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New Running Shoe Abandons ‘Outdated’ Concept of Motion Control

A new entrée into the world of running shoes wants to leave “outdated” design constructs in the past.

Developed by German shoe brand Joe Nimble, this new sneaker is said to harness the power of biomechanics to give runners more protection from pain and injury on long runs.

The NimbleToes Addict is designed around the concept that modern-day running shoes overemphasize controlling and restricting the foot. Instead, the new shoe features an expanded and anatomically correct toe box for maximum comfort, which Joe Nimble said is the key to fewer injuries when pounding the pavement.

Considering one in three runners preparing for a marathon experiences injury or pain during training, according to Joe Nimble’s figures, preventing injury is a vitally important element of crafting a better running shoe.

“The natural shape of the foot is asymmetrical, which is in contrast to modern running shoes, which historically always have a symmetrical shape,” Joe Nimble co-founder Sebastian Bär said in a statement.

Indie footwear brand Joe Nimble announces crowdfunded campaign for running shoe designed around the asymmetrical human foot
The NimbleToes Addict features an anatomically correct toe box and zero heel elevation to encourage a more “natural” running motion. Joe Nimble

Without an anatomically correct toe box, toes are not able to anchor the foot on impact and this can lead to pain and inefficiency in running techniques, according to Joe Nimble. Combined with its zero-heel elevation, the NimbleToes Addict has the effect of stabilizing the forefoot and encouraging the use of the big toe.

This should help the 95 percent of runners who are currently “heel-strikers,” according to Joe Nimble, by eventually training the foot to land on the forefoot instead, leading to lighter steps and fewer injuries.

On top of that, Joe Nimble partnered with Soles by Michelin for the NimbleToe’s Addict’s outsoles, a feature that is envisioned to increase the shoe’s stability, traction and durability over long-distances, the brand said.

The NimbleToes Addict’s design is based on research done by Lee Saxby, a running coach, biomechanist and creator of the Functional Footmap—a clinical tool he designed to qualify and measure the human footprint. Saxby has also worked with footwear companies like Vivobarefoot to encourage runners to equip themselves with shoes that feature less cushioning and more accurately represent the shape of their foot.

Joe Nimble is currently only offering the NimbleToes Addict through an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. The first 300 pairs will be available for the early bird price of $135 while later backers can buy in at $151.

Joe Nimble said it is prepared to ship its first order in Spring 2020, with initial deliveries tentatively scheduled for April.