It’s rare to find goods where the quality of the materials and craftsmanship holds up, even after extended use. We’ve long been fans of Wildling shoes for this very reason – natural, sustainable fabrics and innovative materials are handcrafted into shoes that are good for your feet and made to last.
Wildling shoes recently released a limited-edition collaboration with Peg and Awl, a small workshop based in Philadelphia that hand makes goods using traditional craftsmanship and gives new life to old materials. This collaboration features a rugged waxed canvas tote bag by Peg and Awl and a warm pair of hemp canvas barefoot shoes by Wildling.
About Wildling Shoes
Wildling was founded by couple Anna and Ran after they moved back to Germany in 2013 with their three children. They wanted a shoe that kept their kids’ feet healthy and strong, allowed them to move freely and naturally, and looked great. When they couldn’t find anything that fit their criteria on the market, they decided to create Wildling shoes.
Wildling now makes barefoot shoes for both children and adults. Wildlings are some of the most flexible shoes I’ve found; the main goal of these shoes is to protect the feet, but interfere with their movement as little as possible. In that way, these shoes act like a second skin.
Wildling shoes are based on the anatomical shape of the foot, which means the toe box is wide, giving feet plenty of room to naturally move. The soles are thin and flat, with most shoes featuring a 2.5mm to 3.5mm sole made from recycled rubber and cork. You can easily feel the ground beneath your feet, creating a greater sensory connection to the world around you.
All the shoes are designed in Germany and handmade in Portugal. By manufacturing close by, Wildling not only reduces its environmental impact, but has more transparency into the process and can ensure that its shoes are being sustainably and ethically made. In another effort to create incredibly comfortable shoes that also have a minimal impact on the environment, the uppers are made from soft and flexible natural materials. Fabrics like cotton, washi, hemp, and linen are used for lightweight and breathable summer shoes, and recycled cotton canvas and wool are used for warmer winter shoes.
We’ve loved wearing our Wildling barefoot shoes over the last year. You can find our reviews of their other styles on these posts:
- Best Barefoot Winter Boots
- Casual Barefoot Shoes that are Stylish and Comfortable
- Best Barefoot Shoes for Kids
“Griffin” High Top Hemp Canvas Barefoot Shoes
A rugged canvas tote by Peg and Awl was on the mood board when Anna and Ran were first trying to craft the look of their first pair of Wildling shoes. This collaboration between Wildling and Peg and Awl brought together two companies that carefully select their materials for function, style, and sustainability.
The Griffin High Top Hemp Canvas shoe brings together all of the features love about Wildling. The bottoms are flexible 2.5mm rubber and cork, and the uppers are soft and flexible. The all black monochrome look is super simple yet sleek, made from hemp canvas and edged with microfiber. In order to make these better for winter, there is a polyester membrane that protects your feet from moisture on wet days, and a warm tartan hemp-flax fleece lining.
The buckle is a feature directly drawn from Peg and Awl’s popular canvas totes, adding both style and another way to securely fasten the tops.
Wildling recommends that you waterproof these shoes if you plan on wearing them in rainy and wet conditions. You can find the spray Wildling recommends on their website here.
Wildling (Children) Sizing Features
The Wildling (or children’s) sizes of the Griffin barefoot shoes have a few specific features that make them easier for kids to put on themselves. They come with elastic laces for easy tightening and loosening, and a velcro strap to secure everything in place.
➳ Shop Now: Wildling Griffin Shoes
Rewild (Adult) Sizing Features
The Rewild (or Adult) Sizes of these barefoot shoes feature rope laces, and a notched strap with a grommet so you can adjust the strap to your ankle.
➳ Shop Now: Rewild Griffin Shoes
About Peg and Awl
Founded by husband-and-wife duo Walter and Margaux Kent, Peg and Awl handcrafts waxed canvas backpacks and totes, jewelry, leather-bound journals, and wood furniture. The couple used to search flea markets for materials to turn into treasures for their home. Eventually, this passion project turned into a business.
Most pieces at Peg and Awl contain unique, one-of-a-kind details; for example, the pockets on the tote bags are lined with vintage fabrics, so it varies from bag to bag. When they can’t find materials to repurpose, they first turn to sustainably sourced fabrics, leather, and metals. For example, for leather bag straps, they first look for recycled antique leather, usually from old rifle straps. When the pieces they need can’t be found, they work with a producer near their own workshop that creates vegetable tanned organic leather.
Waxed Canvas Tote Bag “Silva”
The waxed canvas tote is one of Peg and Awl’s most popular products. This special edition waxed canvas bag includes details inspired by Wildling, like the plaid hemp flax fabric that is used to line the tote pocket and gives the bag a fun pop of patterned color.
Waxed canvas is durable, practical, water-repellant, and timeless. Peg and Awl sources its waxed canvas from a local Philadelphia company established in the 1800s, where they hand dye and wax the fabric.
The tote has a wonderful vintage feel. The high-quality craftsmanship and materials are obvious, from the leather straps down to the rivets, studs and stitching. This bag feels like it could last a lifetime, even with daily use. It easily fit everything I usually carry around for the day, including a notebook, water bottle, iPad, phone, snacks, and a few other odds and ends. It fits a 13” laptop, so it’s could easily be your go-to bag for work or school.
Note — this collaboration was so popular that these totes sold out quickly! However, you can still shop the same style of canvas tote on the Peg and Awl website.
There are two smaller pockets in the interior compartment to stash things like your phone, keys, or some pens. This main pocket fully zips, which is helpful if you’re worried about things falling out (or anyone reaching in). The exterior pocket is large and roomy, great for keeping anything you might need handy (for me, that’s usually snacks).
All of Peg and Awl bags have classic, unisex styling. My husband and I switch off bags all the time, so we look for bags that work for both of us.
The leather shoulder straps are adjustable; you can lengthen them if you want to wear this tote as a crossbody, or shorten back up if you just want to carry on your shoulder. This bag is so practical and easy to use, it makes the perfect daily tote.
We loved this collaboration between Wildling and Peg and Awl, and hope to see another one in the future! Thank you to these brands for gifting these products for review.