Wild Country: Meshuga

Test of the Wild Country shoe born from the interesting collaboration with Michelin

12 October 2018
Michelin, a leading company in the production of tires that for some years has entered the footwear market with overbearing importance, has dealt with the engineering of the sole, leaving the creation of the upper to Wild Country, the historic brand of the climbing world.

The project is highly innovative, in particular for the production process of the sole, and from a tire giant like Michelin, on the other hand, we could not but expect some surprises.

Abandoned the plate system, in favor of a molded and molded sole directly on the bottom of the shoe. Not an assembly of sole and rubber therefore, in which the elasticity and the shape are given by the tension during the gluing, but a sole where the tension curves are given during the molding phase, a sole that comes out complete with heel and all the side bands. A choice that allows you to get a sole in 3D and to define the thickness and the exact orientation of the rubber in the different areas of the foot.

So the wait for this test was so great, but let's get to the point.

The Wild Country Meshuga have been tested on different terrains, proving particularly suitable for multipitch or long cliffs excelling on slopes close to 90 degrees. The particular stiffness conferred to the sole and the good elastic response, are one of the positive and perceptible effects of the new Michelin system. The feeling is that the foot is well supported even in prolonged efforts, while maintaining a good comfort thanks to the characteristics of elasticity of the upper. This shoe allows you to safely face even very thin supports as long as they are particularly neat.

Probably, due to its characteristics, it is less performing on rounded supports, which require particular sensitivity and in particular on streets where the spalling technique is required.

The heel is a real surprise, the shape is very particular with the upper part hanging very close to the ankle. Nostalgics will remotely remember a modern version of the high collar models in vogue in the early years of free climbing. The heels are very safe, the feeling on the back of the foot is an excellent and tight bandage, giving the best on heels of strength, rather than sensitivity on small supports.

The sore notes are perhaps more due to the assembly of the upper that the technology chosen for the construction of the sole, and related primarily to the ability to fascinate the foot. Made to wear also by other climbers, I found that in many cases an annoying lateral vacuum is formed, which partially undermines the excellent ability of elastic response during the thrust phase on the tip.

Finally, an aesthetic note on the upper, not very resistant to rubbing against the rock face, shows some signs sooner than I would have expected.

On the other hand, its resistance to deformation due to the different temperatures of the external environment in which it is located is excellent.

Overall, an interesting shoe that also stands out thanks to its aesthetic style outside the box, certainly recommended for the above mentioned land and vertical walls, where it is required a prolonged use of the feet on particularly neat supports.

A new project of Wild Country that could revolutionize the market of the shoe, and that rightly positions its product in the highest price range, in direct competition with the best that currently offers the market. But because this new concept of production gives top of the range shoes, as it is right for two brands at the top of their sector, there is still a little work to do.

Looking forward to see the next evolutions, let's enjoy these excellent Meshuga!

Simone Clava

Further info on the Wild Country website.

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