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MBT Shoes Learning Center

About MBT Shoes

What is MBT?

MBT stands for Masai Barefoot Technology. Simply put, these are shoes that were designed to simulate walking around barefoot in the sand. Since this is a natural condition for the foot – as opposed to wearing shoes – there is thought that these newly designed shoes would be able to create a more comfortable step. Designed with a curved, rocker-bottom sole, the foot needs to walk in a slightly different manner in order to keep from falling over, but the double layered design is helping to cushion the foot the entire way.

These shoes are meant to be worn on a daily basis in order to allow the body to move in a more natural way.

MBT Shoes were virtually unheard of a decade ago, but since their introduction to the U.S. market in 2003, the company has doubled its sales every year. The latest sales figures show that MBT sells over a million pairs of their shoes every single year. What’s the big draw? They are extremely comfortable to wear!

Barefoot man in East Africa

Where Did They Come Up with the Idea?

When the designers were first coming up with the idea of MBT shoes, they looked to East African runners. Noticing that they trained barefoot for races, even marathons, the researchers began to wonder if their lack of injuries and pain was due to this lack of footwear. By watching how the foot hit the ground, they began to see that the rolling motion of the foot engaged the rest of the muscles of the body, stabilizing it and protecting it from harm. But since the researchers realized the people weren't about to run barefoot on the pavements of their cities, designing a shoe became the top priority.

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