How are Joe Nimble shoes better than other so called "barefoot shoes" (=oxymoron)?
Now I know we are biased to Joe Nimble (it is our site 😉) but there are several reason Joe Nimble shoes stand above the rest. Many competitors tout the thin (ground feel) and flexibility (freedom of movement) which we do have (no glue to assemble the shoes so they can twist and turn as well as a 2mm Vibram Sole for accurate ground feel/feedback to the brain) but with all the advantages thin and flexible brings (especially for young, fit people), it lacks the key component to making the foot more functional: uncompromising toe freedom. There are some brands and shoes that claim to have some (compromised) toe freedom and advertise more space for your toes, but that is more marketing than actual reality. Now we are not saying it does not have any benefits, but here´s the important point that when you direct your big toe even just 2mm in the wrong direction (to the inside), under load, it will tend more towards that direction and the foot automatically becomes less functional. What do we mean by less functional: the big toe is the anchor and stabilizer of the foot (and therefore the whole body). It is the strongest muscle in the foot. Modern footwear squeezes the toes (thus telling our brain our big toe has no individual function, when the exact opposite is true), raises the heel (which shortens the achilles tendon over time and puts unnecessary weight on the front of the foot) and has toe spring (the big toe is lifted of the ground, supposedly to initiate the "rolling" process, but actually what this does is to tell our brain our big toe has no individual function (AGAIN!)). Manufacturers usually do this for aesthetics (we are used to having symmetrically shaped shoes, pointed at the front) and for production efficiency reasons (asymmetrical shape is much more difficult to produce). The stabilizing and anchoring big toe position is therefore compromised and the big toe loses part of its functionality. The volume of the foot is always the same, so when you squeeze the foot in a tighter environment, the volume has to go somewhere. Usually the lasts are rounded at the bottom and the volume of the foot is just pressed down (will eventually lead to pain and pressure points in the second / third / fourth metatarsal head).