Virtual Teamwork Speeds Development of Joe Nimble Foot Recovery Sandal During Pandemic
THE WOODLANDS, Texas – Runners can now buy a new form of footwear that can help their feet recover from pounding the pavements during the pandemic. ‘Functional Footwear’ specialist Joe Nimble has developed its first recovery sandal for runners – with assistance from Footwear Innovation Lab GmbH and global chemical company Huntsman Corporation. The so-called ‘recoverToes’ sandals, which are designed to rehabilitate tired feet after exercise and are made from polyurethane, were developed virtually during the last half of 2020, and went on widespread sale in mid-April.
The concept behind ‘recoverToes’ is simple. Forms of exercise, such as running, can cause feet to fatigue, get sore and tighten up. ‘recoverToes’ sandals can provide relief from these symptoms. Working like braces do on teeth, the sandals optimize the alignment of the big toes with a special footbed that spaces out the toes to significantly improve foot shape and structure, ease plantar pressure and stimulate foot nerve endings to improve circulation. Easy to slip on and off, and available in three colors, the sandals feature an adjustable "ToeRite®" toe spacer based on Joe Nimble’s TOEFREEDOM® technology.
‘recoverToes’ sandals are made from two types of polyurethane from Huntsman. The use of Huntsman’s material was recommended by Footwear Innovation Lab GmbH, which teamed up with Head of Joe Nimble, Sebastian Bär, to bring his recovery sandal concept to life in record time.
Explaining more, Sebastian said: “Joe Nimble is a young, vibrant brand, but we have 40 years’ experience behind us. My dad founded Bär Shoes in the early 1980s. His mission was to produce shoes that offered a natural fit and carefree comfort. Over the years, Bär Shoes and more recently Joe Nimble have continued that work developing casual and active shoes that are better for foot health. Around the time we launched Joe Nimble, I contacted British biomechanics expert Lee Saxby to help fix my own running injuries. A friendship developed and, in 2017, we decided to combine Lee’s foot function knowledge with our ‘Functional Footwear’ expertise. Our first collaboration resulted in our ‘nimbleToes’ running and trail shoes. Now we’ve developed ‘recoverToes’.
“From the start we knew what we wanted to achieve with ‘recoverToes’ and we knew we wanted to use a very high-quality polyurethane material. Widely used in footwear, polyurethanes are renowned for being light, flexible, comfortable and durable. After making a first prototype with Footwear Innovation Lab, we discussed in detail the properties we wanted the sandals to have and how best to scale up production. Having worked together in the past, Jens and the team at Footwear Innovation Lab quickly recommended Huntsman as our material partner.”
Jens Schmidt, CEO of Footwear Innovation Lab, said: “When Sebastian approached us about ‘recoverToes,’ we knew there was only one company that could take control of the chemistry: Huntsman. Although Huntsman is a global chemical company, it is incredibly entrepreneurial, and its’ team works in a really agile way. Always open to ideas, Huntsman’s footwear experts go out of their way to find solutions to technical challenges. With ‘recoverToes’ our mission was to find a polyurethane with excellent flowability that could replicate the complicated mould design. Huntsman delivered on that brief.”
‘recoverToes’ is made using Huntsman’s DALTOPED® polyurethane footwear system technology. DALTOPED® Aqua PUR, a low-density polyurethane, was used to make the soft inner part of the sandal. For the outer surface, which has an intricate design, Huntsman and Footwear Innovation Lab adapted a DALTOPED® Grip grade to work with the Stemma RPU spray concept. This unique system allows complex bottom designs to be realized without having to worry about potential air bubbles. The system works with compact and expanding polyurethanes from Huntsman.
