The Germans really have something with bare feet, healthy feet and shoemaking. This all comes together in the shoes of German shoemaker Joe Nimble. I received the Trekkster hiking shoe from them to test and review.
Joe Nimble makes minimalist shoes for running, hiking, daily use and multisports like parkour. The shoes are all made to high quality standards and they all have the same three design futures: An Archraiser lacing system, a unique Vibram outsole with Poron XRD cushioning and freedom for the toes. In every design element you will see that functionality and freedom of the foot are key.
The Archraiser lacing system means that the soles have ‘wings’ that go around the foot and keep them tight with the laces. I think it works very well to keep the shoes secure to the foot.
The Poron XRD insole gives superb cushioning. It is stitched to the outsole. The sole thickness is 4mm for the Vibram outsole and 2mm for the Poron XRD insole and lining. Because of the special shock absorbing properties of the Poron XRD I was actually missing some of the barefoot feel that I have with some other shoes. The soles don’t feel like 6mm soles to me. This makes the shoes ideal for people walking great distances on rocky trails or in urban areas. Joe Nimble told me that the Poron XRD material will not wear out during the lifetime of the shoe. The 6mm sole gives a lot of proprioception.
The shoes have a very wide fit at the front of the foot and at the heel. This is a typical fit that you also see with other German shoes like Sole Runner. The toebox leaves enough room for all the toes including the big toes.
The Trekkster model that I received is an ankle high shoe. It is designed for hiking purposes. I think that because of the beautiful design it is also a nice shoe for daily use, from work to pub to park.
An ankle high shoe can be useful for cold weather or for hiking because it will protect the ankles against rocks, thorns etc. The lacing doesn’t go up the ankles. There is a Velcro strap that closes the top of the shoe and that can also hide the laces. I think this strap is a little too long. There is also a real winter version of the shoe with a wool and polyester mix lining which is called the Trekkster loaded.
The Trekkster comes in brown and black colours for men and black with blue details for women.
The Trekksters are made of hydrophobic cowhide. The leather indeed did not absorb water but the shoes themselves are not waterproof. The leather can be maintained with a good quality shoe cream. I think I would use Nikwax Waterproofing wax for leather for this.
The sizing is different than the usual American or UK sizes. The best is to follow the Joe Nimble fitting advice. My Joe Nimble Trekkster weighed 915g for a pair in size 10 (US 11,5, UK 11, EU 45).
The Trekksters cost about EUR 230 to 250 (GBP 225 to 239 or USD 290 to 315). These are certainly the most expensive minimal shoes that I have seen yet. But you really get a very well designed pair of shoes for it. Joe Nimble has very high quality standards.
Joe Nimble shoes are currently only available in Europe.