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Narrow symmetrical ToeBox

Wide asymmetrical Toebox

due to the lack of space, the toes become weak and dsyfunctional. provides toefreedom® so that the runner benefits from the extra room for the big toe to anchor and control the foot.

 Convex narrow ToeBox

Flat wide Toebox

has a convex and narrow toebox, which creates misaligned metatarsals and painfully high pressures on the forefoot. has a flat and wide toebox so that the forefoot and metatarsals are naturally aligned and stable.

 Heel-lift and toe-spring

Zero heel-lift and no toe-spring

has a significant toe-spring and heel elevation which dramatically reduces the ability of the toes to provide the natural stability required during running, especially on uneven terrain. has no toe-spring and no heel elevation which allows the toes to engage more rapidly with the terrain and promote forefoot stability.


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 toefreedom®, only functional footwear provides toefreedom®. Joe Nimble ‘functional footwear’ is based on this science. 


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. (