Questions and Answers

  • What sizes do MBTs come in?

    MBTs start from a size 35 to 41 2/3 (European) in the women’s range and 41 to 47 (European) in the men’s range. MBT sizing is different therefore your size will vary depending on the style. Please visit your nearest MBT stockist for further advice.

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  • How do MBTs work?

    The unique sole of MBT changes a hard flat surface into a soft uneven one. This creates a natural instability underfoot to which the body automatically reacts with increased muscle activity. This increased muscle activity leads to activation of neglected muscles, improved posture and gait and relief of back and joints.

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  • Why is it called MBT?

    MBT stands for “Masai Barefoot Technology.” The product name was inspired by the Masai tribe of Africa. Their elegant upright posture and lack of joint and back problems are attributed to walking on uneven, natural surfaces — which is what is emulated when wearing MBTs.

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  • Why is MBT the anti-shoe?

    Conventional shoes stabilize and cushion the foot in an unnatural way.The unique sole construction of MBT creates a natural instability and activates the "natural cushioning system" (small muscles around the joints).  MBT is the functional antithesis of a conventional shoe and therefore the anti-shoe.

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  • What is the rocker-bottom sole?

    The sole of the MBT is curvilinear. The negative heel creates minimal heel strike and lessens the impact to your joints and skeletal system. The curve also minimizes plantar flexion by creating a rolling motion rather than a stop-and-go motion common when wearing ordinary shoes.

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  • Will MBT help me?

    MBT wants to help people all over the world to live healthier and better lives. Wearing your MBTs increases muscle activity in multiple parts of the body. MBTs strengthen core muscles, tighten and tone the feet and ankles, calves, hamstrings, upper and inner thighs, buttocks, stomach, and back.
    The bottom line: You will become stronger and more resilient just by wearing MBTs to perform your everyday activities.

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  • Where will I see the difference?

    The most important thing is the difference you will feel. Just by standing and walking in your MBTs you will be increasing muscle activity; improving your circulation, posture and balance; toning your legs, hips, abs and glutes; and reducing stress and pressure on your back, feet and joints.

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  • What is the difference between MBT's classic and dual board (aka lower) soles?

    The new Dual Board (lower) sole provides the wearer with the same benefits as the classic one – the only difference between the two sole constructions lies in the feeling for the wearer. While still curved, the Dual Board construction reduces the heights of the sole by approximately 8mm, offering a new slender look and additional style choice to customers.

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  • Why are MBTs as expensive as they are?

    It’s because MBTs are physiological footwear—making them much more than just a regular shoe. They are built specifically to strengthen and tone your body, help prevent injuries, shorten healing and rehabilitation time for injuries, as well as promote natural healing for some minor injuries. More than 10 years of research have gone into making the MBT of today, allowing you to stand or walk your way into a better body.

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  • Is there research supporting how MBTs work?

    Yes, there are 10 years of intensive study and research on MBT. Research guides our product development and provides proof of the benefits of wearing MBTs. We’ve done research to direct the evolution and quantify the effectiveness of MBTs, and the scientifically proven physiological benefits are impressive and desirable to anybody ready for a more healthful and energetic life.

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  • Do you have children’s shoes?

    No, not at this time.

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  • Are children allowed to wear MBT?

    The size range of MBT defines the target group. (Size 33 – 49). Each age group can benefit from the technology of physiological footwear.

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  • What kind of activities are MBTs meant for?

    MBTs are meant to be an everyday walking, fitness walking, and general lifestyle footwear.

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  • Can I wear MBTs every day?

    You may walk and stand in your MBTs as long as you feel comfortable. Try to wear your MBTs as regularly and as often as possible. Note: If MBTs are being used as a secondary therapy for existing basic health conditions, wear should be supervised by a physician.

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  • Can I wear MBTs while participating in sports that require lateral movement (i.e. tennis, basketball, aerobics)?

    MBTs are not recommended for lateral and stop-and-go movements. Instead, you should choose shoes specifically designed for your desired sport.

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  • Can I use MBTs in the gym?

    MBTs should be used solely as a walking shoe for the first 8 to 12 weeks (depending upon your fitness level).  Once you have gotten used to this then you can start to expand your use into other areas such as training in the gym on the treadmill or eliptical walker. 

