Functional Footwear:
nimbleToes Addict

Ingeniously simple idea revolutionizes running market: more miles – less pain with toefreedom®


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Toefreedom®, is a biomechanical concept in shoe design that has been used to great positive effect within the orthopedic shoe industry which is now being introduced to the world of sports medicine and athletic performance.

Conventional running shoes dramatically reduce stability when running due to the non-anatomical, symmetrical design philosophy.

Toefreedom® provides the runner with an increase in stability due to extra room for the big toe to anchor and control the foot. 

The nimbleToes Addict is the first of its kind: a running shoe designed on the biomechanical principles of Functional Footwear to bring the benefits of toefreedom® to runners worldwide.


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What hurts a runner the most, is not being able to run.

Running is the largest participation sport in the world with over 100 million recreational runners registered in the US and Europe alone. The majority of this population have started running with the intention of improving their levels of helath and fitness but unfortunately the health and fitness benefits of running come at a price as injury rates are extraorinarily high in runners (more than 1 in 3 runners report a running related pain or injury whilst preparing to enter a half or full marathon).


Lee is one of the most recognised coaches for running technique on an international level.
His knowledge and experience in running biomechanics and foot function has benefited injured runners, both recreational and elite around the globe and led him to develop the Functional FootMap assessment system.


Sebastian´s family has been making shoes with toefreedom® for over three decades.  His experience of helping people all around the world to improve their foot function through the benefits of toefreedom® and his passion for running has led him to create the Functional Footwear Design Concept.

Michelin has been forging a better way forward for over 100 years. They have spanned millions of miles on the mission to develop groundbreaking multi-surface contact for vehicles operating in the most challenging environments all over the world. We decided to partner with Soles by Michelin because of their unrivalled expertise in rubber and tread design to equip our nimbleToes Addict with the perfect outsole for Functional Footwear in long distance running.


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The inspiration for the nimbleToes Addict

When crewing at the worlds toughest footrace, the Badwater Ultramarathon, a few years ago, Sebastian observed that a lot of the elite athletes cut open the front of their running shoe to have more freedom for their toes and reduce the risk of injury.  His unique know-how in making casual shoes with toefreedom® inspired him to introduce this design philosophy to the running shoe industry.

Dr Wilkinson´s research area is the biology of human health and performance. His work has included the biomechanics and performance determinants of distance running and the link between plantar sensation and regulation of bipedal gait. He has a particular interest in the influence of footwear on foot structure, function and joint loading during running.

an activity that is natural to or the purpose of a person or thing. (Oxford English Dictionary)

The purpose of the foot is to provide a stable base of support to control the direction of the body weight during the stance phase of locomotion [1-3]. Newtonian physics dictates that a wider base of support is more stable than a narrow base. Width and stability of the forefoot is crucial in this regard as the highest forces during mid stance occur at the forefoot [4, 5]. A greater spread of the toes, the great toe in particular, reduces forefoot peak pressures, distributes force more evenly, and stabilises the foot and ankle [6-8]. Toes squashed together by years of wearing narrow shoes that do not respect the natural fan shape of the human foot [9] are common [10] and are linked to instability and movement-related pain [11, 12]. Natural function can be restored by regular loading of the feet in footwear that respect natural design of the foot [13] and permit freedom for the toes to spread and stabilise the foot.

Pain-free movement begins with a stable base of support. A stable foot requires Toe freedom, only functional footwear provides toe freedom. Joe Nimble ‘functional footwear’ is based on this science. 

*References below

We are excited to let you know that the production process has now started!

  • the molds for the soles are finished and in production (we are sorry that we can not share any photography, as this is insider know-how from "Soles by Michelin" that can not be shared in public)
  • the knitting processes for the uppers has started (see the video above)
  • you will receive two free shoe bags with every pair ordered, production has already started
  • shoe boxes are confirmed and are being processed
  • toefreedom® upper stabilizers have also been confirmed and are now being produced to keep your shoes in perfect shape during transport
  • insoles are also now perfectly fitted and put into production


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1. Mann R and Inman VT. Phasic Activity of Intrinsic Muscles of the Foot. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery 1964 46(3): 469-481. (

2. Reeser LA, Susman RL, and Stern JT. Electromyographic Studies of the Human Foot: Experimental Approaches to Hominid Evolution. Foot and Ankle 1983 3(6): 391-407. (

3. Rolian C, et al. Walking, running and the evolution of short toes in humans. 
Journal of Experimental Biology 2009 212: 713-721. (

4. Wilkinson M and Saxby L. Form determines function: Forgotten application to the human foot? . Foot and Ankle Online Journal 2016 9(2): 5-8. (

5. Wilkinson M, Stoneham R, and Saxby L. Feet and footwear: Applying biological design and mismatch theory to running injuries. International Journal of Sports and Exercise Medicine.
2018 4(2). (

6. D'Aout K, et al. The effects of habitual footwear use: foot shape and function in ntaive barefoot walkers.Footwear Science 2009 1(2): 81-94. (

7. Mei Q, et al. A comparative biomechanical analysis of habitually unshod and shod runners based on foot morphological difference. Human Movement Science 2015 42: 38-53. (

8. Shu Y, et al. Dynamic loading and kinematics analysis of vertical jump based on different forefoot morphology. SpringerPlus 2016 5: 1999. (

9.  Munteanu SE, et al. Hallux valgus, by nature or nurture? A twin study. Arthritis Care and Research 2017. (

10. Nix S, Smith M, and Vicenzino B. Prevalence of hallux valgus in the general population: a systematic review and meta analysis. Journal of Foot and Ankle Research 2010 3: 21. (

11. Vorobiev G. Evolution of injuries in athletics. New Studies in Athletics 1999 4: 23-26. 

12. Travell J and Simons D, Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual. 1993: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

13. Knowles FW. Effects of shoes on foot form: An anatomical experiment. The Medical Journal of Australia 1953 1(17): 579-581. (