MBT Shoes - a users experience.

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It is often said that MBT (Masai Balance Technology) shoes are not for everyone, a fact born out by the large number of MBT shoes for sale on Ebay from sellers who have hardly worn them. The sole of the MBT shoe is curved continuously convex without a raised heel and a flattened sole.
I started to wear MBT some six years ago when I was looking for some relief from arthritis in my big toes which made walking in ordinary shoes very painful. I found immediate relief from MBT trainers bought from a shoe shop supplier locally. Somehow the walking action with MBT caused my feet minimal flexing of the big toes vastly lessening the painful response. I've since bought and worn out other MBT shoes and sandals both from retail outlets and carefully vetted Ebay sellers to avoid fakes and used them constantly.
MBT used to supply a DVD to advise on using them but seem to have stopped that which is a pity. MBTs have a rubber spring built in to the sole and positioned just in front of the heel. This has the effect of pushing up the foot so counteracting the impression of walking in soft sand. It can feel unusual at first and I can understand how some give up if they have little motive to persevere with the MBTs. They are also not fashion icons!
First impressions are like walking on springs on soft sand - they are not running shoes - and as a normally fast walker I have had to take smaller steps and adjust to a slower pace. Feet are less exercised but calf and achillies tendons are given a work out as well as learning extra balance which came to me fairly quickly. The walking technique is simple as you contact the ground with your heel and roll forwards on the convex curve of the sole until your foot lifts off which is actually before the toe, so explaining the relief of pain from flexing the big toes.
I'm now in my seventies and the balance is clearly an important part of my life as most oldies getting up first thing will find.
Having to balance whilst standing is I guess going to slow down the aging effect on walking. One sees so many elderly folk with severe walking and balance problems.
I had a recent problem straining my achillies in the gym and with MBT shoes the extra stress was very painful, so I bought some ordinary shoes which was fine for my heels but sore again on the big toes. After a while the tendons settled down so I can wear my MBTs again which is a relief.

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