We make 2 styles of ‘minimal’ shoes, 4+1 ‘split-toe’ and 5in1 ‘toes together’. Our 4+1 split toe shoes have a separate pocket for the big toe which gives a little more ‘glove-like’ feel, whilst our 5in1 shoes have all toes together, like traditional shoes. Both styles are flexible, roomy to allow toes to spread, have no heels and allow feeling from the ground, all to achieve the same ‘barefoot-like’ result and they tend to be worn interchangeably. Largely it’s a matter of personal preference!
Sometimes we might want or need to move on a harder suface or for a longer time/distance and for this we use a thin layer of advanced shock absorbing material such as PORON or ORTHOLITE. This does not affect the ‘barefoot-like’ nature of the shoe, but can prevent the foot soreness which you can get with such harder use.
We are a small but fast growing niche footwear business based in North Yorkshire, UK. We made our first shoes in 2011.
We hate unfairness, intolerance, pomposity, lack of integrity as well as any wasted use of our shared resources. We design and develop all our products in the UK and work very closely with our Chinese manufacturing partners. We have as tight an operation and supply chain as we can, but continually work to improve. We have long term relationships with smaller, family run factories where we can discuss and agree what is acceptable in terms of quality, cost and worker terms and conditions. We pay a little more but try to ensure every ‘stakeholder’ has a little more than ‘average’ in terms of pay and conditions such as time off. We will not work in the more cost-driven, ‘sweat-shop’ environments where no one cares except the big boss and his wallet.
We currently support Sea Shepherd, Woodland Trust, CLAN Cancer Support and Salvation Army charities, as well as Shoe Aid, which provides footwear to those without and educates to help reduce landfill.
Our shoes have ‘less shoe’ in them. Deliberately. We combine the best materials, components and design though, to make your experience the best balance we can between natural movement and fitness for the job you’re on – whether hurtling along a hill trail or practising yoga. Different shoes for different purposes but always ‘less shoe’ …
People have been around for many thousands of years but most people have only been wearing shoes for hundreds of years. If you look around at small children, who often take their shoes off at every opportunity, you will realise that it is unnatural for our feet to be overly cushioned from the world.
We complain of knee injuries and problems with our feet but we are effectively strangling the astonishing network of muscles, ligaments and nerves which were designed to respond to our movement requirements. We spend most of our lives in shoes with our feet unable to flex and move naturally.
Developed by experts in footwear to allow feet to operate naturally
Freet Footwear is founded by a team experienced in the development of performance footwear and in biomechanics. Our mission is to allow feet to operate naturally whilst we go about all our activities – sport, leisure and everyday.
Free your feet from the confines of unyielding shoes – put them back in touch with the world around us. Allow your muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones and joints to function naturally rather than adapting to the shoe. Feel your toes, feet, ankle and leg muscles coming back to life as they flex and strengthen as nature intended.
Our shoes, the 4+1 pure barefoot and 5in1 classic-styled barefoot, will help to bring your feet back to life, unlocking their potential.
Wear them before, during and after your activity. Wear them all day… Wherever you are… Whatever you’re doing.
How Freet can help
Acknowledging the 100-year old Japanese Tabi split-toe shoes, with the patented Freet 4+1 the big toe can move independently. Take off your shoes and wiggle your toes. How good does that feel? The minimal, technical midsoles and outsoles in both our 4+1 and 5in1 shoes allows your foot to flex as it moves enabling muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones and joints to work as they were originally intended. This combined with the separate big toe pocket allows complete ‘whole foot’ freedom. You can at last go out and allow your feet to mimic natural ‘barefoot’ movement. There are 19 muscles, 28 bones, 112 ligaments and 19 tendons in each foot. These may now be used more as nature intended, and may help condition and strengthen them although we would stress there is no conclusive scientific evidence for this.
‘Mother Nature’ may not have designed us to move with raised platforms under our heels as most regular shoes have. No ‘clumpy’ heels on our shoes may lead to better posture as we begin to walk and run as we were designed to. We need to work at our running style to strike more in the mid-forefoot. Our walking style may improve with nature’s ‘rocker’ motion reducing the ‘shock loading’ we get from ‘heeled’ footwear. The result of all this may be a foot which feels stronger through natural conditioning of muscles, ligaments and tendons. Possibly this may help to support the foot and our whole skeleton structure alignment.
We stress however that we make no claim whatsoever for our shoes improving any aspect of our wellness; none. What you can do though is try them, have fun; take it easy to get used to this different way of moving, and make your own mind up!
Getting used to a different way of movement – the ‘transition’ to barefoot
For most people there is a need to ‘transition’ to this new style of movement. That is why for our 4+1 shoe we offer a half insole to provide a little more cushioning when heel-striking and support around the ‘weaker’ arch and heel joint areas. This enables your foot to adapt to moving the barefoot way whilst minimising the risk of injury. The key with all our barefoot shoes is to start slowly, perhaps with a few minutes each week walking on a softer trail. Allow your foot and lower leg to get used to this more natural movement.
What can Freet Barefoot shoes be used for?
Freet for Fitness
Perfect for gym work, Freet will enable you to workout with all the benefits of barefoot.
Freet for Running
No ‘clumpy’ heels on our shoes leads to better posture as we begin to run as we were designed to. We need to work at our running style to strike more in the mid-fore foot. Arguably this may be how we were designed to run.
Freet for Trekking
Our walking style with Freet improves our posture with nature’s natural ‘rocker’ motion reducing the ‘shock loading’ we get from ‘heeled’ footwear.
Freet for Everyday
Wear Freet everyday – in the garden, the park, shopping or even work. Give your feet the opportunity to condition and strengthen all day.
Freet for Travel
Wear a pair and put a pair in the pack for spare/indoor use. Can be used for all activities on the trip below the snowline! Throw in the wash. Minimal weight (From 320grams – pr size 42).
Freet for Water activities
Super-grip outsoles are ideal for boat/water/beach use. Can be thrown on in the morning and worn all day.