The days are getting shorter; the wind whistles through the trees, whisking multi-coloured leaves on to the street in a wild dance.
We’re looking forward to meadows bedecked with frost, snow in the urban jungle and cosy evenings on the sofa, engrossed in a book and sipping hot tea. At last we can dig out our thick cardigans, colourful hats and soft scarves and still jump light-footed into colourful piles of leaves.
But which shoes will keep us warm throughout the autumn and the cold winter that's gradually approaching?
“Winter is coming”
Are barefoot shoes really warm enough at sub-zero temperatures? What happens when it's rainy, snowy or icy?
Warmth is mainly generated by movement. Even if you're sitting at the bus top in thick woollen socks and conventional winter boots with a thick sole, you can still have ice-cold feet. And yet you don't freeze if you go walking in summer Wildlings. Movement increases circulation in the feet, which keeps them warm. So that feet can move it’s important that they have enough space in spite of thick socks and additional insoles. So it may be that you need a shoe size bigger than normal in the winter. If you’re planning to wear your Wildlings with thick woollen socks, wear similar socks when measuring your feet with the FitKit.
Many wild models in the winter collection are made of or lined with wool - like no other material, wool stores body warmth and uses it to keep feet warm. For more information, including on the wonderful characteristics of wool, have a look at our blog posts: “Wonderful wool - the fabric that keeps feet wild and warm” and “Wild wool for flying feet”.
And if you prefer not to wear wool or are perhaps allergic to it?
For the winter 2019 collection, we were able for the first time to replace the polyester plush with a warming, plastic-free lining made of hemp-flax fleece. The emerald-green Drake and our Falabella model for the little ones are free of animal products and keep explorers of all sizes cosy and warm through the colder months. If the lining seems a bit stiff at first, you can soften it up by kneading it or simply by wearing a few times.
Additional insoles, too, provide protection from the cold in lower temperatures - whether you prefer soft, fluffy Felties or our slightly thinner, vegan Hemplings. The natural materials of hemp-flax fleece and pure new wool have characteristics that regulate both moisture and temperature, meaning that both ensure a comfortable foot climate.
Every so often you should remove the additional insoles for airing, so that your Wildlings don't start to get cheesy.
“It’s raining men”
A surprise rain shower on the way to work or at the playground won’t usually bother your Wildlings much. It’s important that, depending on the material and intended use, you prepare them a little and care for them regularly.
Since Wildling soles don't have a profile, it could get a bit slippery on colder days. The thinner sole means you can feel the ground particularly well. But you should still be careful - even in conventional shoes you shouldn't underestimate the risk of slipping on compacted snow and ice. So whatever kind of shoe you're wearing, it's good to practise mindful walking when conditions are icy. Be consciously aware of the ground and avoid quick, sudden movements. In the Wildling community on Facebook there are always great tips and tricks for this kind of topic. Pop over and have a look!
What are your tips for keeping feet warm on cold autumn and winter days?
Anna, Ran and Team Wildling