On an early-morning walk, cloaked by delicate mist. Makes you want to reach out and touch it, but the first rays of sun are already emerging and the mist recedes–was it ever really there?
Wearing Nebulas is like taking a walk in the mist... softly and gently they embrace the foot; you might almost forget that you're wearing shoes at all...
Foto: Sandra & Stefano
Some ideas for Wildlings are as old as Wildling itself. The sandal was one of those ideas, and this new model, too, is something that Wildling's been tinkering with for three years.
Firm and yet flexible
A shoe that gently cloaks the foot and yet still withstands intense strain, getting as close as possible to the Wildling ideal. As so often, we were told,
“That won’t work!”
And as so often, we refused to get distracted by that, and we found a way.
A knitted shoe that isn’t simply cut out of a square, but knitted almost in one piece, with firm stitches where the foot needs more support and light, airy ones in places where it stretches and twists. Each part of this shoe is defined differently, leaving plenty of room for the foot's biomechanical processes.
Knitted, not sewn
In 2016 we had a first meeting with the production company, which mainly produces knitted goods. That’s done using knitting machines – so not working by hand in the strict sense, but the ability to programme these machines and to use them is rare, and it’s hard to find good people. Close to the border with the Czech Republic, we found a small German company that is still a master of this craft and has the necessary know-how.
In parallel, our product team was busy working out how to manage with as few individual parts as possible. When it comes to withstanding the many forces when walking, running and doing gymnastics (and everything else that Wildlings do), every extra seam is an impediment and runs the risk of tearing.
So the challenge with our Nebula was that it would have to be knitted three-dimensionally. The Nebula consists of only three parts: the upper, the sole and the tongue, which are stitched together.
Foto: Sandra & Stefano
Materials – long-lasting and certified
The upper is made of polyester and Merino wool, knitted using the double face technique. That means that both materials are knitted on a machine at the same time. The polyester creates the abrasion-resistant outside layer, while the Merino wool lies inside, gently cradling the foot.
The Merino wool has IVN Best certification, which means that it's not only produced without mulesing, but also meets ecological and social requirements in production steps such as cleaning, spinning and processing. Everything meets the criteria for natural textiles.
The polyester is currently the most abrasion-resistant material we could find, and the way it’s processed offers both protection and flexibility at the same time. We’re already working on alternatives using natural fibres, but haven't yet been able to find a material that’s as long-lasting. That’s why this edition of the Nebula is very limited – we welcome feedback on the fit, how it holds up in various situations in the wild, and on which adventures it really comes into its own.
A perfect minimal shoe for all indoor activities and sunny walks; a shoe that truly calls you to... Run wild!
Anna, Ran & Team Wildling