freely with the movement of the child’s foot (in a barefoot shoe fashion), but then the next stage included an extremely unbending sole. What? I watched my child try different shoes, some turning out to be better than others, but all of them visibly restricting her foot movement.
Fast forward about a year when my second child began walking. I had found a brand called go Plae. They were significantly better than most of the shoes we had tried, but we were still having problems. I couldn’t get the youngest to pick a pace other than almost backwards while wearing them, and my oldest started walking flat footed. I honestly don’t remember how I stumbled onto the idea of barefoot shoes, but I’m so glad I did.
It took me a long time to find the Wildling Shoe brand, but when I did, I instantly fell in love. The look, their marketing design, their sayings, the simplicity, their passion, and of course, they met the barefoot shoe test.
MY REVIEW- WILDLING SHOES
Do Wildling Shoes live up to the expectations of what a barefoot shoe should be?
Yes- no arch support, zero drop, stays on foot through adjustment of laces, bends with foot, and large enough toe space.
Do my children love them?
Definitely. We all do. Both kids, Mommy, and Daddy. When we found the company online, we couldn’t get over how much we loved the design, but boy, when they arrived, the craftsmanship was like nothing we had ever seen.
Do I recommend Wildling Shoes?
Absolutely! I will even be getting a pair soon. While they are designed for kids, the design works for adults as well. They even mention this on their site. I am about a size 40, so I’m all set!
Their current shoe sizes run from 23-42. They are expecting sizes 18-22 in 2017, and will be adding sizes up to size 46 in the near future.
The shoes are simple yet so intricate. They thought of every detail. They are expertly crafted. The quality is honestly among something I’ve never experienced before. The design is timeless. The colors are unisex which is amazing in a world of the typical bright pink shoe option, which really doesn’t work in a minimalistic world.
– Remember to switch to English on their website. It’s at the top right corner of their top menu bar. It has a circular flag symbol. Every once in a while it will switch back to German while navigating, but you can always switch it back. Most of the pages should be available in English. If you have trouble viewing the site in English, try a different browser. I’ve had my browsers refuse to switch the language one minute but when I try again five minutes later, it works. Annoying I know, but these shoes are so worth it!
– The Fit Kit is a series of print outs used to get correct sizing. My children actually loved this compared to the normal trace your foot on paper and measure like we do. You will want to print multiple sizes, the few around where you think your child’s foot size will be. For example, I printed the fit kit pages 23 for my youngest. For my oldest I printed pages 26 and 27. Be sure to check the print scale after printing. There is a line on each printout to measure and check printing accuracy. They wrote great instructions on these printouts. And guess what! We got the right sizes the first time!
– You can order different color laces if you want a color different than what comes with the pair you order.
– Be sure to add waterproof spray to your cart, you will need it. It can be found in the accessories section of shop. The bottle will come in German but it is your typical water proof spray directions. They have these instructions on their site when you click to order the spray- “Apply to all upper section. Spray on evenly, let dry- run wild!” And remember it doesn’t make them completely waterproof. You can find further care instructions underneath the description when you click on a product.
– You can contact them through the contact section towards the bottom of their home page or through Facebook (I only tell you this because when its switches to German, or the English switch isn’t working right, it can be hard to find).
-If you are concerned about ordering from “across the pond”, don’t be- you can return them (but unless it’s a sizing issue, I guarantee you won’t want to), and shipping doesn’t cost much.
A good book for further reading on the concept of barefoot shoes is Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, a story about finding the answers of a tribe filled with amazing athletes despite the fact that their shoes are made of almost nothing. I thought it was a very intriguing book. I found myself shaking my head yes in agreement to many of the things written; the difficulty finding any information about healthy feet and the frustration of why what the author was being told to do, and wear, wasn’t fixing his arches.
A NOTE ABOUT SUMMERTIME BAREFOOT SHOES
As summer approaches, I’ll be looking for barefoot kids sandals. Around our yard, we go barefoot to connect with the earth (grounding), but we will need something for hot days out and about. I will keep everyone posted on my findings.
WHERE TO BUY- SHOP…