Masai Balance Shoes are shoes that stem from Masai Barefoot Technology, or MBT. MBT shoes were created by a Swiss engineer named Karl Müller. He set out to develop a purposeful shoe that mimicked the paddy terrain and soft ground of Korea and East Africa, places he had visited and noticed that walking barefoot over this type of surface had alleviated his back pain. Based on physiological studies, these shoes were created to decrease pressure on joints by improving posture and increasing circulation. This is achieved through the soles, which are curvilinear.
The design of Masai Balance Shoes provides a smooth, rolling action that supports natural strides and reduces shock to the body, all while strengthening and toning muscles. The shoes are engineered to correct poor posture and improper gaits, promoting spinal and muscle health. In fact, they are scientifically shown to strengthen core muscles when worn for walking and working out.
While the aesthetic design of Masai Balance Shoes, which are available as a sandal and an athletic type shoe, may appear awkward because of the outwardly curved sole, they are available in a wide range of colors from basic black and white to pink, blue, gray, and orange. As their popularity grows, newer designs surface and they are becoming increasingly fashionable, though their health benefits are touted more than their fashion-forwardness.
Initially, Masai Balance Shoes may take some getting used to. Those who have developed poor posture and an unnatural gait may feel off balance at first. Many people report that they feel a tightness or soreness in their thighs and buttocks after their first few uses. However, after several uses, the assumption is that your body will begin to feel better because improved balance and posture.
Though the cost of the shoes is quite high, proponents of Masai Barefoot Technology claim the shoes are worth it. As for orthopedic use, because the Masai Balance Shoes will change your predisposed gait, it may be best to discuss the use of specially designed shoes for orthopedic correction with your orthopedic doctor.