At Toesalad we have reviewed Joe Nimble shoes twice before, and we really liked them. Both shoes, the Trekkster and the Woolster have an on-road sole. Joe Nimble also has shoes with an off-road sole. Those are the Protected models. Lotuss means the shoe has a very water resistant upper.
The Wingster can be used for hiking and off-road running. The sole has big lugs that gives a lot of grip but also make the shoe heavy. The sole looks stiff in the first place, but it flexes easily where the foot flexes too (at the forefoot). The sole also molds easily to uneven surfaces and gives good feedback from the ground. The shoe is stiff at the back, especially at the heel cup. This has the advantage that the shoe stays on the foot well at the heel. I didn't like the shoe for on-road running. The Protected sole is not designed for it. But I really loved to hike and run off-road with them. Especially in winter, they protected my feet well against moisture though the Wingster is not fully waterproof. I found the shoes to be quite warm on my feet. What I like about the uppers is that they don't let sand pass through. In many minimal shoes with mesh uppers I found this to be a problem because it can cause blisters. There is also a "summer" version of the Wingster with mesh uppers. This is the Wingster Protected.
Soles and Lining
The Wingster has a nice inner lining so it can also be worn without socks.
When you compare the Protected sole to the original Joe Nimble sole you can see that it is a typical Joe Nimble sole too. It is also made from Vibram rubber but with bigger lugs. The sole gives good grip but can also get stuck with debris easily. The shoes are made in Germany and the building quality is excellent. Just like the original Joe Nimble shoes the protected models leave a lot of room for the toes to splay, especially for the big toe. A difference is that the original Joe Nimble sole has a Poron cushioning with no separate insole. The Protected models have a separate insole that can be taken out to dry. I think this is a better solution for shoes that can be used for multi-day hikes in wet weather. I estimate the stack height of the shoes at 10mm (6mm for the outsole and 4mm for the insole).
A comparison of the two Joe Nimble soles. On the left the original sole and on the right the Protected sole for off road use.
The sole may look a little bit stiff, but it flexes in the right places.
Color and Sizing
On the website, the Wingsters appeared a very light colored to me. They seemed to be vulnerable to stains. The gray color is darker than it appears on the website though. The Wingsters are also available in blue. At this moment Joe Nimble shoes are mainly available in Europe and Japan. We will let Toe Salad readers know when Joe Nimble will be sold in Northern America.
I used the Joe Nimble sizing table to determine the right size. Following my foot length, I should have taken a size UK 10. But I tested a size 10½ and they were just too small. I think a size 11 would have been best for me which is a size EU 46. This is the same size I have for my Merrell shoes. It is difficult for me too give a good sizing advice for our readers. Maybe the best would be to order two sizes and return one pair of shoes. Of course this is not easy when you have them shipped to the US.
The Wingsters are vegan and can be washed at 30?C (86?F). The Wingsters weight 370 grams (13 Oz) in size UK 10½. There are also women's models of the Wingster Lotuss Protected and the Wingster Lotuss.
The separate insole shows the wide toebox with enough room for the big toe too.Shop Sale & Clearance Items at REI.com!