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MBT - A marriage of biology and technology

Wednesday, 22 November 2017 2:21:44 am Australia/Sydney

Looking at MBT shoes, you would probably think, “Who even approved these designs?!”

Well, you’re not alone.

These shoes rocked the industry when they were first launched with claims that it tones your body, improves posture and eases back pain. With a thick, curved sole and wide straps, this is definitely more of a sensible shoe than a fashionable one. It’s said, that with proper usage, the shoes will:

  1. Activate neglected muscles

  2. Improve your posture and gait

  3. Help to tone and shape your body

  4. Ease your back, hip, leg and foot issues

  5. Help if you have joint, muscle, ligament and tendon injuries.

A Sheffield Hallam University study led by Tim Vernon, a senior sport and exercise science manager with over a decade of experience of working within sport science research and consultancy, concluded that MBTs are better for your knees, hips and ankles compared to conventional shoes.

He has been quoted in international publications as saying that when wearing MBTs, there was lesser strain on the body, and with proper usage, the wearer takes shorter strides thus unconsciously getting the body to do more work.

It almost sounds too good to be true. Especially for office workers who find that their shoulders, necks, backs and hips are suffering from being seated at a desk for at least eight hours a day. How many of us find relief in massages, get treatment from chiropractors, or are in constant search for chair accessories that promise to give your back the support it needs? *hands up*

The story of MBTs start in the early 1990s, when Swiss engineer Karl Müller found that walking barefoot in a soft paddy field in Korea helped alleviate his back, knee and Achilles tendon problems. He also found out about the Kenyan Masai tribesmen, who are said to have perfect posture (could it be because they’re not working desk-bound jobs?).

He put some thought to it and reasoned that this was because they walk across ground that has some sort of ‘bounce’, like the surface of a firm jelly, compared to hard surfaces like pavements that don’t quite give. As such, the impact of this is felt in our backs, knees and ankles.

So, he created the technology to complement our biological needs, producing MBT, which stands for Masai Barefoot Technology.

Its signature curved sole introduces imbalance when the wearer stands, causing the body to lengthen naturally into a tall and upright posture, simultaneously encouraging use of neglected muscle groups. It engages untrained muscles when walking or jogging (that helps burn more calories too!), helping to tone the body and helps with weight loss in the long run. Even if you’re merely standing, your muscles continue to work to maintain your balance.

MBTs are more than just a shoe. It is a lifestyle that promises health rewards if you commit to using it properly, which we’ll share more about in the next few posts, so do look out for that!

If there’s anything you want to know about MBTs - how to use them, how to care for them, where to find them, etc - let us know in the comments!

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