Joe Nimble
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Children's sports shoes: warning about the Mini-Me!

There's nothing wrong with children wanting to follow in the footsteps of top international athletes like Robert Lewandowski or Jan Frodeno. They just shouldn't do it in their sports shoes.

98 percent of all children are born with healthy feet. But in adulthood, more than two-thirds of people have foot problems. The cause is often the wrong shoes in childhood - including sports shoes.

While sports shoe manufacturers invest millions in studies that investigate in detail how optimal footwear can minimize the risk of injury and maximize the performance level of top adult athletes, such studies are often sought in vain in the children's sports segment. Instead, the findings from the adult segment are transferred to the design of children's sports shoes. The models of international stars are simply put on smaller sizes. But these mini-me versions fail to take into account the differences in the anatomy and function of children's feet.

As a result, cushioning elements in children's sports shoes, for example, are often exaggerated. At the same time, classic lasts constrict the toes in the forefoot area to such an extent that they can no longer perform their natural stabilizing function properly. As a result, it can be observed in children as young as ten that their feet begin to lose their natural shape and function.

Club sports: Where the wrong soles meet the wrong floors

A particularly critical phase for such undesirable developments begins at school age. During this time, many children join sports clubs and actively participate on indoor floors that are actually designed for adults. The children themselves usually accept this without complaint. This is because their foot consists of cartilage until the age of eight, which only gradually ossifies and thus impairs the natural sensation of pain. However, the negative biomechanical aspects are fatal. That's because improperly tuned floors, shoes and soles can act like a board under your foot.

At Joe Nimble, after 40 years of experience with shoes with natural toefreedom®,  we are convinced that sports shoes for children must promote the natural functionality of the foot. That's why we worked with biomechanists and footwear industry experts to develop playToes, the first children's athletic shoe to incorporate our concept of functional footwear and toefreedom®. An asymmetrical wide toe box allows the toes to spread out better, thus stabilizing the entire body more effectively in motion.

Cushioning: children's feet do not need to be packed in absorbent cotton

The ball and heel of a child's foot are also at the same height in the new playToes. After all, no child is born with a heel. We have intelligently balanced the cushioning of the midsole to protect the still-growing skeleton of the foot from the hard impact forces that occur when jumping and running on hard surfaces, while still ensuring sufficient sensory feedback during movement.

If the natural function of the foot is maintained and encouraged as it grows, a variety of adult problems and areas of pain can be avoided. Then nothing will stand in the way of a career as a top international athlete. Especially not a hallux valgus.

Tags: Germany, Zehenfreiheit, Toefreedom, Kids