03 December 2018

Review of Tikki Nanook in English


Review of Tikki Nanook
(I use barefoot shoes blogger Mel Power's very useful template for reviews. 
Do visit her site. She is very knowledgeable and the site has so much useful info on barefoot shoes: https://baresteps.co.uk/ ).
I recieved the boots to review but I express my own opinion of them.

First impression
They look vey varm. And as always with Tikki they are lovely wide.
And they are blue, I love being able to get something else than black and brown in footwear.
When I put them on, my first thought was that it felt like I wore slippers. They were so very comfortable, that I didn't want to take them off again.

Specifications
Material: Two layers of wool. An inner layer of 100% wool, and an outer water repellent layer of  70% wool and 30% polyester. Straps and reinforcement along the sides are leather.
Colours: Grey, dark blue, brown. The inner layer is white.
Sole: 6 mm Vibram Supernewflex sole plus a 3 mm insulating inner wool sole. 
Other: The boots have two straps around the ankles. They are remvable/interchangable and you can buy extras in several colours.

Uppers
The outer layer is water repellent (water repellent as a windbreaker, not water proof as a rubber boot).
Tikki writes that the boots are water repellent but also writes not to use the boots in what I read as extreme weather.
The wool feels hardwearing but is also vey flexible. I would call the material a boiled wool. It isn't baby soft, but isn't scratchy either.
The reinforcement along the lower boot is made of leather and in my experience it gives extra water repellency.

The uppers are made of wool. Just wool. Thick, soft, warm layers of wool
The two straps around the ankles can be tightened a little, but they are mostly for decoration in my opinion.

The boots hold well up for daily use. After a few weeks the edge of the lining have pilled a tiny bit. But otherwise they hold up for heavy use  (including garden work and walks in the forest undergrowth) and still look very good.

Tikki writes that the boots are water repellent. Several walks and bike commutes and walks through wet grass, then: Yes they are water repellent. I had warm and dry feet every time. I suspect they will keep my dry and warm in snow too.


But I wanted to really test the boots. So I waited for a heavy rainfall and then I went out in it wearing my NANOOK. Again my feet were nicely warm and dry as I walked in the rain.
But jumping in puddles, that they didn't hold up to. The water went right through. So for long walks in the rain: dry feet. But if you plan to jump puddles, go find your rubber boots. 


Toebox and width
The boots are a tiny bit narrower than the ROOTS shoes. I was worried that the boots would then be too narrow.
But the toebox is wide and spacious, and have adequate space for the big toe to sit in its natural position.

I have extremely wide feet for my small size.The width is just wider my feet (My feet are 9,5 cm wide and the boots 9,6 cm).
The circumference of my feet is 23,0 cm, and the cirumference of the boots is 22,8 cm in size 36.
I could use just 1-2 mm more. But again, I have humongously wide feet with a very high instep for my small length.
The boots feel wide enough and very comfortable. The I can easily wiggle my feet and the wool is flexible and adjusts to the feet.I think the boots are suitable for everyone with medium or wide feet. People with narrow feet might finde the boots too wide.

And it is really nice with footwear, which doesnt only have extra insulation around the ankle, but also around the toes, since the whole boot is made of wool.

Sole
6 mm sole og 3 mm inner wool sole.
The soles have the classic Vibram pattern with good depth, and I stand firm on all kinds of surfaces.
 
The soles are nice and flexible, and I can feel the ground through them. Not very so, but within the barefoot requirement. I move well and grounded with them on. 


The soles are thicker, and also a bit stiffer, than the warm weather footwear, but we get a lot of the cold from the ground, not the air, so they need to be thicker for us to be able to maintain warm feet.

I definitely feel the cold from the ground too much in my 2,5 mm soled Sole Runner Yepa 2 now the cold has set in.


I can bend the soles back.

It requires a bit more force to bend the sole widthwise, but is still possible.

Sizes
Size 37-43 and size 36 is made as custom. In my experience the sizing is similar to the sizing in conventional shoes.
Tikki recommends no more than 1 cm of toe space. My feet are 22,9 cm long according to the way the advice to measure feet length. The size 36 is 23,7 cm long. The length fits me very well.I recommend to follow Tikkis guide for determining which size to get.
The size charts lists width and circumference, and I am really happy that they do. All brands should do that, because it is really important for choosing the right shoes. With barefoot shoes you want the shoes to fit the feet, and not the feet to fit the shoes.

Fit and comfort
They are warm, oh so warm. And lovely soft to wear. I often have cold feet at winter, no matter which winter boots with fancy membranes and high tech insulation I used to get. These feel like having an electric heating blanket around the feet. I am so happy to have boots which actually keep my feet WARM.
Actually they are so warm, that at temperatures above 7-9 C they feel to warm for me.

The boots fit really well around my feet, which are wide with a high instep. But when I started wearing the boots, my heels slipped up somewhat. I continued to wear the boots and after about a week it stopped. When examining the boots, I concluded that they had adjusted to my feet. Of course, it is wool.
By the way I tightened the strap on one of the boots (but not the other) to see if if it made a difference for the slipping. It did help a little, but as I said, after a week the boots had adjusted to my feet, and I didn't notice a difference.
It has several times crossed my mind to compare NANOOK with UGGs. The shape is similar. But they hold up their shape better.


The boots are pull-on, and in order to be able to acually pull them on, the ankle piece needs to be wide enough for the widest spot heel-to-instep to fit through. I can just fit my very high instep through. I suspect most other people will have absolutely no problems there. And the sit comfortably around my instep, when I wear the boots.
People with a very low instep and narrow ankles might feel that the boots are too roomy. 

But then you could do like blogger Mel Powers and wear them with leg warmers/stirrups:
Baresteps review of Tikki NANOOK
(Excellent review, and she uses a size 40, so you can see the fit on feet larger than mine).

I found a little spot of november sunshine
The boots are light and move with the feet. The boots don't support the feet where you don't want I. The wool insole give a tiny amount of cushioning, but I don't feel that it alters my gait in any way.

Look and style
I got the dark blue model. I really like that they have a colour.
The boots are simple and practical, and at the same time elegant. They look as good with gardening pants as with a skinny jeans in the city.
I almost always wear dresses or skirts, and the boots look really good with them.

They are wide. As I have these little duck feet I am always a little touchy about if shoes look clumpy on me. But I feel pretty and feminine in these.

The straps around the ankles is an elegant detail.
And then the "strap holder" at the back has this organic shape and ends in a little point towards the side. That is a nice touch that elevates the boots.

Conclusion
NANOOK are warm warm warm, soft, and vertycomfortable. Perfect for winter.
The are lovely wide. I think almost everyone will finde them wide enough. People with narrow feet might find them too wide though.They are waterrepellent and keep my feet dry in rain, but they aren't wellies.They are beautiful, elegant and versatile. I had some hesitations about the fit around the heel/ankle, but after at few days they had  adjusted to my feet and the fit is great.

Definitely a WARM favorite of mine for winter.

Other
Tikki is very pleasant to communicate with. They are service minded, very friendly, and helpful (yes, also before they approached me about reviewing the NANOOK. I really notice this, and appreciate it.

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