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Dr. Nicole Freels

Dr. Nicole Freels FACFAOM, C.Ped.

Voted "Top Women in Business" + "Top 50 under 50, Lexington"

Dr. Nicole Freels, FACFAOM, C.Ped. is a Kentucky native and University of Kentucky alumnus. The granddaughter of Dr. Arthur O. Kelly, a Podiatrist in Portsmouth, Ohio, Dr. Freels grew up on a horse farm in South Portsmouth, Kentucky.

Outside of being raised as a "farm girl" tending to the garden, gathering eggs from the hen house, mucking barns and grooming horses, she spent much of her time shadowing her grandfather and learning the building blocks of podiatry which she uses daily.

Dr. Freels is the founder and CEO of Lexington Podiatry. Over the past 14 years she has created a world-renowned multispecialty podiatry practice that focuses on treating all conditions of the foot and ankle. She has 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 minimally invasive procedures.

I recently treated a nurse for chronic heel pain. She became noticeably happier and more vibrant on her follow up visits because she was healing. Now she's going to pay it forward and be more effective at HER position healing others because she's not being held back by the pain anymore. I love that! Let's face it - when your feet hurt, everything suffers.

Conservative Care

Dr. Nicole Freels, FACFAOM, C.Ped is Board Certified and has been ranked the Top Podiatrist in Lexington for over a decade 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.

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, custom + semi-custom + over-the-counter insert team member evaluation and fitting, foot examinations, workers' compensation cases, etc).

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 launched MODPOD "Modern Podiatrist", her re-branded custom-designed foot care line inspired by her late Grandfather, Doc Kelly. Her original brand “Doc Kelly's Apothecary" has now been locally sourced in her hometown, with her cousin Sara at the helm. It is a full foot care product line focusing on natural ingredients with a sprinkle of modern medicine.

Her brand has been incredibly popular amongst her patients looking for prescription strength options adding in natural ingredients. Her product line is in several Lexington, Midway, Richmond and Rockcastle boutiques. Under Dr. Freels' direction, The Marriot Spa at Griffin Gate offers a therapuetic pedicure (safe for diabetics and at risk patients) soley using her complete footcare line. There are several products in production, sign up for her newsletter for updates!

Her approach is to merge traditional podiatric medicine that she learned from her Grandfather with modern, advanced, cutting-edge procedures and technology.

In addition to advanced biomechanics, 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.

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.

After your complete analysis and plan has been discussed, as a 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.

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.

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 & Family Practice Associates, featured in several podiatry journals and contributed to multiple national magazine articles and is considered a leading expert in foot and ankle issues.

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 the Live Like Ron Foundation.

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).

Dr. Freels also collaborates with several running groups in the community and is an avid hiker and outdoor enthusiast. She enjoys finding ways to keep the active community ACTIVE.


  • 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