Some of you have contacted me privately in the last year, asking which barefoot shoes to choose.
But this choice can depend on a lot of factors.
Do you want the shoe to be waterproof, sturdy enough for tougher terrain, the price plays an important role, is it for adults or for children etc?
However there is another factor which is very often ignored when buying something in general.
Besides a good pair of shoes, the people behind a company and their philosophy can make a difference.
Before I continue I would like you to know that I am not being paid by any barefoot shoe brand to write this.
Wildling is a barefoot shoe brand from Germany, who source their materials locally and in surrounding European countries. The shoes are made in Portugal under fair circumstances in a family company.
Wide toe box and thin flexible sole
So far in my walking experience their toe box is the widest.
This is a an optimal condition if you want to start wearing barefoot shoes all the time. A wide toe box gives your toes the space to take up their own room. Which the image above shows you. The effects of wearing normal shoes vs the effects of walking on barefoot shoes or barefoot.
They have the thinnest sole, making them very flexible and getting as close to walking barefoot. They are not waterproof but can last a while on a rainy day depending on the type you choose.
I also like Vivo barefoot shoes for when there is more heavy rainfall, their soles are thicker and tougher. I wore their hiking boots to Finnish Lapland and they did the job even in two meters of snow.
C’est le ton qui fait la musique
But when it comes to freedom of my feet, production methods and how a shoe company comes across, on a people/client oriented level, the Wildling shoes are at the top. There is a saying in French, c’est le ton qui fait la musique. It’s the tone that makes the musique.
Last week I discovered my newly bought Wildling’s had holes in the sole. I could nearly stick my finger through.
With their soles being the thinnest, damage is also one step closer. I bought them in September and both shoes had wholes.
Now I have walked a lot since I bought them, an average of 12.000 steps a day. Therefore the wear and tear is probably quicker and it is most probably also due to my individual gait pattern.
Contact with Wildling
For me personally it was a piece of outstanding customer service.