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  • Can I jog in MBT's?

    Yes, but please make sure that:

    • you run very slowly.(Slow running)
    • you have an upright posture.
    • you increase the speed with the frequency of your steps and not with a larger step.
    • you roll from heel to toe (do not run on forefoot).
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  • What is slow running?

    Slow running can also be referred to as trotting or “floating.” It is essentially how to comfortably and safely move faster than walking and slower than all-out running. It uses the entire leg all the way up through the hip joint to move. The first action is stepping down on the middle of the Masai Sensor and then rolling through the mid-foot and off the toes without pressure. You should feel relaxed.
    Light jogging in MBTs is for relaxation purposes and recovery. The end result is a feeling of active massage. Ultimately, you should feel a full leg swing and low heel recovery as you float.

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  • How can MBTs help me in my sport?

    MBTs offer recovery, regeneration, and cross training to help you be fit and ready for your next training session.

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  • Can I use my MBTs for Nordic Walking?

    We have a different philosophy:

    • Keep your steps close to the center of gravity in MBTs. Nordic walking involves a larger step.
    • Walking in MBTs provides naturally upright posture. In Nordic walking, the trunk leans forward.
    • MBTs provide a rotation of the upper body. In Nordic walking, poles prevent the upper body from rotating.

    We recommend to use small waterbottles or trainings devices like heavy hands for walking in MBT's.

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  • Are MBTs good for standing all day?

    MBTs are absolutely great for typically healthy people who stand all day. They are designed to decrease pressure to the skeletal system. A regular shoe’s impact enters directly through your heel, traveling into your joints and skeletal system. In comparison, MBTs transfer the shock behind the heel and body. We suggest rocking back and forth in your MBTs while you stand.
    This activity increases circulation, reduces shock to the body, and helps you to stand for longer periods of time — without discomfort and pain.

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  • I am pregnant; can I wear MBTs?

    MBTs have great benefits before and after pregnancy. If you have been wearing MBTs prior to the pregnancy then you can continue to do so as the body will have adapted to the changes. If you have not worn MBTs before then we recommend that you wait until after the birth. This is because the body is experiencing significant changes during pregnancy so it is important to keep these to a minimum.

    Do not continue to wear MBTs during pregnancy if there is any discomfort associated with wearing them. As the pregnancy progresses, swelling in the feet can occur which can affect the fit of the MBTs leading to undue pressure on the structures of the feet.

    MBTs may be indicated for use during pregnancy as part of treatment of back pain related to the pregnancy and for ante-natal fitness purposes. If you are under the supervision of a medically qualified women’s health specialist such as a physiotherapist or midwife and are pregnant and wish to start wearing MBTs during pregnancy then consult with your specialist as to whether MBTs would be suitable.

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  • Why does my foot sweat more in MBTs?

    MBTs activate the intrinsic muscles of the feet and increase circulation, making your entire foot more active. Subsequently, your feet become warmer and may perspire more. We have addressed this by creating a ventilation system called the MBT DRY&COOL Climate Management System. The basis of DRY&COOL is the combination of a high-grade 3-D mesh lining with a functional sock liner. With its open and three-dimensional structure, 3-D mesh facilitates air circulation in the MBT and conducts moisture away from the foot. The special sockliner complements the DRY&COOL effect with its moisture management.

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  • Do MBT shoes help with medical conditions?

    MBT is a medical device class 1 in the EU and several health insurance companies reimburse the cost of MBT. The concept is backed up by the leading sport medical and biomechanical institutes in the world and leading medical specialists recommend the application for muscular skeletal problems such as:

    • Back, hip, leg and foot problems; and
    • Joint, muscle ligament and tendon injuries.

    If MBT is used as secondary therapy for existing basic health conditions its application must be supervised by a medically trained specialist.

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  • Are MBTs good for back problems?

    Yes, they were designed specifically for the treatment of back pain, rehabilitation and for the prevention of injury. Over 70% of people in developed countries will experience low back pain at sometime in their lives. It is most common between the ages of 35-55 years. Pain is non-specific in 85% of people. MBTs will help to improve posture and muscle activity of the leg and core muscles and therefore, help to take strain off the back.

