Close-up of the new Wildling sole form from below; the sole is in the picture from about the middle to the heel.

Made to run wilder

The Tann Resouled is the first model to enjoy the pampering touch of a new Wildling Shoes experience: a new sole shape specifically for wet weather. The iconic, popular Fox outsole that brings the joy of Wildling Shoes freedom to so many around the world needed a companion to take over when conditions become more damp, wet and rugged.

After much back and forth and a few different designs, this companion finally emerged. Tann Resouled with the new sole variation is the closest design to the Wildling Shoes outsole, and it maintains that special feeling beneath the feet with the minimalist boost that allows them to run even wilder.

Why was developing this new sole shape so tricky, and what was the key to making it work in the end? Markus works as a product design specialist on the product development team. He takes us on a journey through the origins of a sole evolution.

Two photos side by side: Wildling employee Markus, sitting at a desk, laughing as he holds a last in the air. Next to it: Close-up of the desk and the design drafts for the new sole shape spread out on it.

Markus in Wildling's studio. Image: Sandra Chiolo | Wildling Shoes

What’s the special feature of this new sole shape?

The most obvious difference is a continuous raised edge that provides special protection for the lower foot area. You could describe it as a kind of soft shell that makes the shoe a bit firmer overall to provide an enhanced level of protection against water or pebbles.

Does this version of the sole also have the classic Wildling Shoes sole gap?

Yes, we also work with the sole gap in this new sole variation, but in a much narrower form. The relationship between flexibility and protective functions leans a little more toward the protection side here, so it’s just right for anyone looking for increased water and impact protection for their own feet or those of their loved ones.

Two photos side by side: side view of one Wildling shoe with classic sole shape and one with new sole shape. Next to it: Bottom view of the two sole shapes.

The classic Wildling sole and the new sole variant. Image: Sandra Chiolo | Wildling Shoes

How long did it take to develop this new version of the Wildling Shoes sole?

The idea had been floating around for a very long time, both in our team and in the community. At some point, the first ideas made it onto paper as initial sketches. Then we continued to work on different variations until we had one we found so convincing that we went ahead and made a prototype. We were ready to produce the first shoe last for testing in the spring of 2022.

The first model with this sole shape is launching now in the autumn of 2023. What takes so long from the creation of the first shoe last to the shoes appearing in the store?

Developing a completely new model is always an elaborate process that requires a lot of steps from design to the final shoe. The various components like the shape, the upper material, padding, lining and sole have to harmonize with one another, and not just in theory.

They also have to be tested in practice and optimized to work together. Then of course the manufacturing and delivery times for the materials and the production steps leading up to the finished shoe have to be considered. It's a craft where every detail counts.

Will all future Wildling Shoes feature the new sole shape?

Definitely not all of them. The new shape is a version that provides increased water and impact protection. The toe cover keeps the material in the toe area especially dry and splash-free. So this shape could prove to be suitable for some future autumn/winter models. But it also depends on the wearer’s preferences. For some, these properties are particularly important, while others put a higher priority on air and water permeability.

Two photos side by side: close-up side view of a Wildling shoe with new sole shape. Next to it: Re-enactment of an erect foot with the new sole shape.

The new sole variant. Photo: Sandra Chiolo | Wildling Shoes

We also rely on feedback from the community. How much demand will there be for the Tann Resouled model with the new sole shape? Have we really met the wishes of the Wildling Shoes community? If so, I can well imagine that there could be more models with the new sole shape in the future.

Thank you for this very interesting conversation, Markus. We can wholeheartedly admit that changing the outsole wasn’t easy, since we’ve all come to know and love the Fox’s unique design. This was part of the reason why it took this long to actually do it, but we’re very happy with the result. This brings the long wait to an end. Let's keep walking wilder!

Cover image: Sandra Chiolo | Wildling Shoes