Comments: Masai Barefoot Technology

Interesting stuff - most of the sports science debates regarding training on unstable surfaces is not an effective way of developing balance on the sports field.

one of the studies translated for normal bods like us :)

Posted by kenwen at May 3, 2005 23:00

I know of a trainer who swears by those shoes.

Posted by Nik at May 4, 2005 11:06


We sell the mBT shoes, and boy are they selling. I have two pair, and I love them. They feel really weird at first, but once you get use to them, they feel very natural. They make you feel like your gliding forward.

It's hard to describe, but they feel good, and also give you a good workout for your lower legs.

My blog has some pictures of them:

Take Care.

Michael Kingsley

Posted by Michael Kingsley at May 10, 2005 16:13

Hi there,

Id like to take a part in sales.Could you pass me some details please.What process I should go through?


Posted by oya at June 24, 2005 14:22

I just ordered my first pair of the Masai Barefoot Technology shoes and I'm looking forward to using them. I already have firm, non-cellulite damaged legs but, with these shoes, I hope to develop legs like Tina Turner! Woo-hoo!

Posted by Anna Juarez at August 10, 2005 18:47

I have MBTS, cant believe them, I reckon about 70% of stiffness and tiredness from running previously was from bad posture, I dont seem to get tired or stiff since MBTS. My legs always ached before stretching didnt help a great deal, I had back ache, all gone.

Posted by marcus at August 30, 2005 04:57

I've been wearing my shoes every day for over 2 weeks now and I just love them. My joints feel so much better! If anyone wants to discuss their shoes or their experience, come on over to:

Posted by Anna Juarez at August 30, 2005 17:10

I've been wearing my shoes every day for over 2 weeks now and I just love them. My joints feel so much better! If anyone wants to discuss their shoes or their experience, come on over to:

Posted by Anna Juarez at August 30, 2005 17:11

I've been wearing my shoes every day for over 2 weeks now and I just love them. My joints feel so much better! If anyone wants to discuss their shoes or their experience, come on over to:

Posted by Anna Juarez at August 30, 2005 17:11

I know from a retailer’s perspective that these shoes been very popular and customers continue give us very positive feedback. They do have a very unique feel, and seem to work extremely well for some people.

Posted by Aviva (mBT Shoes - Retailer) at September 16, 2005 19:09

I have just done some web site design for a company in Amersham selling MBT's and the one thing I have learned from the exercise is that 'YOU MUST NOT BUY THEM WITHOUT PROPER FITTING AND TRAINING!' Apparantly if they dont fit you properly and or you dont know how to wear them you dont get any of the benefits. I gather that because the way of walking initially seems strange you need to make sure you know what you're doing. Helen (the lady who owns the shop) has loads of experience and is a trained therapist and she gets people coming to her all the time who have bought off the internet and need her help often they have to get another pair!!!

Posted by Alyson Hartley at September 20, 2005 10:45

My husband got me into MBTs when he saw the first article about them in the Sunday Times, Sept '02, regarding running and associated shin splints and sciatica. I had suffered with both for 20 years, and had long given up running. Now I'm back running almost daily (ran my first race last weekend! 8K multi-terrain), helping others revise their running gait to avoid their own re-occurring injuries, and have opened the first MBT shop in the UK to boot! They are certainly a worthwhile investment if you get the proper training. You can get an idea of what it's all about on

Posted by Helen Privett at October 3, 2005 17:08

I came across your site while looking for info on MBTs. Have you bought a pair yet? I'm itching to buy the blue ones.

Posted by Adria at October 6, 2005 23:21

Hello Everyone:

Win a pair of MBT shoes! I came by to let you know of a neat
contest that my company has put together for those interested
in fitness and health. It's called the Walk Fit Kit
Sweepstakes. It is a contest with products valued over $400
and includes:

A Pair of MBT Shoes, High Gear Pedometer, Denise Austin Powerbelt and a Exercise Ball

It's a great start up package and a great value. The MBT shoes
alone are worth $245. I hope you come by and check it out.
Good Luck!

