Wildling Shoes Spring Summer 2022 Review

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A close up of a woman's face lying on the ground, smilling at the camera with a circle of Wildling Shoes SPring Summer 2022 Collection. She is holding one white Wildling shoe rolled up into a ball over her left eye.

Wildling Shoes, one of my favorite barefoot shoe brands, has released their warm weather collection for the year. Get to know the new collection in this Wildling Shoes Spring Summer 2022 Review!

Wildling Spring Summer ’22 Collection

A collage of the same woman 5 different times wearing different outfits and different barefoot shoe models from Wildling Shoes Spring SUmmer 2022 Collection - the Tanuki Niji, Manul, Kul, Tanuki Kokoro, and Flying Fox

Wildling Shoes is a lifestyle barefoot shoe brand that specializes in the lightest, airiest shoes you’ve ever tried. They really feel like being barefoot! Wildling also has a social conscience and runs an ethical workplace using sustainable production & materials. To top it all off they’ve captured a whimsical aesthetic that is both unique and stylish at the same time. Suffice it to say, I’m a fan. And they now have both an EU and US location, so are even more accessible worldwide.

Seasonal models and colors are launched a few times a year, and you can find a Basic Collection of popular styles that are available year round. Today we’re covering models from the Spring Summer ’22 Collection, with a few beloved Basics thrown in.

The Rundown

All Wildling Shoes models are unisex and come in kids and adult sizes. Many come in baby/toddler sizes as well! This spring they are focusing even more intently on sustainable materials that are good for the body and the environment. Everything is vegan in their warm weather collection (but they do use wool in many of their Autumn/Winter models). And all have an extremely thin, flexible sole and square shaped toe box. I have yet to be unhappy with a shoe from Wildling, they are always delightful. *Models from the spring collection are all 4mm thick.*

A behind view of a pair of feet standing on concrete wearing Wildling Shoes Kul blue barefoot lace up shoes with the fox logo visible on the heels

General Sizing & Fit

In years past Wildling had a narrow-ish shape, but recent collections have been leaning toward a wide fit. So far everything I have personally tried and learned about from the Spring ’22 collection fits wide and true to size – but always check Wildling’s “Fit” section for more info before buying (see below their own description of this season’s sizing). The most unique thing about Wildling Shoes is they are built on a sole that can flatten out in any direction, making it highly adaptable to most foot types.

A white rectangle with the following text: According to FITKIT, the following models run true to size: Kul, Manul, Tengri, Tanuki Kokoro, Saker. The following models run a little wider and also provide slightly more volume to our feet in the front: Yak. The models run slightly smaller: Feather Plum, Feather Forest, Feather Magpie
From Wildling’s FAQ page on Spring/Summer Fit

These shoes are made in EU sizes, so if shopping on the US website it’s important to check their size conversion chart to see how they are translating to US sizes. Fortunately I already knew I wore a size EU 37 in Wildling, so I was used the table to find the corresponding US size. Wildling has adjusted this recently, so always a good idea to double check. If in doubt, I recommend their Size Finder to determine the correct length for your foot.

Ordering from Wildling Shoes

Wildling Shoes are available from a US and an EU website, but your shoes will ship from Germany either way. They offer free shipping on orders over $200/€200 and your first return is free of charge. If you need to return more than once, it costs about $10 (or €3.50 from within Germany).

If you buy from the US website you can return them to a US address. If from the EU website, then orders go back to their EU center. Returns are super easy, you register with their Returns Portal and schedule a DHL Express pickup from your door.

*There has been a spate of fake barefoot shoe sites – don’t purchase Wildlings from any other site but the two linked above!*

Now let’s dig deeper into a few models that I love from the Spring Summer Collection.

Saiga

The Saiga is a surprise release from Wildling and their first slip on shoe. It’s made of the same material as the Tanuki (you can read about that model later on in this article) and is just the lightest most minimal shoe ever. They come in the moss green I have and a navy blue. I feel like I should be padding around a monastery or meditation retreat in these, they have a very unique and natural aesthetic to them.