    People with Scoliosis (curvature of the spine) frequently benefit from wearing MBTs as the shoes encourage balanced muscle activity throughout the body.

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  • Why do I get backache after wearing MBTs?

    An individual walking in MBTs automatically attains a more upright posture rather than a forward leaning gait. This leads to an increased activation of the lumbo-sacral musculature due to the alteration of trunk angle relative to the pelvis when wearing MBTs. When muscles start to work harder they can be painful. This should normally resolve within a few days.

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  • Will MBTs cure my sciatica?

    Sciatica, or pain that radiates down the back of the leg is a symptom of a problem usually stemming from the low back, therefore it is considered as a back problem.

    Symptoms, pathology and radiological appearances are poorly correlated.
    Acute low back pain is usually self-limiting and the majority of people will have recovered within 6 - 12 weeks.  Activity speeds symptomatic recovery, reduces chronic disability and leads to less time off work than rest.
    MBTs also affect the angle of the trunk relative to the pelvis; this places the lower back to load optimally through the pelvis and hips, rather than the forward lean individuals have with conventional footwear.

    MBTs also affect the lumbo-sacral musculature, which also helps to strengthen the lower back and aid recovery. MBTs should be seen as a tool that may help to resolve the pain associated with the condition of sciatica. If back or leg pain persists then an individual should see their doctor to rule out more serious conditions such as infection, tumour, fracture, inflammation, osteoporosis or rheumatoid arthritis.

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  • Are MBTs helpful for foot pain?

    MBTs reduce the pressure in the heel and mid-foot and therefore will be helpful for problems such as heel spur, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis and arthritis. MBTs also reduce the joint forces in the ankle thus taking strain off the foot-ankle complex.

    MBTs are also useful for Metatarsalgia as they will reduce the pressure to the front of the foot.

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  • Can I wear them if I have flat feet?

    Yes, MBTs activate the muscles in your feet therefore help rebuild fallen arches. It is very important that the MBT are used correctly to achieve this.

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  • Can I wear them if I have high arches?

    Yes, as long as you find the MBTs comfortable then they are suitable for people with high arches.

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  • Are MBTs helpful for plantar fasciitis/heel spurs?

    MBTs can be helpful for plantar fasciitis as they reduce the pressure in the arches of the feet where the plantar fascia lies. You will need to gradually wean into wearing the MBTs and over time they will help to gently stretch the plantar fascia whilst protecting it and strengthening the muscles which support it.

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  • Can I wear them with orthotics?

    Wearing orthopaedic sole inserts in MBTs is not recommended as orthopaedic inserts support feet, whereby the foot muscles are not activated as much. MBTs on the other hand, stimulate and activate the foot muscles. People should try to wear MBT without orthopaedic to fully benefit from the MBT technology.

    • Initially people with orthotics can use them in the MBT if they want
    • People are advised that the MBT probably will make (in the long run) orthotics unnecessary
    • People are advised to contact MBT Academy for further assistance.
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  • I have problems with recurrent ankle ligament sprains. Will MBTs help with my rehabilitation?

    Yes definitely. Approximately 30% of individuals with ankle ligament sprains will have symptoms of pain, stiffness and recurrent sprains if not managed appropriately. The big benefit of MBT in rehabilitation is the sensorimotor stimulus, which they provide. They are also potent activators of the ankle stabilising musculature. Many individuals who have ligament injuries are given ‘wobble boards’ to assist rehabilitation. These are used for 20-45 minutes per day. In effect the MBT acts like a permanent wobble board due to its inherent instability and can comfortably be worn every day, thereby strengthening the ankle in the long run.

    MBTs can also be helpful for Achilles Tendonitis however it is important to build up very slowly with this condition.

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  • I have arthritis in the big toe. Will MBTs help me?

    MBTs dynamically alter loading through the foot, ensuring that the load is distributed evenly through the foot from the moment of heel strike until the foot leaves the ground at toe off. This mimics walking barefoot. Conventional shoes concentrate loading through the heel and then through the forefoot, culminating in a push-off from the big toe potentially causing pain in those individuals with osteoarthritis affecting the big toe (a condition also known as hallux rigidus or bunions).

