Shoe-wise, I know it is difficult to concentrate on anything but the gorgeous footwear featured on the Milan runway this week, but why don’t we do just that for a few minutes.
MBT (short for Masai Barefoot Technology) is a fitness shoe brand that I’ve been eying for a while now (they’ve been on the market since the 90s and has really taken the fitness shoe market by storm). The shoes were created after studying the Masai tribe from East Africa. Karl Muller, the inventor of MBT, observed that because the Masai walked on soft, instable ground, they were forced to use their body to maintain balance. This balancing act, apparently, is good for strengthening core muscles and promotes good posture. To simulate walking on a soft surface such as sand or soft moss, Karl created the MBT shoe line with a rounded, curved sole to force the wearer to balance themselves like the members of Masai.
Now, regular readers of this shoe blog will know that we love the comfortable AND stylish shoe. Sadly, although Zappos MBT reviews, Epinions ratings, and even MBT shoe reviews on our Shoe Forum (thanks VanMiracle!) have been nothing short of excellent with reports of improved back problems, toning of the body, etc, early versions of the MBT shoe line left much to be desired in the looks department.
See what I mean? In the past, I’ve allowed concessions for shoes that aren’t visually appealing if they were comfortable or healthy, but the early styles were so ugly they were real deal breakers for me.
Fast forward to 2007, I’m happy to report that MBT footwear is evolving. Now, while they still aren’t as stylish as say Nike, Adidas, or Puma, these photos certainly prove that they are catching up.
MBT M. Walk at Shoes.com for $245
MBT Kaya – cute mary-janes, no?
Now that the style quotient has been upped, combined with the numerous health benefits, I am definitely sold on giving MBT shoes a try.
And if you are wondering why you haven’t seen most of the above MBT models in your local comfort shoe store, that’s because the shoes are from the Spring 2008 shoe line. They simply aren’t available for purchase just yet (darn, I know!). Just to taunt us further, I leave you with even more detailed sneak peaks of MBT’s spring line.
MBT Staka (left), MBT Staka (right)
Many thanks to the great PR folks at MBT for the photos.