FAQ

What is functional footwear?

Joe Nimble shoes are functional shoes. In the natural world the first principle of design is that form equals function i.e. that the shape of something identifies it’s purpose. Human beings naturally come in different sizes and proportions but can be instantly recognised as ‘human’ by the shape of their bodies. The same applies to the human foot; feet naturally come in different sizes and proportions but are instantly recognisable by their shape.

At Joe Nimble we believe that the human foot has evolved to be asymmetrical and ‘foot-shaped’ for important functional reasons and therefore the first principle of shoe design should be that shoes are asymmetrical and ‘foot-shaped’. Unfortunately, since the industrial revolution and the mass production of shoes the ‘symmetrical last’ has become the standard within the shoe industry (asymmetrical lasts and shoes are more difficult to mass produce) and the symmetrical shoe is now established as ‘normal’ in modern society. 

Warning! Wide does not always equal functional

A shoe that is ‘wide’ and ‘flat’ but symmetrical in shape cannot be considered functional as the extra width is provided at the ‘ball’ of the foot rather than the toe box. This design flaw forces people with natural shaped feet and good toe alignment to buy shoes that are a compromised fit (too much room at the front of the foot and too much width around the heel).

Why don’t you include the thickness of the soles in your product descriptions?

Choosing a shoe size based on the millimetres thickness of the sole belittles the experience of wearing Joe Nimble functional footwear. For those who need to know the thickness of our soles:

  • Nimble sole - 4mm sole Vibram used on our city and sports shoes.
  • Protected sole - 6mm Vibram sole used on our year-round, winter and all-terrain shoes.
  • City sole - 4mm formal outsole used on our business collection.

What is the Joe Nimble footbed system?

Our footbed system allows the wearer to adjust the footwear's characteristics to suit their individual health and activity:

  • Comfort footbed - for everyday use
  • Performance footbed - for sports
  • Winter footbed - for cold weather
  • Flexitec footbed - for uneven terrain and/or unstable feet/ankles.

Are your women's shoes narrower than men's?


No, Joe Nimble's ladies shoes are the same width as mens shoes (for the same size). All Joe Nimble functional footwear follow the toefreedom principle developed by Christian Baer more than 30 years ago.

SIZE GUIDE
remember to allow at least 4 mm of wiggle room for your toes.