There is a little elastic piece on the inside where the material crosses over so you have a little stretch there if you need it. And the interior is lined with a soft fabric that makes them even more comfortable inside than the Tanuki.

Fit Type: The Saiga is the only Wildling shoe I’ve ever gotten a size 36 in, so they do run a little big. I would say about a half size, so not everyone will need to size down. They also fit medium volume over the arch. I have low volume feet, so sizing down made sense. I still have some extra space around the ankle opening, but they stay on my foot well (most likely because they’re so light and flexible). If you have high volume feet I would stick with your usual size and not size down.

The width is medium wide, maybe even extra wide if you don’t size down.

Manul

Available February 5th | Sizes EU 18-48 | Vegan | Removable Insole

The Manul is made of 100% unbleached and undyed European linen. Even metal eyelets were forgone in favor of cotton stitching to make a natural, breathable shoe made of sustainable materials. The linen feels sturdy and a teensy bit rough at first, but broke in after just 30 minutes of wear. They have a clean, natural look that is really versatile, and I’m just so excited about them!

These are fairly new to me, so I haven’t had much chance to get them dirty. I imagine that the natural coloring of the linen will disguise some dirt, but that over time these will need to be washed. I plan to hand wash them in the sink with clear soap, which is how I clean my natural hemp Unshoes. You can also spray them with a protectant.

Fit Type: The Manul fits wide. And considering the sole can flatten out under foot and allow for lots more space as the linen breaks in, I think these could also work for extra wide feet. They have a medium volume fit, but should easily work for both high and low volume with the laces.

The Manul is yet another step toward sustainability by Wildling, and I would love to see it become part of the permanent collection!


Kul

Available February 5th | Sizes EU 18-48 | Vegan | Removable Insole

Next up is the Kul – I couldn’t resist the periwinkle blue (Pantone color of the year!). It is bright and springy, but sophisticated. This model is made from a blend of organic cotton and organic linen in a “fantasy weave” that gives it a diamond texture. Like the Manul there is no microfiber used on the upper, it is made purely of breathable natural materials.

I anticipate these ones being a little fussier than the Manul in terms of keeping clean – cotton seems to attract dirt more than linen – so I have sprayed them with Carbon Pro before wearing. If you’d like to shop all in one place, Wildling also sells shoe care products. These shoes aren’t recommended to be washed (the color could run), but you can brush out dry dirt or spot clean with a rag as needed.

Fit Type: Almost the exact same as the Manul!


Tanuki Kokoro

Available February 5th | Sizes EU 23-48 | Vegan | Removable Insole

The Tanuki models from Wildling are my absolute favorite. The first time I tried them I was confused by the texture – Tanukis are made of Washi paper and have a rough texture that crinkles when you rub it together. But once they were on my feet I understood why they were such a popular model. They are so light and breathable they literally feel like nothing! I have taken my first pair of Tanukis (now a year old) with me on many adventures hiking, camping & walking and I honestly expected them to fall apart because they feel so “barely there.” But a year later not a stitch is out of place. Even though my first pair is still in mint condition I had to try the Kokoro because I love the color so much.

Tanuki’s come back every spring in new colors, and they can also be found in the Basic collection. They even work as a water shoe because the water drains out easily! I did notice that when I hand washed my red Tanuki’s the water turned red. It didn’t affect the appearance of the shoe, but just be careful about staining other things if your colored shoes get wet.

Fit Type: Tanuki’s fit slightly narrower than the above Manul and Kul. I would describe them as being more medium wide, catering to an average width foot. The Washi paper doesn’t stretch out, so there is also less chance of them “breaking in” than the other cotton/linen models. My wide toe splay fills up the toe box width almost completely, but I am still very comfortable in them. As far as volume, they really work for almost any volume. I find that they cinch up around my low volume feet like a glove, but many people with high volume feet also have great success.