Posted by john at January 25, 2006 14:55

Can anyone tell me where I can buy them in Scotland?

Posted by suze at February 16, 2006 19:11

there's a list of stockists on their uk site -

Posted by emma at May 21, 2006 17:21


Ive been reading into all the hype around MBT's and I think its absoluetly ridiculous that 'YOU MUST NOT BUY THEM WITHOUT PROPER FITTING AND TRAINING! - who are you trying to kid?! The only way you are going to learn to walk in them is by buying them and actually getting fit so that your muscles get strong enough to balance you on them.

I bought a pair last year and they fell to pieces, very shoddily made is what I feel and also cheated as they cost so much. Tried to get MBT to sort it out as surely they should last longer for what they cost - not heard a word.

Its all marketing you lot have fallen for, MBTs are NO different to any other kind of shoes I am sorry its a joke especially seeing as though you can buy them online in the USA.

You have obvsiouly all paid loads for your fitting class but any idiot can fit shoes, at end of day they have technology in bottom of shoe and thats it - they aint magic.

Brands that are easier on the feet are Earth and Egbar. You dont need training, they dont hurt your feet either.


Posted by Lozza at August 4, 2006 09:12


Yes I also bought a pair of MBTs and they have totally worn out.

I did a comparison on internet and it seems that MBT have a name for wearingout quickly - disgracefuk 4 what they cost.


Posted by KIERA at August 7, 2006 00:30

I have 3 pairs and have worn them since November. I no longer have a back-ache stagger when I get up in the morning. My back improved after just 3 days.

Lozza is right and wrong. When you buy from an agent you don not buy as you do in a shoe shop. You get to try them for a good 30 minutes walking and being told how to maintain the right posture. The agent will also bring all the types and sizes you want.

You also wear them differently from ordinary shoes. You fasten them so that the heel is secure and the toes loose.

As far as wear goes, my trainers are wearing a little at the ball point. My sandals similarly but far less. My work shoes not at all.

Would I buy more? Yes. Would I buy off the internet? Yes, now I know my sizeand how to wear them. Are they worth it? Yes, I am back ache free.

Posted by Roy Brocklebank at August 20, 2006 22:31

Listen Guys

I think that the major problen with MBTs are that you can only wear them for 4 hours - this is a FACT and on their website - you should NOT be wearing them for longer.

Roy, maybe you should try Earth shoes as you could have a pair of shoes for every situation - they dont look as weird as MBTs and can be worn 24/7 without damaging your feet.

I swapped over some time ago and am loving them, people dont think my shoes are for feet problems and I dont ever lose my balance in them, I heard a story about a woman losing her balance in the MBT's and falling into a freezer at Tesco - which is credible because I felt sick when I first got the shoes.

The MBTs have GOT to be snug or else you get blisters but I do wonder what long term damage you will get from wearing such poor fitting shoes - Earth fits much much better and again no training to be done.

Has anyone else noticed how badly made the MBT's are? The STINK of glue and other nasty thing s- my shoes also STANK and I read on internet that this is because MBT dont use antibacterials in them.

Earth and Egbar are truly the best x

Posted by Lozza at August 25, 2006 13:51 - See this for a comparison - I guess Chung Shi are similar to MBT's so can be compared same way as MBT?

Posted by Lozza at August 25, 2006 14:50

I love my MBT shoes but they are very freaky looking I do have to admit

Posted by Julie Gabbay at September 12, 2006 14:19

I bought my MBTs in May this year, wore them happily for 4 weeks for 1 - 2 hours every day. Then the heat-wave came & I wore them once & couldn't finish my walk as have developed blisters on both my heals. The blisters were the size of my fists! & took 4 weeks to heal properly. That was back in August. Two weeks ago I tried wearing them again & my heals feel tender and become red whenever I do.What to do?!

Posted by Daggie at October 13, 2006 10:59

I brought a pair of MBT's and wear them at work all day ( up to 13 hours a day ) and have had no problems. Walking class was free in West Australia. I love them....

