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Friday, October 13, 2006

MBT shoes

It has been almost 2 weeks since I got my MBT shoes. Still trying to get use to walking around in them. So far so good but can't really balance myself on the train.

What is this MBT shoes? MBT stands for Masai Barefoot Technology.

"Designed by a Swiss engineer to simulate barefoot walking or running, MBT shoes were supposedly inspired by the Masai people of East Africa, who walk barefoot over miles of uneven terrain, yet allegedly experience few back and joint problems. Some even train barefoot for marathons. The multi-layered soles, in essence, turn a flat surface into an uneven one, giving muscles you don't normally use a workout and challenging you to walk more upright. You'll experience a rocking motion when you wear them. Some athletes, including those on the Austrian National Ski Team, use MBT during training."

More information from this website:

"MBT shoes can change the way most of us use our muscles as well as reduce shock forces to the entire skeletal system. Masai Barefoot Technology makes all surfaces like walking in sand. Unlike most conventional training shoes that only support and cushion your feet, the unique lever spring action of MBT's challenge the core strengthening muscles to be more active. This creates good posture and increases shock absorption for all the joints.

The MBT range of footwear is designed to allow you to walk on a soft, uneven surface in order to stimulate exceptional muscle use; so increasing tone, alignment throughout the body, benefiting circulation and giving you a feeling of overall good health and well being.

Training with MBT improves: Coordination, Core Stability, Power & Speed, Running Style, Endurance, Flexibility, Recovery and Injury Prevention. Performing on a high level needs to balance all of your abilities. MBT makes training more effective, challenging and gentle to your spine.

For treatment, rehabilitation and prevention of: Back, hip, leg and feet problems, Joint, muscle, ligament and tendon injuries, Therapy resistance. GPs, physiotherapists, osteopaths, chiropractors and alexander technique teachers recommend the use of MBTs to successfully help prevent and treat injuries"

More on MBT shoes here:

Have I benefitted from the use of the shoes? I'm not too sure. They are comfortable but due to the thickness of the shoes, I am now 2 inches taller. It certainly forces me to walk and stand straighter which is good for me as I hunched most of the time. However, the Physio at CGH and Jo at the OPRC doesn't think too highly of it. So the verdict is still out.

One thing though - why can't they design it nicer?


  1. I have been suffering pain in my heel because of over-running and landing on my heel. A year ago, I bought a pair of MBT shoes (for work only), and as long as I am using them, I can walk comfortably, without feeling any pain. As soon as I switched to sandals or ordinary running shoes or walked barefoot, my heel pain returns.

    I would like to know, from your experience, whether it is worthwhile to buy a pair of MBT running shoes. In Singapore, they are not cheap!

  2. Looks like u have some serious heel problem. Maybe plantar fasciitis or a heel spur. U need to see a podiatrist to fix the problem. Wearing a MBT is not going to help.