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Do MBT Shoes Really Work?
EI21 Mall / 2009-12-26

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 MBT Shoes online, and what you can expect if you decide to purchase them.MBT Shoes Kaya

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 six months - 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 I want to walk more, and for longer distances, which has lead to weight loss.

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.

Local shoe stores usually do not carry half sizes.  If you are a half size, I would suggest ordering a half size larger than your normal shoe size since MBTs tend to run a little small.  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.

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