Feather Forest

Available February 26th | Sizes EU 18-48 | Vegan | Removable Insole

The Feather is Wildling’s only sandal model and is available this spring in Forest green, Plum purple and black. I must admit, I have never tried the Feather before because they don’t match my style well. They have a very unique look. But there are so many big fans of the Feather that I decided I better get acquainted! I understand now what people like in them – they go on in a flash with a velcro strap and feel like wearing nothing at all – just like other Wildling shoes, but with an open sandal cut for even more air flow. I still won’t wear them for fashion, but I can see myself enjoying them as a summer hiking sandal.

This is another model that comes back each year in new colors, and you can always find it in black in the Basic collection. The straps on the Feather are made of a strong microfiber that has a teensy bit of stretch to it but it doesn’t change shape over time. It fits securely to the foot so that when you step and move the shoe moves with you – again, like all of Wildling shoes. So if you are someone who has trouble with sandals staying put, the Feather might be for you.

Fit Type: I decided to try an EU 36 in these, since I often wear a size smaller in sandals than in close toed shoes. This ended up being a mistake, the 36 (shown in these pictures) is too small and my toes go all the way to the front and hang off the sides. So I’m exchanging them for a 37, the same size I wear in all my other Wildling shoes. They do mention that the Feather fits a little snug, but somehow I missed that. Oops! The velcro is fairly long, so you have multiple inches of space to work with if you need a high or low volume fit.

*I now have the size 37 and they fit perfectly!*


Tengri

A child's feet wearing blue Wildling Shoes Tengri with elastic laces and the Wildling brand visible on the outsole

Available February 26th | Sizes EU 23-48 | Vegan | Removable Insole

The Tengri is a brand new cut never before used at Wildling with a top stitching detail. It is meant to reduce the amount of materials needed, and be more comfortable because there are fewer seams. We got these in a size 29 for my little guy, and I have been swooning over them in that little size. They’re so flippin’ cute!

He has thick feet, so we avoid high top shoes (he can’t get them on himself). These Tengris were so easy for him to get on and off, and the kids’ sizes come with elastic laces and a toggle option. He did complain about the tongue bunching (since it is attached on the sides) and pressing on his foot, but he was still happy in them. They’re so soft and flexible, I was jealous!

Fit Type: No surprises here, they fit exactly as expected. This model works well for wide, chunky feet.


Tanuki Basics

Available Year Round | Sizes EU 23-48 | Vegan | Removable Insole

These Tanukis are exactly like the Tanuki Kokoro written about above, just in basic colors that are available year round! My oldest son is very particular about shoes – they have to be very light and comfortable or he simply won’t wear them. The Tanuki Umi is turning out to be a great choice for him (that he actually wears!). And of course, you already know how I feel about Tanukis. 😀

The main reason I decided to test the off-white Niji model was to see how dirty they got with wear and if they could be cleaned easily. It appears that the Washi paper repels dirt so they don’t get stained readily, and I was able to knock out any dirt out. For a white shoe, it’s a good deal. But I’ll be giving the Niji more dirt exposure when it warms up a little (because I’ve heard that over time they can turn yellow-ish)


Flying Fox

Available Year Round | Sizes EU 23-48 | Vegan

The Flying Fox is a black high top shoe available in the Basics collection. They have a high top sneaker look, and are a great replacement for Vans or Converse style shoes. These are made of 100% organic cotton so as to be breathable even in warm weather. The material is soft from the get go. This is the only model listed here that does not have a removable insole.

Fit Type: I have found that most high top models from Wildling fit high volume and I need an additional insole to keep them from feeling floppy. Others have also reported that switching the laces out for elastic ones helps them fit more securely as well. I moved the insole from another pair of Wildlings and they fit me great now (they are pictured above with insole). They have a wide fit as well, but slightly narrower than the Manul and Kul.


