• barefootshoereview

Episode 71: Wildling Yew & Robinia

Introduction:


Sara: I always look forward to trying Wildlings newest shoe models. They seem to nail it perfectly every time and yet somehow each new style is even better than the previous one. My favorite part about them is their natural organic feel and their genius Tabi sole. I generally try to wear all natural clothing like cottons, linen, and wool and really love how Wildlings embrace natural fabrics and truly live by their message of Re:generation and sustainability.


The moment I slipped my foot into the Robinia (vegan) I knew this would be the boot I was going to 'live in' this fall/winter. Wildlings somehow managed to design a boot with wonderful sock like feel while still looking like a stylish boot. The light grey cotton is soft and flexible and almost gives off a lilac hue which makes it so much more unique than a standard grey. The knit collar sits snuggly on your lower/mid foot which almost feels like a warm hug and the inner hemp-flax fleece lining (and super cute checkered pattern) feels so breathable and soft. There are very few boots I can wear comfortably without socks, and the Robinia is definitely one of them. The flexibility and ground feel with their Tabi soles are one of the best qualities of Wildlings and their uniquely shaped toe box provides a flattering shape while not compromising on toe splay. They are also water repellent and can be waterproofed again at home for longevity.


I'm wearing the Robinia as I write and I almost forget they're even on my feet. I'm the type of person who generally feels trapped in shoes (even barefoot shoes) and don't feel that way at all with these boots. They're so light, comfortable, and stylish, I can't recommend them enough.


Sean: The moment Wildling's winter collection launched, the Yew began calling my name. It reminded me a bit of the Fir from previous years but it is significantly warmer, more waterproof, and just has a more appealing aesthetic all while keeping true to wildlings, lightweight flexible feel.


The international website can be accessed here. Whilst the US website can be accessed here.


Disclaimer: These shoes were given to me to review, however my opinion is my own. This page uses affiliate links, and by purchasing from an affiliate link, I will receive a small commission which doesn't cost you anything. Thank you, and enjoy the read!


Company Overview:

Anna, Ran, and their three children are the starting point and inspiration for this exciting journey. This is their story: “We lived in Israel for 12 years and our children were born there. They grew up barefoot in their first years of life and have always impressed us - with their agile, confident and powerful movements. In 2013 we moved back to Germany. The first shoes had to be bought in autumn, but we could not find a pair, even among the most expensive children's shoes, that our children could continue to walk with and that they wanted to wear with their usual feet. There seemed to be something fundamentally wrong with traditional children's shoes. A look at the statistics confirmed our fears - 98% of all children are born with healthy feet, but only a few adults still have healthy feet. This is usually due to poorly fitting and incorrectly designed shoes. High time for a new concept and a new generation of children's shoes! As a sports therapist, trainer and passionate barefoot runner, Ran has always been a fanatic when it comes to natural movement and biomechanical backgrounds. Anna loves the challenge of implementing new ideas and giving Wildling Shoes its very own identity through appropriate communication. Together with last builders, shoe designers and modelers, we have developed a shoe that offers a completely new concept from the fit over the materials to the sole. In contrast to conventional approaches, which assume that the foot must be held, supported and guided, we are convinced that the foot is naturally healthy and only needs the opportunity to develop vigorously. That is why our shoe leaves the foot as undisturbed as possible - like a second skin that protects against injuries and weather influences, but otherwise has no influence on the foot and its functions.”



Manufacturing and Sustainability:

Wildling have a strong ethos when it comes to having a transparent supply chain. They have close relationships with their suppliers to ensure they have the best quality and sustainable manufacturing.

  • Their shoes are made to EU standards

  • They often used recycled materials

  • They have a transparent supply chain understanding where each stage of supply occurs

  • They strive to be a low impact and uphold corporate responsibility to the environment

  • Their shoes are handmade and therefore made with precision and care

See more information here.


Shipping:

  • Shipment to: Germany Shipping costs: €4.90 inc. VAT

  • Shipment to: International Shipping costs: €8.90 inc. VAT

  • Shipment to: USA/Canada via the US wildlings site: Shipping costs: $9.90

  • From €200/200USD shipping is free.

For more information about shipping via the international site, click here.


For additional info via the US site, click here.


Returns:


Extended return period of 30 days as of now, with your first return to us being free of charge. For each additional return we charge a shipping fee of €3.50 for returns from Germany and €8.90 worldwide. This fee will be retained from refunds. If you return the complete order the shipping costs of €4.90 (Germany) or €8.90 (international) paid in the webshop will be refunded.


For more information about international returns, click here.


For additional info for returns via the US website click here.



First Impressions: Sara

  • Natural organic feel

  • Very unique soft grey color with an almost lilac hue

  • Vegan

  • Water repellant

  • Upper is a supple and soft organic cotton

  • Cute checkered pattern hemp-flax inner insole/lining that feels so breathable and soft

  • Adorable stretchy knit collar which really draws the attention to the boot

  • Can be worn with or without socks

  • Super flexible and excellent ground feel

  • Sock like feel but doesn't compromise on style at all

  • Ring eyelets

  • Caramel color Tabi sole

  • ZERO break in time

  • Extremely lightweight

  • True to size (EU sizing)

First Impressions : Sean

  • Natural organic feel

  • Gorgeous deep hunter green color with mustard yellow laces and accents.

  • Mostly natural materials

  • Extremely water repellant

  • Extra red eyelets give a very secure fit at the top keeping it snug to the foot.