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  • I get anterior knee pain can I wear MBTs?

    MBTs we know will reduce loading through the knee. We also know that walking in MBTs benefits the muscles acting around the knee. Specifically MBTs cause a stretch of the hamstring muscles and also specifically cause activation of the quadriceps. These features assist the management of anterior knee pain. It is always advisable to contact a medically trained MBT specialist (doctor, physiotherapist, osteopath, podiatrist or chiropractor) for a definitive diagnosis.

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  • I am due to have knee/hip replacement surgery; can I wear MBTs?

    Clinical studies at Calgary University and Sheffield Hallam University have demonstrated that MBTs reduce loading through the hip, knee and ankle. This may well reduce the pain in these joints due to osteoarthritis. MBTs also activate knee and ankle musculature and stimulate proprioceptive feedback around these joints. All of these factors may be beneficial. They will certainly be of benefit in the pre-operative period.

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  • I have had a joint replacement. How soon after surgery can I start wearing my MBTs?

    Provided you are already familiar with MBT they can be seen as a valuable tool in postoperative rehabilitation. It is advisable, however, that they are not worn until 6 - 8 weeks post operatively as the potential risk of a fall in this period would dislodge the artificial joint. It is recommended that MBTs be used post-operatively in conjunction with supervision provided by a rehabilitation specialist such as a physiotherapist.

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  • Are they good for arthritis?

    MBTs dynamically alter loading through the foot, ensuring that the load is distributed evenly through the foot from the moment of heel strike until the foot leaves the ground at toe off. This mimics walking barefoot. Conventional shoes concentrate loading through the heel and then through the forefoot pain in those individuals with osteoarthritis affecting the big toe (a condition also known as hallux rigidus or bunions).

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  • Do MBT's help with varicose veins?

    A varicose vein is due to the failure of a valve, which prevents backflow in superficial venous vasculature. MBT usage cannot correct for this mechanical venous malfunction. What MBT does is increase the blood flow in the deep calf veins, thereby minimising superficial venous return.

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  • I have just had a heart attack is it OK for me to wear MBTs?

    Cardiac rehabilitation improves coronary risk factors and reduces the risks of major cardiac events in people after myocardial infarction. MBTs may therefore be used as part of a cardiac rehabilitation programme. Together with education, medication and lifestyle modification as indicated.

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  • I have poor blood supply to my legs. Will the MBTs help this?

    Depending on the severity of the altered or abnormal vascular supply MBTs may be an aid to improving peripheral circulation in the affected limb. It is important to realise, however, that as MBTs may increase muscle activation initially the compromised circulation in the affected limb may lead to an increase in pain. This is due to an inadequate blood supply.

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  • I have diabetes. Can I wear MBTs?

    MBTs can be worn by individuals with both insulin dependent and non-insulin dependent Diabetes Mellitus. Wearing the MBT stimulates blood flow to all muscle groups in the legs. It is also a potent aid to proprioception thereby, stimulating the nerve supply to muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons in the lower limbs. This is of benefit and may help individuals who are prone to develop the neuro-vascular complications of Diabetes Mellitus.

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  • I have had a stroke, is it all right for me to wear MBTs?

    The aims of treatment after the acute phase of a stroke are to minimise impairments, disability and secondary complications with minimal adverse effects from treatment. To this end MBT may be beneficial. The MBT is a potent activator of vascular flow in the lower limb and has also been shown to have a significant impact on muscle activation in the gluteals, hamstrings and calf musculature.
    We know the MBT gives active proprioceptive feedback with every step taken.
    It should always be remembered, however, that MBT is fundamentally an unstable footwear device. With prolonged supervised usage it should aid rehabilitation but initially there may potentially be an increased risk of falls if used without supervision.

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  • Do MBTs help people who have multiple sclerosis?

    Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system. In Europe and North America it is the most common cause of neurological disability in young adults with an age of on set between 20-40 years. It has a prevalence of 1 in 800 people. In 90% of affected individuals the disease process is relapsing and remitting in nature. Randomised clinical trails have demonstrated that outpatient rehabilitation reduced MS symptom frequency and fatigue. Clinical studies have failed to demonstrate the benefits of exercise on disease progression. MBT may therefore, be worn in individuals who have MS as part of their normal rehabilitation programme. The MBT will aid proprioception and muscle function.

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  • I have ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Can I wear MBTs?

    Yes, MBTs are suitable as a training tool for people who suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome/ME. As they increase the work your muscles are doing you will need to pace yourself with your MBT use and experiment very gradually to determine your optimal time using them.

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  • I have had a DVT can I wear MBT?

    MBTs should not be worn in the early stages following diagnosis of a deep vein thrombosis. This is because the increased muscle activation of the calf musculature may lead to the clot becoming dislodged and leading to a potentially fatal pulmonary embolus. Most individuals who have a DVT are put onto the drug Warfarin and once stabilised and told by their doctor to resume exercise, MBTs may be worn.

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  • Can my MBTs be treated with stain and waterproof applications?

    Yes, you may treat the MBT upper like you would any other high-end footwear purchase. However, do make sure that you protect the sole construction by not allowing any foreign materials to come in contact with the Masai Sensor. Avoid contact with aggressive liquids (acids, disenfectants, salts, grease, fertalisers etc.

     

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  • My MBTs are dirty. What can I do?

    The sole construction and Masai Sensor of MBTs should not be exposed to aggressive liquids (acids or disinfectants), salt, oil, manure, blood, protein, grease, fertilisers or mud. If they are exposed to these substances they must be cleaned as soon as possible.

    To wash MBTs thoroughly inside and out, use a soft brush (old tooth brush/nail brush) and clear mild liquid hand soap with water up to 30°c. Remember to dry them upside down so that the water drains away from the sole. Please do not wash MBTs in the washing machine.

    It is best to clean your soiled MBTs immediately so that dirt does not become ingrained

     

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  • Can I just put them in the washing machine?

    No. Due to the complex nature of the technology in the Masai Sensor, MBTs will disintegrate if put in the washing machine, and they cannot be repaired.

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  • Warranty of MBT's?

    MBT Australia Pty. Ltd. provides warranty of MBTs from material and constructional defects if sold in manufacturers condition for a period of twelve (12) months from the consumer’s original date of purchase. This warranty does not apply to any damage resulting from normal or excessive wear and tear, nor from improper use or abuse of the product including exposure to chemicals, heat, cement, lime or saltwater (all solvents). Abuse includes cuts, burns and excessive forces (such as kicking). This warranty does not cover wear and tear on soles and all resoling must be done at the customers expense by our authorised repairers. Wear and tear cannot be measured as it is dependant on many factors including stride length, hours of use, weight of wearer and environment.  Alterations of any nature made to MBTs shall void this warranty.

    As a condition of this warranty you must present the footwear and your receipt of purchase for the warranty to be honoured.

    Potentially defective MBTs must be returned to the retailer where they were bought, together with dated proof of purchase. The MBT retailer is then responsible for returning the potentially defective product to MBT Australia Pty. Ltd. for evaluation in accordance with our Warranty and Returns Policy. If after inspection we determine that the returned product is defective, we will offer product repair or replacement free of charge.

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  • Who do I contact if I have any problems with my MBTs after purchase?

    Please return to your MBT stockist who will offer you further assistance or call MBT Head Office on (02) 9972 9988.

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  • I’m interested in buying a pair of MBTs. What should I expect when I visit an MBT stockist?

    You will be fitted with the correct size, which should be snug on the instep, tight on the heel and comfortable on the toe. You will then be shown how to walk and stand correctly in them so that you can get the full benefits from the MBT technology. The whole process takes at least 10 minutes.

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  • Why is the fitting so important? I’ve always been able to buy shoes that fit before!

    In order for you to get the full benefits from your MBTs, you need to have the correct size; they must be snug on the instep, tight on the heel and comfortable on the toe. Also, you will see that the sizing of MBTs is different from regular shoes so the size you usually wear in an ordinary pair of shoes isn't necessarily what you need in MBTs to get the correct fitting as described above. If you are at all unsure of the fitting of your MBTs please return them to your stockist.