In Summary

In my opinion Wildling has gotten significantly better with time. They have widened their shape, begun a Basics collection so favorites will always be available, and continually nail the perfect color scheme for the season. While it’s somewhat tortuous to never know what beauties they’ll come up with next (do I buy now, or will something more perfect come along later????), I am always excited by their seasonal collection. The Spring Summer ’22 Collection from Wildling Shoes was a home run for me.

A top down view of a circle of 7 pairs of Wildling Shoes from the Spring Summer 2022 Collection in purple, green, blue, white, and black

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41 thoughts on “Wildling Shoes Spring Summer 2022 Review”

  1. Hi Anya,

    Thank you for all of your reviews! They have been extremely helpful!

    I was looking into a pair of Wildlings (Tanuki) or Splay (Freestyle). I want a pair of “do it all” causal shoes to wear around town and to do light workouts/hikes in. I also spend a lot of time standing on pool decks, so they will be getting wet and the deck surface is usually concrete or tile. Ive worn some other barefoot shoes (mainly Primus Trail FGs) and my feet started to hurt about 1.5 hours in.

    I think I have either a mountain or plateau foot shape (Based on one of your articles). I currently wear the Vivobarefoot Addis in 43, and Altra Torin 5 size 45, both of these are comfortable. I have tried Vivobarefoot Primus Trail FG in 43 & 44 and both are tight around my pinky and ring toes. And Groundies 44 which had the same problems.

    My foot length is 26.5 mm and width is 10.2 mm.

    Thank you for all of your help!

    1. Cody, based off your foot type either would fit. But if your feet are hurting in your other barefoot shoes because they are so thin, then I worry that the Tanuki would be a lot. It’s only 4mm thick, thinner than any of the others you mentioned. While they’re extremely comfortable and perfect for light hiking, pool decks, etc, it could be a lot. The Freestyle’s wouldn’t be as practical for all the activities you want to do in them, but the sole is a little bit thicker. Not by much though. A 3rd option is to get the Tanuki but add an extra insole, maybe a NorthSole insole for comfort (they’re fully barefoot friendly).

  2. I’ve never been that interested in Wildlings before this review. These kind of give me the vibe of espadrilles, especially from the textured sole and walls, and would be a good replacement for such. Also very zen–I’m quite attracted to the Kul.

    1. Zen is right!! I avoided Wildling for a few years because of the “camel toe” sole, haha! But they really grow on you and once you wear them, well, then you’re hooked.

  3. I want the Kul and Tanuki Kokoro so flippin’ bad!!!!!!!! I have the Pegasus and Elderberry and I love them! Wildlings is amazing and so special in the minimal shoe space.

  4. ” I plan to hand wash them in the sink with clear soap” –
    I would consult Wildling before doing this. Tanuki shoes can be handwashed, but that doesn’t hold true for other Wildling shoes (the glue is likely to run and cause staining, and the fabric might wear down).

    (I so wish all Wildling shoes could be handwashed)

    1. Thank you for this tidbit, I will double check on that model! I assumed though since the Manul is undyed and unbleached linen there would be no chance of color bleeding.

  5. Thanks for such an in depth exploration of these shoes!

    I’m someone who usually wears sandals all summer and has very sweaty feet when I have to wear socks and closed toed shoes. I usually don’t even start wearing closed toed shoes until it’s way too cold not to. But I’ve been wanting some sneakers to wear in the spring/fall and my question is: do you wear your Tanukis without socks? If you do, are they airy enough that you don’t end up with wet, soggy feet? I see people wearing sneakers without socks all the time, and I don’t know how people do it. Either I have unusually sweaty feet, or maybe other people just don’t mind walking around with sweaty feet? But I’m hoping the Tanuki model might be airy enough.

    Thanks again!

    1. Hi Josie! I have worn socks with my Tanuki’s when camping, and they’re about the airiest close toed shoes I’ve ever worn. I personally am not bothered by some foot sweat, and I think there has got to be natural variation between how much people sweat. So to be honest with you I wasn’t really paying attention to whether or not my feet were sweating when I was wearing socks with my Tanukis. I don’t believe so. If you’d like to try something really breathable that is a shoe not a sandal, the Tanuki’s would be one of my top recommendations. Also, the Unshoes Terra Vida.