Posted by poloxchick at October 29, 2006 11:18


Posted by Daggie at October 13, 2006 10:59>>

You do two things. You make sure your heels are at the back of the show and the toes are free. Then you make sure they are laced tight. The other thing is contact your supplier; they will make sure you wear them properly.

Posted by Roy Brocklebank at October 31, 2006 22:27

Three pairs - no smell. Black leather, worn every day at work for a year, slight wear on the ball of the sole. Grey trainers, worn most days for walking the dogs, slight wear on the ball of the sole. Brown sandals, worn every day during the summer and as house slippers, much less wear across and central on the ball.

The laces are original. There are no signs of wear on any of the shoes.

My only gripe it the trainers cannot go in the washing machine although I have washed the insoles.

Posted by Roy Brocklebank at October 31, 2006 22:33

I have a pair of the bright blue MBTS that I've worn almost daily for over a year. I also have a pair of the black sandals. I never want to wear anything else.

The people commenting on problems with blisters etc., make me wonder if their shoes were not fitted properly? The person who sold me mine was very knowledgeable and patient, and spent a lot of time making sure I had the right fit. In fact rather than sell me a pair that would have been off by 1/3 of a size, he ordered the right size so I had to wait a couple of weeks for them.

Now I have just taken up running, and I want to buy a pair for running in. I wish they weren't so expensive, but they have changed my life - eliminated lower back pain I lived with for nearly 20 years (starting in my early 20s).

Posted by Cathy at January 9, 2007 05:03

To be honest i'd try Chung Shi shoes, as they look so much more normal! I do hear that they aren't great for running in tho. Quick look at google
shows Fashionshop and
Fitness Footwear selling them. They are also available in John Lewis, i did see someone trying MBT's and Chung Shi's the other day. Chung Shi seem to be a lot lighter too. Again, MBT's better for running in!

Posted by Carla at January 31, 2007 10:10

There have been no comments about slimming results of the MBT's. Ads claim after 3 wks the customer lost "at least an inch around each thigh". Could I start with the athletic 2" heel versus buying sport 1 1/2" to avoid buying 2 pairs for same desired results?

Posted by pregger at February 27, 2007 15:42

please can anyone tell me where these can be bought in Yorkshire??

Posted by JENNY BELLAMY at April 7, 2007 09:03

Interested in participating in a 15 minute survey on innovative health footwear products? If you qualify, you will be compensated with a 15 pound Amazon gift card. Click here!

Posted by tim k at April 27, 2007 20:10

Hey guys, great to hear all your comments - keep them coming!!! I am currently doing a study on the MBT shoes. If you fill out this survey, you will be compensated with a 15 pound Amazon gift card. Interested? Visit

Posted by katie at April 30, 2007 16:51

It is very important that you are fitted correctly with the MBT.

Ideally you want some room for your toes since the construction of the shoe is exaggerating your toe-off movement. At the same time you want both of your feet to be securely locked into your shoes.

Since the function of the MBT is to enhance your entire foot-strike activity, this causes more movement (and need for precise fitting) than in most regular shoes.

If you are interested in trying MBTs, the first challenge is to get an accurate measurement of your feet in "European Size" and always use this as your standard for fitting MBTs.

So how can you get you the correct fit if you are not able to visit a store? Very simple -- follow the steps outlined on this site:

Posted by Kelly Miller at May 12, 2007 17:13

If you are looking to buy MBT shoes on-line it is important that you are not influenced by all the hype regarding the "Sport High" versus the "Sport".

As a result of the higher mid-sole due to the more angled heel sensor: your muscles are slightly more activated when using the Sport High than when using any of the other MBT models. Some people just feel more comfortable being a little higher off the ground. If you prefer this type of MBT: there is absolutely no need to have to buy the regular-height soled MBTs before you are "ready" for this one. has excellent information available regarding how to fit your MBTs even if you are doing this on-line.

Posted by Bill Tepper at May 12, 2007 22:44

I don't live near any store that has more than 5 styles of the MBT so ordered my MBT Hiking Boots (Kilima) on-line at It was the only site I could find that has no-nonsense fitting information and other information. The advice and service is great; normally I am a US size 11/ European 45, but when I faxed in an outline of my foot to their customer service they suggested I get a US 11.5/ European which fits perfectly!

