When did we actually stop feeling the ground beneath our feet? I would say that I have both feet on the ground – but I rarely feel the ground. I can still remember climbing barefoot on the Kampenwand in Chiemgau when I was young. As part of a bet. But that wasn’t a problem for me. Today I can hardly make the short walk barefoot over the stones at Lake Starnberg. Okay, I can do it, but it’s maximally uncomfortable and doesn’t really look elegant.
In short: I am degenerated. And – bad news – most of us are. Good news? We can change that. By walking barefoot more and making our feet what they should be again. An all-round healthy base that carries us through life. In good and in bad times. Or wear minimal shoes, which is often the easier approach. At least outside the home. And at low (er) temperatures.
How did I get my minimal shoes? They discovered me.
Actually, the wildlings came to me. In October 2019, when Wildling exhibited at the 2nd edition of GREENSTYLE in Munich. I already expressed my enthusiasm back then (read here). Then the love story began, which culminated in our GREENSTYLE shooting for the fashion show in March 2020. The entire crew fell in love with the barefoot shoes from Engelskirchen. They have been styled into numerous looks. Even if the models didn’t really enjoy the true barefoot feeling – they looked great.
Back to the beginning of the wildlings
It took a year and a half for Anna (full of action and visionary ideas) and Ran (sports therapist, trainer, enthusiastic barefoot runner) to be satisfied with the result of their shoes, which protect against cold and rough weather but at the same time make contact with the ground thanks to a special sole. You can read the entire history of the development of wildlings, which begins with wild feet in Israel and ends with minimal shoes
Why is that so important? Because almost all children are born with healthy feet, but they lose that foot health over the years. Why? Because our feet are cramped in shoes that are too narrow with too thick soles. Footbed? Sounds good, but it prevents our foot muscles from being challenged and trained accordingly. The result: regressed foot muscles and deformed toes. That is why Wildling does not do this.
Help through self-help: feet do not have to be held, supported or guided. Bye-bye, footbed. Hello, self-determined foot. This is what freedom feels like.
Instead of squeezing our feet into standardized strips, the Wilding founders orientate themselves on an anatomical foot shape that corresponds to a strong, healthy foot. This gives the feet the space they need. The sole, if you dare to change perspective, is inspired by Japanese ninja boots. With a thickness between 1.5 and 4.5 mm, it protects the foot and at the same time allows it the necessary flexibility. And because nothing is left to chance here: the grooved profile is modeled on a fox paw and ensures a good grip.
Minimal shoe advantages at a glance:
Minimal shoes promote the muscles.
Immobile feet are trained and activated again.
The feet are strengthened and can move freely and flexibly.
The proximity to the ground leads to a better balance and surefootedness.
The joints can move freely and naturally.
Strong, healthy feet result in joy in movement.
The Wildling values? Social and ecological responsibility – not only in your own company.
Wildling takes responsibility for people, planet and profit. The entrepreneurial success enables the implementation of environmental activities. Corporate volunteering projects are implemented that do not contribute to the company’s financial goals. And it is the basis for further development in the direction of cradle-to-cradle.
Wildling takes responsibility for people, planet and profit.
Today there are wildlings in all imaginable (natural!) Designs. In summer, cotton, washi, hemp and linen are mainly used – mostly from organic farming. Will you freeze in winter because the sole is so thin? Of course not. Because for the cold season, natural wool from controlled organic animal husbandry and from landscape conservation projects such as Nordwolle is used. An environmentally friendly impregnation makes the wildlings water-repellent and breathable. Naturally, natural pigments are used to color. The production takes place in Portugal. Of course, under fair conditions. Anything else would be inconsistent.
Wildlings are unisex and available for beginners and advanced bipeds.
Welcome, Wildling Wombat!
What about me now? I am overjoyed that the wombats have moved in with me. As an alternative to the UGGs that I bought years ago and no longer dared to wear them on the street. My super-light, wonderfully warm (I also packed the wool felt sole in it) wombats now accompany me to go shopping as well as to press meetings and other events that are still allowed to take place. With much more careful, small steps, instead of the hectic giant steps that one likes to take with conventional shoes. Unusual? Definitely. On my first trips outside, I actually thought I ran off on my socks. I got used to it quickly. And my feet thank me every time.
How did I find the perfect size?
Quite apart from the fact that Wildings tend to feel too big the first time, because the foot has to get used to its new space, I was actually not sure whether 39 is enough or I would rather use 40. The smart measurement sheet that you can print out on the Wildling website to find the perfect size was an aid to decision-making.
Bye-bye, returns! Print it out, fold it, put it on the wall, place your foot on and you’re done – the right size will almost certainly be the right one
What if something does go wrong? The first return to Wildling is included. We pay for everything else ourselves. I think that’s pretty fair. Because the constant shuffling back and forth leaves an XL footprint. And we all want to reduce that through conscious consumption.
And that’s what Anna and Ran a saying about their shoes: