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Dr. Nicole Freels

Dr. Nicole Freels FACPM, Certified Pedorthist

Voted "Top Women in Business" + "Top 50 under 50, Lexington", "Top Podiatrist in Lexington", "Best Podiatrist", "Podiatry Innovator of the Year", "Best Medical Facility", "Podiatry Legends", "Best Podiatry Practice"

Dr. Nicole Freels, FACFPM, C.Ped. is a Kentucky native and University of Kentucky alumnus. The granddaughter of Dr. Arthur O. Kelly, a Podiatrist in Portsmouth, Ohio.  She grew up on a horse farm in South Portsmouth, Kentucky.  Despite humble beginnings and being raised as a "farm girl" tending to the garden, mucking barns and grooming horses, she spent much of her time shadowing her grandfather and learning the building blocks of podiatry which she uses to this day.  

She is the founder and CEO of Lexington Podiatry and Modern Podiatrist. Over the past 16 years she has created a world-renowned multispecialty podiatry practice that focuses on conservatively treating all conditions of the foot and ankle. She and Dr. Carter have created a one stop shop for all things Podiatry. Her approach is encompassing the basics of Podiatry, and enhancing it with modern and advanced treatment alternatives, and "out-of-the-box thinking" for those that don't have time to be off their feet due to pain.

Conservative Care

Dr. Nicole Freels, FACPM, C.Ped is double Board Certified and has been ranked the Top Podiatrist in Lexington for over 15 years by Google, Three Best Rated MD, RateMds, Healthgrades and received the Top Women in Business award by the Lane Report. She is an Associate Professor at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine.  Additionally, she is able to give back to the community by offering education and has been featured as an expert Podiatrist in the Wall Street Journal and Southern Living Magazine, just to name a few.

She has been named the preferred Podiatrist for Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Kentucky. She has worked extensively on-site at their facility (including educating their medical team, floor surface evaluation, personalized team member evaluation and orthotic/insert fitting, foot examinations, workers' compensation cases, etc).  TMMK members typically visit her annually to update their custom orthotics as well as get a thorough examination.  Timberland Boots asked her to be the lead doctor to collaborate and design a shoe/boot exclusively for Toyota worldwide, which is their most widely accepted design to date.

She is a Medical Advisor for PowerStep (Foundation Wellness) and is on the ground floor in developing new and innovative inserts for her patients and the masses. 

She's also been selected as the only Podiatrist to partner with Brooks Running Shoes in offering not only her expertise in shoe design, but also is tasked with educating other doctors about shoe gear to share with their patients.

As an active doc, she is heavily involved with racing events in Kentucky sponsored by Race Rise and Bob Baney, as well as Fleet Feet with Amy Varney.  Offering free footcare onsite to all racers and their families, Lexington Podiatry and Dr. Freels are able to support a community that has been so welcoming.   If you're looking for someone who loves hiking, traveling, snow skiing, weight lifting, tennis and pickleball, this is the Podiatrist for you!

In 2010 she launched her custom-designed premium footcare line inspired by her late Grandfather.  "Modern Podiatrist" has been incredibly popular among her patients, salons, podiatry practices and spas looking for prescription strength options adding in natural ingredients. Under Dr. Freels' direction, The Marriott Spa at Griffin Gate offers a therapeutic pedicure (safe for diabetics and at risk patients) solely using her complete footcare line. There are several products in production, sign up for her newsletter for updates!  Use code "NFBIO24" for 15% off Modern Podiatrist.

In addition to advanced biomechanics (the physics of your body,...think The Matrix), her concentration is the latest advancements in Regenerative Medicine. This includes Laser Therapy, PRP, etc. All of these are considered and discussed before referring you for invasive surgery.  Her approach is to merge traditional podiatric medicine that she learned from her Grandfather with modern, advanced, cutting-edge procedures and technology.

Because many lower extremity problems stem from underlying biomechanical issues, Dr. Freels specializes in treating these issues through detailed biomechanical and gait analysis (when indicated) during your visit in hopes to prevent surgery.  It is not uncommon for patients to schedule an appointment for a biomechanical analysis to reveal the source of their back, hip and/or knee pain.

She is well known in the community for having "difficult cases", and has had success in treating these patients with minimal to no invasive procedures.  Sixth opinions are a "normal day" for her.  Often pain that's been ongoing for years is what she's loves treating. 

If you feel you have no where to turn, please schedule a "Hail Mary" appointment with Dr. Freels just to make sure "NOTHING ELSE CAN BE DONE".  Again...2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and even 6th opinions are her normal.

After your complete analysis and plan has been discussed, as a Board Certified Podiatrist and Certified Pedorthist, she is able to provide you with any custom orthotics or bracing that may be required in-office, in addition to answering all your shoe concerns.  We utilize all forms of traditional and modern technology to create the perfect orthotic for you.  Unlike Good Feet, this is truly customized and not a "one-size-fits-all" mentality.

Patients with back, hip and knee pain are welcome to schedule an appointment to determine if their feet are creating these issues.  Remember: "The knee bone is connected to the hip bone", we can assure you, it's all connected.

During your consultation, you'll feel at ease as you both discuss your lifestyle, occupation, limitations, goals and all of your shoe gear needs. She works extensively with her patients to develop comprehensive treatment plans and options. Her focus is to exhaust all conservative treatments before considering surgical corrections. 

As a shoe aficionado, she'll never tell you to throw any shoes away, only to "Just be smart about it!".  Wrinkles in life happen, Lexington Podiatry and Dr. Freels is there to help you navigate your foot health through those muddy waters. In fact, she has hours of shoe videos on Lexington Podiatry's YouTube channel and a full downloadable shoe guide on our homepage here.

By the time you leave, you'll feel hopeful as you will have a comprehensive treatment plan to get you back on our feet as soon as possible!

If you're a fan of Dr. Pimple Popper or My Feet Are Killing Me, subscribe to her YouTube channel.

YouTube Channel


  • ABC Board Certified Pedorthist in Orthotics, Prosthetics & Pedorthics, (C.Ped.) (2018)
  • Board Certified Fellow, American College of Foot & Ankle Orthopedics & Medicine (2014)
  • Board Certified, American Board of Podiatric Medicine (2013)
  • Board Qualified in Foot Surgery (2008)
  • State of Kentucky Licensure (2008)
  • DPM: Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine Cleveland, OH (2005)



Dr. Freels has been consulted as an expert foot and ankle specialist for WKYT, WLEX, FOX 56, WTVQ, WKYT, Family Practice Associates, PM News, Wall Street Journal, Southern Living, etc featured in several podiatry journals and contributed to multiple national magazine articles and is considered a leading expert in foot and ankle issues.  Nationally she frequently participates in podcasts and webinars.  Locally, she is also a frequent columnist for KYForward and Health 360, allowing her to share tips and advice with Kentuckians state-wide. Her passion for foot health education has led her to become a community and nationally recognized resource for the latest in advanced podiatry technology and treatments.


  • Chairman, #OperationSoleMate
  • Chairman, Heart & Sole Blood Drive
  • Member, The Club at UK's Spindletop Hall
  • Lifetime Member, University of Kentucky Alumni Association
  • Member, Lexington Celtic Association
  • Member, Bluegrass Parrothead Club
  • Member, Bluegrass Irish Society

Dr. Freels frequently donates to various charities that she feels a strong connection to, such as the Lexington Humane Society and (DSACK) Down Syndrome of Central Kentucky.

She also works extensively to educate the local community about common foot problems through free foot screenings and educational seminars at area business, clubs, medical groups, schools, churches and charities.

In particular, working with youth through school screenings has been rewarding for Dr. Freels. She loves to be able to help kids and parents see an improvement that they didn't know was possible through the free screening programs.

She works in conjunction with school nurses, administration, coaches and gym teachers to help identify children or teens that have foot issues, often inherited and un-diagnosed, which ends up having a big payoff for their future. Kids don't always have pain in their feet while they are young, but the screenings help to identify which children are more likely to inherit their parent's foot shape (and the pain associated with that).


  • Robert Palmer School of Biomechanics (2017)
  • Residency: James H. Quillen Veterans Affairs Medical Center Foot & Leg Healthcare PMS: July 2005-June 2008
  • Professional: Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio Date of Graduation: May 2005
  • Undergraduate: University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky Degree: Bachelor of Science, Biology Date of Graduation: May 2000
  • High School: Lewis County High School, Vanceburg, Kentucky Date of Graduation: May 1995