Posted by Terry Stillman at May 13, 2007 22:19

I just got my MBT's for father's day and I am amazed. I broke my back approximately 4 1/2 months ago. i have had constant lower back pain and arch of foot pain. since i have been wearing these my lower back pain has virtually vanished and my arch pain is getting better all the time. I think it is because the shoe gets my posture a lot more upright! I love em

Posted by Matthew at June 21, 2007 05:35

I bought my MBT's online at and I really thank you for the trade!! I thought I will never find a fitting MBT, but with the help of I found my MBT! And they have sandals as well, perfect for the summer.

Inspired by the way the Masai of Kenya walk, MBT stands for Masai Barefoot Technology, the revolutionary technology used in the shoes that enables the body to stand and walk in the way intended by nature. MBT Physiological Footwear offers proven stress relief to the knee and hip joints, and strengthens and tones leg, abdominal and buttocks muscles using proprietary technology that mimics the effect of walking barefoot on uneven terrain. MBT is the first physiological footwear. Masai Barefoot Technology is patented worldwide.

The MBT line, the seminal brand and product of Swiss Masai US, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Masai Group International, Ltd, is now available in 21 countries around the world.

If you decide to buy a pair look at!

Posted by Ulrike at July 16, 2007 19:30

If you are looking for excellent information on MBT Shoes & Sandals, the best no nonsense place to go for this is includes all of the following important elements in your optimal MBT experience and STEPPING INTO A BETTER BODY:








We look forward to your visit and wish you a rocking day!

Posted by Kat at August 30, 2007 01:10

Have just bought MBT's and its too early to say how they will be. I also read about them not lasting/being all hype etc so bought a pair of EARTH shoes first. In my experience nasty narrow heal cup and each footstep seemed to pound through me. Despite persistence I have given up on them.

Posted by Krust at October 9, 2007 20:08

I have two pairs of Chung Shi's and they are fantastic for me, I can walk miles without any foot pain which I couldn't do in normal boots/trainers etc. Has anyone else got Chung shi' s as well as MBT's I want to know if there is any difference or anymore benefit from MBT's

Posted by janette at October 31, 2007 15:30

heyho all
i am 42 with joints and neuro probs which suggest a body going 80 sigh ... all sports injuries. i take a chemist load of medication to manage arthritis etc but nothing could ease the shin pain which was really agonising ... to the extent of preventing walking on bad days. along came mtbs about 3 years ago. i had the red squared toed granny boot variety, and have never looked back. i now have the pale blue, the funky black and red, the plain black, the grey sports, the walking boots, and sandals. santa is bringing me a pair of the funky whitey-grey walkers for christmas. i have been wearing mbts every day since my first pair arrived, and as i have a pair for all occassions no other foot wear is required. my shins? massive improvement. lumbar spine denervation, way less acerbic. they are wonderful, and i swear by them. i tried the negative heel shoes of a competitor ... awful. the pressure put on my knee joints was unmanageable. i have recommended mtbs to friends with sports injuries, and an overweight friend whose leg pain on activity was making it difficult to get to the gym. all that's changed. cynics ... open your mind. these simple shoes have changed my life. i can work longer hours, and keep up with friends on a night out. i cannot praise mbts highly enough.

Posted by moonbeam at December 12, 2007 22:32

can my shoes be washed in a machine?

Posted by patricia at January 7, 2008 02:39

I have had my MBT's on my feet for about a year now. I wear them every day and any other shoe feels strange on my feet. I run in them in the winter because it is too cold for me to bike outside. The sides of my shoes closest to the heel have eroded so much I almost bought a new pair. I decided to squirt some silicone glue/gel in where the erosion was. They dried and are as good as new. For $250 I would have thought they be indistructable. I have worn other shoes for longer amounts of time and they have still held up. MBT should research this problem. I googled the issue and found many people have the same problem but MBT states somewhere you should only be wearing the shoes for 4 hours a day. I did not see that written anywhere before I bought them and purchased them with the intent to wear all day. I will continue to wear them though. It's too bad MBT goes to great length to ignore consumers thoughts about this problem. They rarely respond and when they do they simply state you should only wera them for 4 hours a day. I would love for them to find a material to replace where the shoe erodes.

