MBT - Therapeutic Shoes

Most of the common feet problems usually arise from incorrect movement patterns and a certain operation of the neuromuscular system. Regular shoes support the foot and wrap it in such a way that the muscular system is not stimulated, which causes its degeneration. Implications of this process may be foot flattening, widening and stretching, as well as hallux valgus, which is commonly called a bunion, and heel spur.

MBT sole structure creates a natural instability while standing. Instinctively, the body seeks a stable position and reacts by activating the muscles differently compared to walking in any other shoes. A unique Masai Sensor, which is installed in the sole, prevents the foot from “returning to its old habits”. While in all standard shoes the heel bumps into the ground at the beginning of each step, MBT shoes allow softening the step from the very beginning. Upon landing, the heel meets the Masai Sensor, which softens the landing. Such softness gives a sense of uncertainty and the sensorimotor system quickly responds by activating the muscles accordingly, so that the foot joints become actively stabilized. 

From this moment on, the foot implements a curved motion, which starts at a stable point and ends at your fingertips. These shoes allow maintaining proper posture, while the tension in your feet is constantly released. The needs to control the curved motion changes the way foot pressure and tension are distributed. Intensified muscle activity reduces the pressure on the foot joints. 

Researches have shown that using MBT shoes on a regular basis reduces the pressure on the knee joint by 19% (according to Nigg 2004).

How does it work?

When the foot lands on the Masai Sensor, the stabilizing muscles are activated. Muscles surrounding the ankle joint are first to be activated. Gradually, the thigh, buttocks, abdomen and back muscles are activated as well. The pressure on the heel during foot’s landing is reduced and the forces active during the moment of landing are halted as a result of the unique structure of the MBT shoe sole. As a result, the force exerted on the knee joint is reduced as well. When walking, the foot hits the ground and is raised by the knee. Ideally, the upper body should be in a vertical position, maintaining a straight angle above the foot, while the muscles located adjacent to the knee joint are activated through the leg’s pushing motion and completion of the step.

Moreover, since the instinctive reaction of the body to the MBT technology is to find the perfect balance, we start activating muscles that are usually not active. Using MBT shoes on a regular basis will allow strengthening these muscles significantly. This unique technology works in such a way that the shoes “remind” the body about certain muscles that should be activated for proper movement and as a result, the pressure on the joints in general and on the knees, in particular, decreases.

In addition, the Masai Sensor allows activating the stabilizing muscles of the pelvis due to a sense of insecurity as a result of a momentary state of standing on one leg. The body feels an instinctive urge to immediately compensate for this lack of balance by activating suitable muscles. When walking, MBT technology causes to expand each step beyond the body and the bent thigh muscles is lightly stretched. Muscle training and stretching improve the joint’s stability and stretch it even further. Such action releases the pressure on the joint and as a result – the pain is significantly reduced.

Walking in MBT shoes is characterized by natural instability, which forces the torso to maintain the entire body in a balanced position at any given moment. Small muscles adjacent to the joint and along the spine become active and start to protect the joints from the shocks caused by the collision between the foot and the ground. In fact, activated muscles prevent the joints from being exposed to shocks. The “floating” motion relaxes the back muscles and releases the tension.

MBT is often called an anti-shoe. It teaches us how to walk correctly. Some people call these shoes “the smallest personal gym in the world”. Walking in these shoes leads to us to a healthier life.