  • Super warm but breathable

  • Can be worn with or without socks

  • Super flexible and excellent ground feel

  • Slipper like feel but doesn't compromise on style at all

  • ZERO break in time

  • Extremely lightweight

  • True to size (EU sizing)



Sizing and Fit:


Sara

**My foot is 25cm long and 9.5cm wide, with my large toe being the longest. I generally wear a Women's size US 8 and EU 39 and have a regular volume foot.**


I ordered the EU 39 which says it's a US 7.5. They fit me perfectly, so I would say they are true to European size. If you have a higher volume foot and plan to wear with thick socks then you can probably size up and still feel secure in the boot.


Wildling have a thorough sizing guide with a a sizing print out, which you can use to measure your foot against and work out your size. Head to this page for a comprehensive size guide, they even have Youtube tutorials on how to follow their size guide.


Sean: **My foot is 26cm and 10.1 width with my second toe being the longest and high volume foot.** I fit perfectly into a Men's size EU 42, and I learnt from my mistake when last time I ordered the size EU 43.




Performance:


Sara :The Wildling Robinia is the perfect casual boot for every day wear in the fall or winter. The soft grey color will brighten any outfit and the ribbed knit cuff adds that perfect cozy winter vibe. They can be worn to work, to school, to casual events, or on any adventure around the park or city. They are very versatile and will add a beautiful pop to any look while not compromising on comfort or foot health. The flexibility of the Tabi sole and the softness of the fabrics allow your foot to move so organically and naturally that you'll almost forget you are wearing anything. This boot will be a great companion for many fall/winter adventures.


Sean: With winter just around the corner this is the boot to fill that gap of a lightweight shoe that is still warm and super water repellent. With some upcoming work trips in Europe this winter this will be the #1 shoe that I will bring along. They are so comfortable, its hard to think I am wearing shoes let alone boots.




Weight and movement:

  • Extremely light weight boot (about 478g for Robinia EU 39 pair and 468g for the Yew Size EU42)

  • No ankle restriction or stiffness

  • Zero break-in time

  • Wildling have an extremely unique Tabi sole making it flexible in all directions and allows for your foot to move naturally when walking.

  • Rubber comes up the edges for a esthetically pleasing look while also protecting the perimeter of the shoe.

  • Very organic feel, you almost forget you're wearing boots.



Specs:


Robinia

  • Upper/edging: Twisting double pilot weave 100% certified organic cotton. Med. grey

  • Membrane: 100% polyester

  • Lining/insole: Hemp-flax fleece (50% hemp, 50% flax)

  • Interior lining/mid-sole: 100% certified organically grown cotton

  • Edging: Microfiber (100% polyamide) Med. grey

  • Outsole: 60% synthetic rubber from roughly 33% recycled material, 25% silica, 15% recycled cork – caramel

  • Available sizes: EU 36-48 Unisex

  • Adult Price: 139€ incl. VAT (where applicable)/149

  • Vegan

  • Stack height: 4mm

  • Weight: 478g total for pair of EU39

Yew

  • Upper/edging: Canvas (100% recycled cotton) - olive gray

  • Membrane: 100% polyester

  • Lining/insole: Felted wool loden (100% virgin wool)

  • Interior lining/mid-sole: Felted wool loden (100% virgin wool)

  • Edging: Microfiber (100% polyamide) - olive gray

  • Outsole: 60% synthetic rubber containing approx. 33% recycled material, 25% silica, 15% recycled cork - golden brown with dark blue speckles

  • Available sizes: EU 36-48 Unisex

  • Adult Price: 149€ incl. VAT (where applicable)/149

  • Non Vegan due to wool interior lining

  • Stack height: 4mm

  • Weight: 468g



Care:


Waterproofing before first-time wear There is no need to apply waterproofing treatment to the entire shoe right out of the box – that has already been taken care of during production (and in this case, doubling up won’t make it last longer). Before first-time wear, we do recommend that you waterproof the edging again. This may cause the edging to darken slightly, so don’t be surprised. Tip: Using a brush is the best way to apply the waterproofing product. If you choose to spray it on, be sure to cover the rest of the shoe. Repeat the waterproofing treatment as needed.


Cleaning The best way to clean soiled shoes is by knocking them together when they are dry, brushing them carefully as needed when dry, or by wiping them carefully with a damp cloth. Not machine washable.


Post-treatment We recommend periodic follow-up waterproofing treatments with a suitable product.


Recommended waterproofing products Waterproofing spray "Wildling"


Video tutorials explaining how to waterproof as well as cleaning and care are available on the Wildling Shoes YouTube channel.




Future Improvements:


Sara: I honestly don't have any critique on the boot itself. They are such a fabulous addition to your closet. I do wish they offered an additional color option.

Sean: This is the warmest lightest boot I own at the moment. I also really like that I can wear it without socks, I also have no critique.



Where and How to Wear:


Sara: This boot is the perfect addition to any casual every day fall or winter outfit. They can be worn to work, to school, to casual events, or on any adventure around the park or city. They would look great with medium/dark grey, black, or blue jeans and a knit sweater. Would also look fabulous with a sweater dress or oversized jacket.


Sean: I was able to rock this even with shorts, but once it gets really cold I can't wait to cozy up in them with a nice long pair of warm pants and a cozy sweater.


Conclusion:


The key word I think of when I want to describe the Robinia is 'soft'. Soft cotton upper, soft inner flax and hemp lining, soft grey color, soft ribbed knit cuff, and of course soft/flexible sole. The boot just feels like a wonderful cozy hug that you'll enjoy all season long. Can't recommend enough.


The Yew is a type of tree, every step I take with this shoe makes me long to be surrounded by trees and the warm wool makes me long for green pastures surrounded by flocks of sheep. lol (all jokes aside, we care for adorable sheep on a ranch we volunteer on ;)


The international website can be accessed here. Whilst the US website can be accessed here.