Nahaufnahme von zwei Füßen auf laubbedecktem Boden. Einer der Füße trägt einen Wildling Minimalschuh, der andere Fuß ist barfuß.

Less is more

Wildling minimal shoes are not only beautiful and lightweight, they can also be a healthy choice one can make for their own and/or their children’s feet. You all know the story, we actually tell it a lot, but can it actually be backed by specialists in this field?

As Wildling is in contact with podologists, physiotherapists and movement specialists all over the world, we had a virtual sit-down with some of them and talked about their footwear, what they advise their clients to wear and whatever else they had to say about minimal shoes. Let’s have a look at what these specialists in their respective fields told us about their experiences with Wildling Shoes.

“I think that everybody should know that by walking barefoot and in minimal footwear we are creating strong and sensory rich feet that will help with balance, coordination and energy efficiency.” (Kai Kjartan Høgberg, movement specialist, Norway)

The heart and soul of any Wildling shoe is the superthin sole with the famous gap to allow absolute flexibility as well as the perfect rolling motion when walking. In this aspect, Wildling shoes are really one of a kind, because they follow a rather simple theory which is much debated in the world of orthopedics: That feet do not need external support to function well. Linde Logtenberg, an ancestral movement specialist from the Netherlands sums up this issue rather well:

“We lost the trust in our own bodies, our body is so powerful if we use it right. Our common understanding now is to support your feet firmly. Especially when doing rough sports. But when you train your feet (and body) you have this very powerful firm support inside your body, and you don't need it from the outside.”

If you ever tried to buy shoes for children in a conventional store, you will probably have come across this phenomenon, that many are trying to stuff healthy and strong children’s feet into hard and inflexible shoes to give them the support that they, in fact, do not even need. Yes, that makes the fox somewhat annoyed. Did you know that 98% of children are born with healthy feet while only 20% of adults are able to maintain them in this natural healthy state? Now this is a rather large gap, isn’t it?

Close-up: a foot from the side in a Wildling barefoot shoe on rocky ground.

Tanuki Niji. Image: @wander_ky

The cause for this rapid decline in foot health is more often than not the wrong footwear. Yes, the fox calls them wrong, even though it is not really its style to dismiss anything just like that, however the wrong footwear can have detrimental effects on the way our entire body functions, as Lucie Kinclová, a physio-therapist from Czechia explains:

“Unlike conventional footwear, minimal footwear does not deform or limit the foot in its function. And a functional and healthy foot is then the basis for the proper functioning of the entire musculoskeletal system.”

However, it is not just about the sole, as Edita Prošková, another physiotherapist from Czechia, remarks:

“I think the crucial information is that minimal footwear can pride itself in a beautiful anatomical tip that copies the shape and width of the forefoot. That's what makes it so different from conventional footwear. Straight, flexible and thin soles can sometimes also be found in classic shoes. The benefit of the tip is often overlooked and people think it is primarily in the sole.”

We at Wildling believe this is absolutely true, which is why every Wildling shoe comes with a wide footbed and toebox to accomodate a large variety of foot shapes and sizes. And actually, after wearing Wildling Shoes for a while, it becomes very difficult to fit your feet back into the commonly pointed shoes, because you suddenly know what it feels like to wear shoes that actually fit your foot shape.

However, it also means that at first, Wildling shoes seem very different in terms of looks. It is truly something one needs to get used to, but it doesn’t take long until pointy shoe-tips suddenly look very strange. But it is a fact: Wildling shoes catch the eye: An experience made by many Wildling wearers and also our friends from all over the world…

“I consider Wildling to be the real minimal shoe because it matches all parameters of this type of footwear. And people have approached me about my Wildling shoes many times, they are great.” (Edita Prošková, physiotherapist, Czechia)

Have you had the same experience, that others approach you about your shoes and suddenly, you are in the middle of a conversation about minimal shoes and foot health with complete strangers? We believe many of us have that happen to them before. However, it is not that strange, because we all have feet and must think about how we protect them. Some of us even have stories to tell, about ailments that vanished after switching to the correct kind of footwear.

A person in front of still bare trees in the sunshine. They are wearing Wildling barefoot shoes.

Pegasus Resouled. Image: Nora Tabel | Wildling Shoes

“The Wildlings are very light and supple. Their wideness is perfectly adapted to the foot. (...) I am wearing them all day long in my job and since then my back pain has vanished!” (Jeanne Lebrun, podology, France)

Now, who does not want to share these stories? Once, we collected some of these stories and made a whole article about it in the blogazine. However, Wildling has many more stories to tell than simply about our products. The shoes are not only healthy, they also stand for sustainability as Wildling Shoes made it their mission to become a positive impact company.

This means, we not only want to cause the least possible harm to our planet (which, when you produce anything, is simply inevitable), no, we want to leave a positive footprint by engaging in various regenerative initiatives. For example, Wildling Shoes recently became a member of the “1% for the planet” movement and is on the road of becoming a B-Corp certified company. So alongside the health-aspects of the Wildling shoes, wearing them is also good for our planet.

“I really like the sustainability woven into all parts of the shoe and brand. The whole business is so fair for everything. Fair for your body and fair for the world.“ (Linde Logtenberg, Ancestral Movement Specialist, Netherlands)

So as one can see, the health aspects of the Wildlings shoes are not to be looked down upon, they are actually very real and backed by many specialists in the field. Have you talked about minimal footwear with your physiotherapist (or other movement specialist)? Try it out, maybe there is the possibility for an enlightening conversation about all things wild.


Header image: Lizard. Photo: @trianils und @alliamrunningfor