Posted by Aimee at January 9, 2008 19:41

Last year our personal friend and inventor of the MBT, Karl Mueller, departed from his MBT kingdom in order to pursue other inventions and creations. At first we felt that this would not at all have an impact on the MBT product, which seemed to be at such a high quality and outstanding level. Nor did we feel it would impact the company's business units as Karl had partnered his brand with many excellent people worldwide.

On the business side we were wrong: immediately MBT's US subsidiary in Idaho (our direct business partner for the brand) was completely reorganized and new managers were hired, most of whom had made their previous careers in the low end and discount shoe businesses.

Their first move was to completely change the MBT product line: out with the old and in with the new. And as a consequence at the end of 2007 we ran an amazing sale on the dropped MBTs and we thank many of our customers for their enthusiastic participation and business in this sale of our existing inventory.

Even more significantly, on the product side we were unfortunately also wrong: having recommended, fitted and sold over 5,000 pairs of the entire MBT product line since 2004 from both our brick & mortar and our online virtual stores, it quickly became apparent to ourselves and to our customers that most of the MBTs produced after Karl's departure were not even close to what we had become accustom to...

In particular, starting in November 2007 we began receiving a plethora of complaints from customers that their MBTs were wearing out -- of the outsoles and collapsing Masai sensors -- already after only three weeks of usage (attached is a picture study of the outsole of the MBT Sport comparing the older and the newer product executions).

Since then we have also wear-tested many of the new Spring 2008 MBTs and, also unfortunately, the results have been extremely poor: POOR FIT, COLLAPSING MASAI SENSOR, PREMATURE & COMPLETE OUTSOLE WEAR, LACK OF STABILITY, EXTREMELY HEAVY... And as a result somewhat reluctantly, we have now decided to no longer sell the MBT in our store until (hopefully) the former quality of this once-great-product has one day been completely restored.

Just as we had been so enthusiastic in communicating and promoting the MBT brand when it was in its prime, we hope you understand our decision that we can not support any of our former efforts, convictions and recommendations based on the poor product quality issues present in almost all of the current MBT products. Quite frankly, there is no way we could recommend & sell the MBT in its current execution FOR OVER US$ 200!!! and expect our customers at all to continue to take our advice and recommendation seriously.

To conclude, it appears that even more significantly than driving the MBT creation and innovation, Karl Mueller, during his time at the company, was successful in maintaining the MBT shoe's high execution standard of quality production. With him no longer involved, we are convinced that the MBT is no longer what it once was... and that anyone who has been as involved with the MBT as closely, as thoroughly and as long as ourselves is similarly in complete agreement with our position.

Posted by Feet First at February 29, 2008 04:01

for all the people complaining about their MBT's wearing out, they can be resoled for @ 34 pounds including posting back to your home.
Your local MBT supplier will have the details

Posted by tash at April 21, 2008 19:51

I heard from a friend that there are imitation MBT shoes flooding the market. I just bought a pair of black leather MBT ladies shoes called Amali, made in Indonesia. Have I bought genuine MBT shoews or not?

Can you help me, please? I bought them in a sports shop in Newcastle upon Tyne called "Start Football"

Thank you. Josepha Blay

Posted by Josepha Blay at April 23, 2008 14:42

Have been wearing MBT shoes and sandals for 3 years- don't like to wear any other sort of footwear- really allowed me to start serious walking again after developing a sore heel.They look strange but I think they are great-BUT
have worn through the soles on both shoes and sandals and now need to get them resoled- it seems to be very expensive- have been quoted £59 per pair and another quote £45- need some help here- and quickly- don't want to be without them for a long time- and a new pair is soooooo expensive.
Bought the ladies walking boots in the winter but found it difficult to get used to them- have put them away in box now for summer but would like to feel more confident about the boots??