    1. Yes, these shoes have room over the toes and the material is very soft. Oesh Warriors, Lems, and Xero shoes also tend to have a good amount of space over the toes as well.

  6. Great review, thanks! Any input on sizing with the Tanuki. I have another from a previous year and my regular size felt too snug. I had worn it so could not return but was able to sell it on the group. Eventually I got another pair of Tanuki that fit better – 1 size up. I was really surprised about the sizing. Usually I only size up with winter wool lined Wildlings. Was not sure if it was mis-sized/labeled or not. I would really like to purchase these new ones but do not want to get them in the wrong size. Thanks for any information.

  7. Thanks to your reviews, I bought my first Wildings (Panther) for my winter shoes and have now purchased Ogons for the spring/summer in Louisiana. I have pledged to *only* buy and wear barefoot/foot-shaped shoes from now on for my health! I’m so blessed to have found your website and your reviews. Thank you for your hard work! Please keep it up!!

  8. It’s weird because the Yak is the only one that they’ve listed as wide, but it’s also the only one that doesn’t *look* any wider in their stock photos. The Yak stock photo looks a lot like the Flying Fox high top- kind of angled and a bit narrow. The low tops appear a bit of a squarer shape to me, but not sure if that’s really true or just how they photograph. I have problems with many shoes being too narrow, length 25cm and width 10cm. Really hesitating with these which ones to get.

    1. I’ve heard from people in my Facebook group (called Barefoot Style) that the Yaks are indeed quite wide. I think it’s just the photos that are misleading.

  9. Thank you so much for this very precise and helpful review! I have a question regarding their durability. I am thinking of buying the Tanuki Yoru model. And since it is quite an investment for me, do you know if they worn out easily? Thank you so much in advance.

    1. It’s a good question, and from what I’ve gathered from the community the Tanuki’s last a long time but it’s not uncommon for the sole to peel away from the fabric in certain places after heavy wear. Most people put a little shoe glue and then continue to get years of life out of them. I haven’t heard anyone mention the washi paper material getting holes or wearing out.

  10. Thank you so much for all your very thorough shoes reviews Anya!
    After suffering from an on and off red and swollen toe for two years, I finally realised that it was my too narrow shoes that caused that (doctors didn’t even consider my shoes could be the problem…).
    I started looking for wide shoes and quickly found your blog. I love stylish shoes and it’s so fun to discover all those different brands thanks to you. So many cute and cool shoes are actually available : D
    I’ve ordered my first pair of barefoot shoes two months ago and, wow, I’m amazed at how much having enough space for my toes changes my life : D And the sensations! I’ve always loved walking but now I truly take joy in every step as I feel what I’m walking on.
    After hearing me rave about my new shoes my mum bought her first pair, and my partner told me today that the next pair of shoes he’ll buy will be barefoot shoes, haha.
    Well, all this to say that I was considering buying Wildling shoes this summer and your review convinced me to order them. Thank you for all your work!

  11. Hi Anya! Thanks as always for all of your reviews. I love Wildlings and have four pair already. I recently went to order some of the spring collection and I noticed that the size chart has moved around a bit; there previously wasn’t a US W7.5 but I there was an US W8.5. I happen to fall right between EU 39 and 40 so this shift is throwing me off. I currently have USW8/EU40 but I found an old size chart and the internal lengths have changed also. I tried to print out the fit kit but once your foot get so big it no longer fits on one page of 8.5 x 11 haha! Have you noticed that their sizing has changed since the winter or the rebranding with the new logo?

    1. Oh interesting, it does look like they’ve adjusted their US to EU conversion chart. The sizing is still the same for the actual shoes, they’ve just changed how they convert it to US. So I would go off of the size recommendations per model to decide whether to go with a 39 or a 40 and then pick the US size that it corresponds to.

