Do MBT Shoes Really Work?

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Do MBT Shoes work?MBT shoes are definitely unique in their design, and when people first see them they might think that you’ve got a problem with your feet or legs. But don’t let their odd design fool you. Every part of the shoe supposedly serves a purpose. So can these shows really improve the way you walk, or is it just a lot of hoopla?

Overview
MBT stands for Masai Barefoot Technology and the whole point is that it is trying to mimic the benefits of going barefoot, but on soft, uneven ground. It is intentionally designed to keep you a little off balanced, so that your legs use their stabilizer muscles. Walking on cement, asphalt, and other hard surfaces you find in every major city can take its toll on you throughout the day. These shoes are designed to take away some of that impact you get from striking the hard ground.

The Claim
MBT says their shoes can help to improve your posture, reduce pain in your lower back, and activate muscles in your legs that have atrophied after many years of non-use. It has been said that these can improve joint and back problems as well, and relieve you of muscle tension. This is quite a list of claims for a piece of footwear, but you’d be surprised how many seemingly unrelated problems can be solved when you start walking in proper alignment, and don’t have so much impact on your feet.

The Hype
The hype is that these have a very unique design to them, and therefore people think that they must do something special or they wouldn’t look this way. It’s something of a gimmick, which many shoe companies use to separate themselves from all of the other manufacturers out there. The hope is that one of these unique designs becomes the new default shoe that everyone just wears because that’s the shoe to wear.

The Cost
MBT shoes come in a very wide assortment, from regular walking shoes, to sandals, special designs, and even dress shoes. The costs range from $125 to over $200, making them more expensive than many shoes you’ll find in regular department stores, but not as expensive as some of the ultra premium footwear that’s out there.

The Commitment
Your only involvement here is putting the shoes on, getting used to the way they feel while walking in them, and then going about your normal routine. However, it’s important that you don’t consider these the same way that you would a traditional pair of shoes. With an ordinary pair of shoes you give them the old “breaking in” time. But with MBT they are really breaking you in, so you need to be open to the experience and not just stop using them because things might get a little uncomfortable.

With a normal pair of shoes you might get blisters, or they might hurt for a few days, and then the shoes get used to the way you walk and they stop hurting you. With MBT you might get some muscle soreness and stiffness at first, but it’s your body that gets used to the shoes, and gradually you will feel better and better in them. At least that’s the theory.

Evaluation
MBT shoes definitely don’t look like any other shows out there, because they have the raised platform in the heel. This is designed to cushion the blow when you walk, and it also works to create a rocking motion that should propel you into your next stride. The greatest use for these is while you’re waling, but they also make sandals for outdoor use, and have just released a running shoe.

With many products like these it is hard to maintain consistency among user feedback. Some people will wear these and feel like they are making a big difference, while others will try them and not like them at all. As far as whether or not they work, that’s really up to the individual user to decide. It is important to note that these shoes do have enough positive feedback to warrant a trial, but the price is not really at that “let’s try it” point.

Final MBT Shoes Review

MBT shoes have been shown to work for some people out there, but there are enough negative responses to make this a risky endeavor. The negative reviews might be from people that don’t quite understand what they’re trying to accomplish here. By creating a feeling of instability they are forcing you to use muscles you don’t normally use. Some people might try them on and not like the fact that they never quite feel like their sure footed.

Others might enjoy it and start to get the feeling of strengthening their leg muscles and improving their balance. It’s really just a matter of how you approach these shoes, and whether or not you believe that they are making improvements to the way you walk and stand.

Our Recommendation
If you’re pretty sure that these will make a difference in your life, then give them a try. Just be patient with them at first, and don’t run to any snap judgments. It may take a week or more to get used to the feeling that they are trying to create. If after some time has passed you realize that they aren’t the right shoe for you, there’s not much that can be done, so this is a risk you’ll have to accept.

What do you think? Does MBT Shoes work or not?

24 Customer Reviews on “Do MBT Shoes Really Work?

  1. I too have been hit by the disintegrating sole, it is not just rage-making and upsetting, but terrible environmental practice, from a shoe maker who use the ‘massai barefoot technology’ and the cost and so on I would expect much better manufacture. These now have to go in landfill as vast amounts of plastic and just because one small but important part of the shoe ALWAYS crumbles – there are blog post on blog post about it. So glad i got second hand, pricey enough but first hand I’d be devastated as very costly and I’m very broke!

  2. My wife and I both have MBT shoes. Both pairs, the foam is disintegrating in the heel section, between the sole and the shoe upper. The shoes look like new, except for the disintegrating foam in the soles. I have contacted the manufacturer, but they are not willing to stand behind their product.
    For shoes that are as expensive as MBT, they should be guaranteed for quality.
    As for me, I would definitely caution anyone to not buy this product, it is constructed of shoddy materials.

  3. Like my MBT shoes. However, the foam on back, outside of heel section on both shoes are disintegrating. They are very expensive shoes to be falling apart. Would like to get another pair but don’t want to spend so much money if they’re going to fall apart again.

  4. Bare feet walking is all the buzz lately but I never felt comfortable with those thin socks-like shoes that sort of wraps around your feet. First of all you look ridiculous lol, but most importantly, what if you step on something sharp? So I’ll take a pass on those and go for something a little safer but one that gives you the same benefit. Unfortunately only time will tell whether this big investment will pay off.

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