Posted by Mary at May 21, 2008 15:58

I purchased a pair of the MBT trainers named the MBT Changa. When I received them, I was a bit thrown back on how weird they looked. They looked clunky and huge. I put them on and was instantly feeling weird. They rock back and forth, due to the curved sole. But after a few minutes of wearing these MBT's, I became use to the weird motion and began to walk around. They actually felt really good. Walking felt better from some reason. As you walk, the shoe actually propels you in a correct motion. When standing still, you feel more upright and my back felt more straight. Love them.

Posted by John at April 22, 2009 22:21

I found a few interesting articles about MBT Footwear

Posted by Janet at April 23, 2009 15:05

Those information above is extremely interesting!By the way, is a good place to purchase New Balnce shoes. Come to take a look.

Posted by New Balance3721 at July 17, 2009 09:32

Mark,It's not Google's fault that there's not a proper app. ,

Posted by SouthWind54 at October 23, 2009 00:36

The best thing about MBT shoes is that they're insanely comfortable. I bought them because I was having lower back pain and they do help to take some of the strain off, though I won't say all of it all the time. The claim that they help you lose weight or to "tone up" I think is a bit of a stretch... I understand the theory behind the whole instability of the soles causing you to supposedly use neglected muscles which promotes weight loss but for me it just hasn't been substantial enough to notice a difference.

Even though these shoes are expensive, they're worth it for the comfort factor though. You can read more here why I don't feel that MBT shoes are good for weight loss but may help with back pain.

Posted by PurpleOne at December 4, 2009 22:44

MBT's are the silliest, silliest silliest piece of promotional nonsense in the whole history of slap-headedly stupid consumerism.

Barefoot shoes! I despair. Take your freaking shoes off people -you got the whole barefoot experience right there -and believe me, as a fulltime barefooter of years of experience it is nothing, repeat NOTHING like walking around with a pair of rocking chairs tied to your feet!

Wear silly shoes and mouth pseudoscientific gibberish about proprioception if you like. Just don't call it barefoot!

Posted by obvious barefooter at February 5, 2010 18:53

Have been wearing MBT shoes and sandals for 3 years- don't like to wear any other sort of footwear- really allowed me to start serious walking again after developing a sore heel.They look strange but I think they are great-BUT
have worn through the soles on both shoes and sandals and now need to get them resoled- it seems to be very expensive- have been quoted £59 per pair and another quote £45- need some help here- and quickly- don't want to be without them for a long time- and a new pair is soooooo expensive. I am also wearing Kawasaki Shoes who are great!
Bought the ladies walking boots in the winter but found it difficult to get used to them- have put them away in box now for summer but would like to feel more confident about the boots??

Posted by Lea at March 12, 2010 09:44

You do two things. You make sure your heels are at the back of the show and the toes are free. Then you make sure they are laced tight. The other thing is contact your supplier; they will make sure you wear them properly.
Regards, Tim.

Posted by Tim at May 17, 2010 15:02

A MBT shoe is very special and that's why I wear them. It has a positive on the entire body, not just the feet. They actives your muscles instead of undermining them. It is unstable, not stable. The sole is not flat, it's curved. In other words: It is the antithesis of a shoe. I will not miss them.

Posted by Arnold63 at February 17, 2011 15:01

I have been wearing MBT's since being told I have heel spurs & plantafaciatus in 2002. After suffering a multitude of steroid injections in my heels I was giving up & as surgery was not an option as I would have ended up in a wheel chair. My husband found an article in a sunday paper so I went for a fitting, bought a pair straight away & yes you are only meant to where them for a limited time. I have in 12yrs very rarely sufferd again with chronic pain. I still wear my original pair but have 2 sandles, 2 baby blue trainers, 1 white trainer. My original black pair the sole came loose within a few weeks but MBT repaired them & I had them back within 3 weeks. I would only buy from a respectable retailer. Frome a very satisfied customer

Posted by Veronica Thompson at March 8, 2014 05:56
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