elb's hovel of thoughts

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Have you gone Masai Barefoot yet?

A month ago, I was browsing a local magazine and came across this small article on 'Masai Barefoot Technology'. Apparently, someone had invented a pair of shoes which could help reduce back pain, and helps with cellulite reduction and helps to tone the legs etc etc.

How does this happen? Just look at the people in the Masai tribe in Africa. Have you ever wondered how the heck they have a straight rod-like posture?

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Just look at them, not a hint of hunchbackness. Picture from 50plusexpeditions.com

The shoes that we so commonly wear distribute the stress to the muscles disproportionately than what nature intended. This results in back pain, underworked muscles, et cetera. These shoes were supposed to be able to 'recreate' a rugged and uneven surface for the body to work against.

I was skeptical as always with all these 'magic bullets'. But it did seem interesting, and considering that I've turned into a bit of a health junkie, I decided to read more. I looked up the details of the nearest dealer, which was thankfully only 7 minutes walk away (there are only two stores carrying these stuff in the region).

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How on earth did I get convinced to part with my money???

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Another angle of the simple box

So I popped by a couple of days ago out of curiosity. The assistant was very helpful and obliging.

'I've started wearing these three and a half months ago, and now I have two pairs.'
'My boyfriend just said a few days ago that my butt was firmer!' (errr okay I didn't need to know)
'These aren't really shoes, they're officially labelled as 'therapeutic devices' and are usually only available via physiotherapists...'

There are only eight models available: one sandals, one boots, one business shoes, the rest variations of 'sports' shoes.

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It came with instructions. In VCR format. WHO USES VCR THESE DAYS?!!?? GIVE ME A DVD DAMMIT!

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My first impression:

'These shoes look like they are on platforms!' Oh boy.

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Ah Beng No-No = Platforms. I-don't-want-to-be-Ah-Lians beware!

But to heck with it, its a pair of shoes for which the 'platforms' have a purpose. Not for the tall ones, and if you're a tall girl, you might want to consider leaving your now shorter boyfriend. Why does it have a 'platform'? I investigate.

'The sole of the shoe has 12 layers (no bloody wonder why it looks like a platform!). The rear of the shoe deforms very easily under pressure, meaning that if you stand using the way you would with a normal pair of shoes, you would fall back. You are now forced to stand upright and to balance yourself.'


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Can you see what my thumb can do to it? Imagine your entire body weight....

Anyway I tried the boots on to begin with. I was forced to wear a size and a half smaller than usual. Apparently people go for a size lower, but I can explain away the other half by my improving fitness. The first time I stood up, whoa! I had to adjust my posture and position from the typical shoe posture. I got the hang of it pretty quickly, although apparently plenty of people take some time to do so....

'It can burn triple the calories of that when you walk normally'. Why am I not surprised, with the effort it takes to maintain balance? Just imagine running in these babies!

Trial walking:
Walking is a breeze. Just the typical heel-to-toe method. No problemo. It obviously feels different from a typical shoe for the reasons stated above.

After almost an hour of trying out, I was satisfied that the shoe would do as promised. The assurance that nobody has ever complained nor returned a pair to the shop (and they sell lots, so they refused to give me a discount) helped a lot.

It has been two days, and I can tell you all that there is a very noticable difference when walking around in these shoes. Whether or not it contributes to my fitness aims, time will tell.

The damage? I was hesitantly convinced to part with 130 GBP. That's RM1xxx for you, and a hell lot of money for me. I'm not rich, I just got convinced that these shoes would do me enough good to be worth that much. However, I don't expect it to make an appearance in shoe shops in Malaysia anytime soon. Update: Chewyx says that you actually can purchase MBTs in Malaysia. How much though, I don't know.

For more information, visit here: http://www.mbt-uk.com/


  • Weird.
    My instructions came in VCD.
    And I'm in Malaysia.
    You can buy MBT shoes in Malaysia at Foot Experts. (not too many choices. The 8 designs are basically 3 designs only.. wtf)

    But what I can tell you is : MBT shoes work. At least for me :D 

    Posted by Chewxy

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Friday, June 03, 2005 5:42:00 pm  

  • chewxy: glad to hear that they work! :)
    well its a therapeutic device first and foremost.. so I think we should be lucky there's even 8 :P
    as for the instructions, I want the VCD! :( 

    Posted by pat

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Saturday, June 04, 2005 12:23:00 am  

  • I'm considering buying a pair...have you noticed any results? do you think they're worth the price? 

    Posted by ms

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Saturday, June 18, 2005 3:13:00 am  

  • ms: you can find a little update of these shoes here:


    Posted by pat

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tuesday, June 28, 2005 9:34:00 pm  

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