Johan Van Dyck, Global Polyurethanes Elastomers Applications Manager at Huntsman, said: “We are grateful to Footwear Innovation Lab for the introduction to Sebastian and the Joe Nimble team. From start to finish this was a fast-paced project and there was great dynamic between everyone involved – as evidenced by the rapid turnaround. When you consider that we only got involved in the project in October 2020; that all interactions were virtual; and that first customers received their sandals in January, it is remarkable. ‘recoverToes’ is going to be a hugely popular line for Joe Nimble. With a sharp increase in running during the pandemic, now is the perfect time to launch this kind of product and we look forward to working with Footwear Innovation Lab and Joe Nimble on future projects.”
Joe Nimble’s ‘recoverToes’ sandals are available to buy online and in Bär Shoes stores across Germany. International wholesale partners in Scandinavia, USA and Czech Republic – among others – will start their sales campaigns in May. The first batch of “recoverToes” sandals were shipped to customers in Q1 2021 following a crowdfunding campaign to test consumer interest. The campaign raised €60,000 in four weeks with more than 1,000 advance purchases.
For more information about ‘recoverToes’ sandals go to: www.joe-nimble.com/int/recovery/ or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about DALTOPED® polyurethane footwear technology please email email@example.com.
Huntsman Corporation is a publicly traded global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated and specialty chemicals with 2020 revenues of approximately $6 billion. Our chemical products number in the thousands and are sold worldwide to manufacturers serving a broad and diverse range of consumer and industrial end markets. We operate more than 70 manufacturing, R&D and operations facilities in approximately 30 countries and employ approximately 9,000 associates within our four distinct business divisions. For more information about Huntsman, please visit the company's website at www.huntsman.com.
While all the information and recommendations in this publication are to the best of our knowledge, information and belief accurate at the date of publication, nothing herein is to be construed as a warranty, express or otherwise. In all cases, it is the responsibility of the user to determine the applicability of such information and recommendations and the suitability of any product for its own particular purpose. The sale of products referred to in this publication is subject to the general terms and conditions of sale of Huntsman International LLC or of its affiliated companies.
DALTOPED® is a registered trademark of Huntsman Corporation or an affiliate thereof in one or more, but not all, countries.
About Joe Nimble: Joe Nimble is a pioneer in the field of Functional Footwear. The brand's mission is to enable a pain-free running experience by restoring and maintaining natural foot function. Together with Lee Saxby and other globally recognized experts in running technique and biomechanics, the second-generation company owners Sebastian and Christof Bär have developed a revolutionary shoe design for natural toefreedom® and maximum stability. The product range currently includes the areas of performance (road, trail, gym and recovery), lifestyle and kids. Joe Nimble, among others, has been awarded with the Red Dot Award, the German Design Award Special Mention and as a Top Innovator for his commitment to foot health.Behind Joe Nimble is the traditional company BÄR GmbH, one of the world's leading manufacturers of shoes that support healthy and comfortable walking for 40 years. The family business relies on high-quality materials, innovative design, top quality craftsmanship and sustainability. Under the management of the two founding siblings Christof and Sebastian Bär as well as Werner Ruf, BÄR GmbH / Joe Nimble employs over 500 people at locations in Bietigheim-Bissingen and Ludwigsburg, Germany as well as in India. For more information about Joe Nimble, go to: https://www.joe-nimble.com/int/
Certain information in this release constitutes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These statements are based on management's current beliefs and expectations. The forward-looking statements in this release are subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances and involve risks and uncertainties that may affect the company's operations, markets, products, services, prices and other factors as discussed under the caption "Risk Factors" in the Huntsman companies' filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Significant risks and uncertainties may relate to, but are not limited to, volatile global economic conditions, cyclical and volatile product markets, disruptions in production at manufacturing facilities, reorganization or restructuring of Huntsman’s operations, including any delay of, or other negative developments affecting the ability to implement cost reductions, timing of proposed transactions, and manufacturing optimization improvements in Huntsman businesses and realize anticipated cost savings, and other financial, economic, competitive, environmental, political, legal, regulatory and technological factors. The company assumes no obligation to provide revisions to any forward-looking statements should circumstances change, except as otherwise required by applicable laws.