  12. Hi Anya,
    Ive been eyeing Wildling shoes and your review is super helpful and informative!
    You mentioned that the Manuls are fairly new to you. Just wondering if youve had a chance to get them dirty yet. 🙂 I’m curious how hard they are to keep clean. Are they hand-washable if needed?
    I am debating between the Manul and white Tanuki models… curious if one tends to repel/hide dirt and dust from regular wear more easily than the other. Never having owned white/light shoes before, that would be my biggest concern.
    Thank you in advance!

    1. You’re in luck, because I just got back from a week long trip hiking and walking in Colorado. I wore the Manul almost every day, they repelled most of the dirt and disguised the rest pretty well. You can hardly tell that they’ve been through so much dirt. I have not yet cleaned them, and there is a little dirt on the top of the shoe, but I expect it will brush out really easily. So I would say Manul or Tanuki white if the dirt is a concern.

  13. As someone who is already been wearing wildling shoes for the past six months, this review was very informative. I really want to try out the feathers but I was unsure if they would be a good fit because my feet are on the wider side. Now the size is another problem, I’m wearing 37 in the normal wildling shoes and they are on the smaller side but 38 is too big for me. Which size would you recommend for the feathers?

  14. I tried out the Manuls and they were not wide enough! They just felt like a regular shoe but with a thin sole. I didn’t know I had particularly wide feet but I guess I do. Also they smelled disgusting out of the box! Kind of like landscape fabric, barf, stunk up the whole room. Which totally surprised me considering they were supposed to be made of entirely natural materials, the quality I was most interested in. Oh well. Glad they have free first time returns.

  15. Thanks for the reviews, I have one pair of Wildlings for casual wear and love them too.
    Are their shoes suitable for trail or road running? If so, any particular models?

    1. I wear my Tanuki’s hiking all the time and they work totally fine for me. The Nebula is a good one for running and working out because they’re so breathable and stretchy. The sole is no different though and doesn’t have a lot of traction, but they’re so thin that you can really use your feet for stability. I feel great in them for hiking and running.

  16. Anya,
    Can Carbon Pro be used on the tweed styles, like North Wolf? I have a pair of Wildling Hawks, but hesitate to buy the North Wolf or Barn Owl because it rains a lot where I live.
    Thanks

    1. I would be comfortable using Carbon Pro on the tweed styles myself, I have never experienced Carbon Pro changing the look of a shoe. But I would probably still shoot an email to Wildling for their take just to be safe.

  17. Hi, I’m wondering if there’s a way to make The Saiga fit tighter over the arches without adding an insole? Would cut tongue pads work on the fabric? I couldn’t size down due to length. Thanks in advance for your advice!

    1. Yes, I do think a cut tongue page would be the best way. You could also try moleskin, sheets of that can be cut to any size you want. But my concern with the moleskin is it wouldn’t stick well to the fabric. The tongue pads are a little stronger.

  18. So… what was the verdict with the Tanuki Niji in terms of dirt/cleaning?

    I just got a pair and they’re perfect—but am nervous I’m not a careful enough person to keep them clean.

    I’m a longtime white-Chucks aficionado, so used to rocking the slightly beat-up/lived-in look…but I’d usually spray *heavily* with Scotchgard to keep thing from getting out of hand, and the Wildling site says not to do that for the Tanukis…

    1. I actually haven’t yet washed them… they haven’t gotten too dirty yet. I would actually try Carbon Pro before Scotchgard. But I haven’t asked Wildling what they think about that. Carbon Pro has worked excellently for me on all kind of materials and has never affected the color or texture.

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Hi. I'm Anya.

Hi. I'm Anya.

I first discovered barefoot shoes after a long history of foot issues. By changing my footwear and strengthening my body I was able to completely transform my life. Anya’s Reviews is my way of sharing with the world that healthy feet are happy feet!

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