    Tip: Wear your MBTs only inside the house for the first few days to ensure you have purchased the right size. This way if you do need to get a different size your retailer might exchange it depending on their exchange/return policy.

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  • Can I drive in my MBTs?

    Yes you can. Please ensure you are comfortable and confident in your MBTs beforehand.

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  • Do I have to go for further training after I have purchased my MBTs?

    The introduction you receive at the point of purchase is enough for you to know how to walk and stand correctly in MBTs.

    However, there are optional classes available to customers who may feel that they need some further guidence. The MBT training class is available online at www.mbt.com under the training class section. You can also call MBT Head Office on (02) 9972 9988 to find out where your nearst MBT trainer is located for the free instructional class.

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  • What ages can wear MBTs?

    The suitability of MBT is not based on age but on fit and ability to walk properly and comfortably in the MBTs. As long as there is a good fit and there is adequate strength around the foot and ankle to walk with a good stride length, MBTs are appropriate. In general, there is no upper age limit but children younger than ten may have difficulty with the current size range of MBTs. If in doubt, please consult with MBT Head Office on (02) 9972 9988.

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  • Why do my leg muscles ache after wearing MBTs?

    The aching sensation experienced by some individuals, especially in the first few days of wearing MBTs, is a well recognised phenomenon in any individual undertaking a new exercise program and is known as delayed onset muscle soreness. It normally settles after wearing MBTs for approximately five days.

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  • What does it mean if I feel numbness, pins and needles, or heat in my feet?

    Because the MBT technology makes the foot muscles more active than in conventional flat shoes, the muscles in the feet begin to work harder in rolling through the foot with each stride. This can lead to conditions of improved circulation and activation of the muscles in the calf and around the shin, which are mostly passive in normal walking. Sensations such as pins and needles, sweaty feet and numbness can initially occur and will subside after wearing MBTs for a period of time.

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  • Can MBTs help me to lose weight?

    Wearing MBTs activates the stretch reflex, thereby helping tone the postural muscles, increasing circulation. Wearing MBTs during aerobic exercise help you burn more calories.

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  • Can I wear MBTs if I have Achilles Tendinitis?

    This is an area MBT is currently carrying out clinical research in. If the problem is mild to moderate, then the MBTs may be an effective part of rehabilitation for the problem. This is because the Achilles and calf muscles will be stretched and eccentrically strengthened during MBT use. However, in more severe cases where there is swelling of the tendon, the stretch provided by the MBTs may be too much and cause aggravation. In this instance, do not use MBTs.

    MBTs should always be comfortable to wear. If in doubt, consult with a medical specialist.

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  • Can I wear MBTs with osteoporosis?

    Osteoporosis is a condition of thinning of the bone which is helped by weight-bearing exercises and resistance training. Walking is an important part of any program for osteoporosis and MBTs are the perfect walking shoe. In addition to their comfort, they will increase muscle activity which also helps to build bone. If you have balance problems then MBTs may not be suitable without medical supervision, otherwise, MBTs can be used to help combat the effects of osteoporosis.

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  • What are the care instructions?

    You can download the care instructions here.

    The life span of a pair of MBTs is dependant on how well they are looked after as they are made of a complex and sensitive material. However, if cared for as per the care instructions, your MBTs can last many years.

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  • In addition to offering half sizes, do MBTs also come in different width fittings?

    MBT doesn't offer different widths but we use different lasts which have different fit and width. Please visit your closest MBT stockist for a personal fitting.

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  • Can I resole my MBTs?

    We have a Authorised Repair Centres which can replace the sole and the Masai Sensor in your MBTs for $130 (incl P&P). To take advantage of this service, please send your MBTs to your nearest Repairer.

    Please note: The Slim line edition MBTs can not be resoled along with the Chapa and Lami models.

    NSW

    M AND MICHAEL FOOTWEAR AND SHOE REPAIRS
    67 Crown St
    Wollongong
    NSW Australia
    P: 02 4228 8215
    info@mmfootwear.com.au

    Click here for repair form

     

    WA

    Danny's Shoe Repairs
    47-49 Bayview Terrace
    Claremont WA
    (08) 9384 9178

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