Joe Nimble

How it began!

In many ways, the story of Sebastian Bear is also the story of "Joe Nimble®".

Nature follows principle, form is function.

Sebastian's family has been making shoes with toe clearance for close to four decades. His experience helping people around the world improve their foot function through the benefits of toe clearance and his passion for running helped him develop the functional and design concept behind Joe Nimble.

It began
Beginning of the 1980s

Sebastian's father, Christian Baer, came to the realization back in the early 1980s that shoes should follow the natural shape of the foot, with the widest part at the front over the toes so that they can anchor and stabilize the foot.

Passionate Cross-Country Runner  

In the early 90's, Sebastian was passionate about cross country running in high school and made it all the way to runner-up state champion in his competitive environment at the time. This was surprising to both his teammates and the runners at the other high schools, because Sebastian ran in shoes that looked so different: shoes that had an asymmetrical shape!
At the time, no one understood the advantages of this concept.

Running shoes with toefredom®

A few years ago, when Sebastian was leading a top runner's support crew at the world's toughest ultramarathon, the Badwater Ultramarathon, he noticed that many elite athletes cut open the toe area of their running shoes to allow more freedom for their toes to reduce the risk of injury.

His unique expertise in creating casual shoes with toe clearance inspired him to introduce this design philosophy to the running shoe industry.

Runners always in focus

Sebastian wanted to make the benefits of toefreedom® accessible to passionate runners to enable them to practice their beloved hobby on a stable basis and thus for a lifetime. Above all, the needs of runners for a modern running shoe should be given strong consideration beyond toe clearance.

Through a crowdfunding campaign, he financed the development and production of the first model, the legendary 'Addict' and got it off the ground. While the pandemic and supply chain issues presented Joe Nimble with enormous challenges at the same time, the will and passion for a unique product always fueled the drive and strengthened the stamina even in difficult times.

Part of Sebastian's philosophy is to scientifically prove the runner-specific benefits and only include in the product what brings real benefits.

Scientific support from Lee Saxby

Sebastian has been working closely with Lee Saxby in the field of science and biomechanics for several years to bring the principles of natural foot function to the general public and to finally put the focus on our most neglected body part: our feet!

A journey through time

Sebastian does not claim to have invented toe clearance. In fact, the problems with symmetrical footwear have been pointed out for 250 years. Lee and Sebastian have used their joint archive of historical reference sources to put together a brief and, above all, entertaining overview of the history of toefreedom®:

With new angles, new innovations are constantly being created!

The development of Joe Nimble is far from over. The continuous urge, which is also shaped by Sebastian's own passion for running, to permanently further develop the best running shoe in the world, has recently led to innovations such as the recoverToes recovery sandal, the nmblFoam® midsole foam or the relieving ToePilot®.