Do MBT Shoes Really Work?
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MBT stands for Masai Barefoot Technology. The company that makes MBT Shoes (also known as the anti-shoe) is Swiss Masai. The uniquely-designed, multi-layered, cured sole is designed to simulate walking in sand (similar to the natural walking environment of the Masai in Kenya). This creates a natural, uneven walking surface and forces the body to use all the major and stabilsing muscle groups, thus training the whole body to move correctly.
Do MBT Shoes Really Work?
Many people wonder if MBT Shoes really work. In this review, I will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of MBT Shoes, best place to buy them online, and what you can expect if you decide to purchase them.
Some of the claims made about MBT Shoes include:
- They activate neglected muscles
- They improve posture and gait
- They tone and shape the body
- They can help with back, hip, leg, and foot problems
- They can help with joint, muscle, ligament, and tendon injuries
- They reduce stress on knee and hip joints
I've owned my MBT Shoes for over three years - using them primarily for taking 3-4 mile walks. Once you become comfortable walking in MBT Shoes, you will notice your calf muscles will be worked in a way you don't experience in ordinary shoes. For the first few times you wear them, after about 20 minutes the soreness goes away, and walking seems effortless. Your stride shortens and becomes quicker, and you naturally walk with your back straight and stomach pulled in.
One of the claims you may have heard is walking one mile in MBT Shoes is the equivalent workout of walking two miles in ordinary walking shoes. I was unable to find any studies to substantiate this claim. Personally I have noticed my muscles get more of a workout when I am wearing MBT Shoes. Since I purchased them they caused me to me more motivated to walk more, and for longer distances, which has lead to weight loss. This is pretty common, and I have heard the same thing from others who wear them.
I have had chronic back pain my entire adult life, and walking in these shoes takes the strain off my back. I have also talked to several people who also own MBT Shoes, and they say they are the only shoes they wear because they relieve their back pain.
Another question people ask all the time is...
Where Can I Buy MBT Shoes?
Most cities have one (or two) stores that carry MBT Shoes. The problem is, local stores don't carry all the styles and sizes. I tried MBTs on at two different local stores, and in both cases I was presented with shoes that were a half size too large (and told the heel should be loose when wearing them). The truth is, the heel should be snug. Both stores did let me walk around in them. I even walked outside the store, but you really need 20-30 minutes to get used to them. When you first walk in MBT Shoes, you tend to walk on the balls of your feet (instead of walking from heel to toe). You feel like you are walking on stilts, and you feel a bit unsteady. Trying them on in the local store actually reduced my confidence in them, because you don't have time to get comfortable in them.
A better approach is to purchase them online. Most MBT Shoe styles run true to size. If you normally wear a half size, purchasing them online may be your best option because => the online store I recommend <= carries all sizes (including half sizes) - and best of all, they offer free shipping, will also pay the shipping on any regular priced items returned, they are far and away the largest selection of Authentic MBT Shoes (styles you won't find anywhere else), and they have the best prices online.
They are the #1 authorized MBT Shoe retailer, and the first (and only) MBT Concept Store. Because they are a concept store they have access to more styles than anyone, so you will find more styles and sizes there than anywhere else. There are a lot of websites selling knockoff MBTs at prices below $100, and people have had a lot of problems when ordering from those sites (see the comment section below).
They are one of the first online shoe retailers (online since 1996), yet this family-owned specialty shoe retailer has been in business for decades - and has grown to eight physical store locations. A "feel good" success story. They do a good job of creating a home-town boutique feel to their website and the way they conduct their online business. It is a refreshing change from the mega-online retailers. It's not a big box store - you're truly supporting a successful family-owned business.
Local shoe stores usually do not carry half sizes. I would not recommend buying a size that is that is a half size large or small. Because of the way the heal sensor works a smaller size could be tight around your toes, and a larger size could cause your heel to side up and down in the back of the shoe. Spend 20-30 minutes walking around your home with them to make sure they are a good fit.
Another frequently asked question is...
Can You Run In MBT Shoes?
I personally wouldn't recommend it. MBT Shoes are made for walking. Because of the collapsible heel, running in these shoes is difficult and takes some practise. You can jog in them, using short strides. Swiss Masai calls this floating. The motion is different than regular jogging. MBT Shoes are best used for walking and normal daily activities. However, Kenyans often win marathons using this type of stride.
The video below demonstrates the proper way to jog in the shoes:
MBT Shoe Size Conversion Table
|Men's Shoes Size US||MBT Sizes||Women Shoes Size US||MBT Sizes|
|Size 8||Size 41||Size 5.5||Size 35|
|Size 8.5||Size 41 2/3||Size 6||Size 35 2/3|
|Size 9||Size 42 1/3||Size 6.5||Size 36 1/3|
|Size 9.5||Size 43||Size 7||Size 37|
|Size 10||Size 43 2/3||Size 7.5||Size 37 2/3|
|Size 10.5||Size 44 1/3||Size 8||Size 38 1/3|
|Size 11||Size 45||Size 8.5||Size 39|
|Size 11.5||Size 45 2/3||Size 9||Size 39 2/3|
|Size 12||Size 46 1/3||Size 9.5||Size 40 1/3|
|Size 12.5||Size 47||Size 10||Size 41|
Customer MBT Shoes Reviews
I usually read many reviews before I make a significant purchase. One of the things that impressed me the most, before I purchased my MBT Shoes, was the overwhelming number of positive customer reviews on these shoes. There are literally hundreds of MBT Shoes Reviews by customers, and I couldn't find a single legitimate negative review. A few people complained about the shoes size being too small, or they had an issue with the store they purchased them from (which is far and away the most common complaint). 100% of the reviewers had positive things to say about the quality of the shoes. Simply put, if you spend any significant time on your feet, MBT Shoes will be the most comfortable shoes you will ever wear. Everyone who owns them absolutely loves them.
There is no question MBT Shoes are a significant investment, so I was pleased to find out that Swiss Masai made arrangements with Resole America to resole your MBT Shoes with original parts for just $65.
Where to Buy MBT Shoes Online
I recommend purchasing MBT Shoes from >> The #1 MBT Shoe Retailer. Click the link to go there now.
This online store is family-owned (with 8 physical locations), has a stellar reputation, provides free shipping, offers a lifetime money-back guarantee, will pay the shipping cost on any returns (with no restocking fees), and and has the GUARANTEED lowest prices online (see their website for details). They are MBT's most trusted retail partner.
The 2011 Spring Line of MBT Shoes
Have you seen the new MBTs? MBT has a great new line of shoes - available from our recommended online retailer (just click the New Arrivals link). They are the only retailer that carries all of the new MBT styles.
The new Spring line of MBT Shoes features the men's and women's Mahuta and Nafasi. MBT continues building on their low profile line of walking shoes. This year's New Spring Line is one of their best yet.
The 2010 Spring Line of MBT Shoes
The new line, which includes the Baridi, Panda, Habari, Fora, Wingu, and Salama, are more streamlined than the traditional MBT shoes. My new favorite? The Women's Baridi - Dove Leather. Now on sale for $159 - $169. Take a look -
Yes, isn't it fly? Now I can get all the benefits of MBT shoes while expanding my shoe wardrobe.
Please Note: Many of the MBT Shoes that are discount priced have limited quantities. If you find a style you like in your size - buy it, because it may not be available the next time you check. When I bought my MBTs I liked the shoe so much after the first couple of weeks, I went back to purchase a second pair and they were out of my size.
Back to the original question....
Do MBT Shoes really work? The answer is YES. If you decide to purchase them, you will be very happy with them.