***Important 2008 Update: Please take the time to check out this additional information and reader comments on MBT shoes.
MBT Shoes : Masai Barefoot Technology
MBT stands for "Masai Barefoot Technology," and the shoes are designed to simulate walking in sand. It's a multi-layered, curved sole that accomplishes this by creating a natural but uneven walking surface. This technology is meant to make the core strengthening muscles more active, creating better posture and increasing shock absorbtion for all of the joints. It also makes wearing the shoes quite a unique experience, and a bit of a workout.
Pros and Cons of MBT Shoes
MBT shoes have been billed as "the world's smallest gym." Since they increase muscle activity, strengthening and toning of the leg, buttock, stomach and back muscles takes place during everyday activities like walking and standing. Their unique design has supposedly help wearer's tone up, lose weight, and even smooth cellulite, which has garnered the brand a lot of attention as well.
While no such claims are made on the manufacturer's web site, MBT shoes have been used in training by olympic medalists, and other top athletes. And according to Swiss Masai Inc., other benefits of the shoes include:
- Increased muscle activity
- Increased circulation
- Encourages upright posture and relaxed stride
- Muscular Tension
- Joint Problems
- Back Problems
- Leg and Feet Problems
User Reviews of MBT Shoes
Since I originally wrote about MBT shoes, a lot has changed about the brand, and the inventor and founder has left the company. Among real customers, reviews of MBT shoes are quite mixed. If you're considering a pair of MBT shoes, I strongly encourage you to also read the comments left in response to the following articles, and talk to your doctor before wearing any type of shoe that is so radically different from what you're used to, or to treat any type of pain or problem.