by Jeff Bordeaux
First off I will say that I love shoes, and I’m not afraid to admit it. I have pairs of Nike Air Max 90′s that I haven’t even worn yet. I wear them all so infrequently that they all look brand new, which is nice. I recently came across an ad in Wired for a company called MBT, who made what they call “Physiological Footwear”. Their goal is to evenly distribute the impact pressure that walking has on your feet and the rest of your body. Very cool indeed. They have a great website that describes the benefits of wearing their shoes which include, but are not limited to: reducing stress on knee and hip joints, improving posture and gait, activating neglected muscles, and help remedy any existing back, joint, and hip problems, etc.
How do they look?
The primary thing you will notice about the MBT’s is the orthopedic nature of the their appearance. They have very large rounded soles that you would have made fun of your grandmother for rocking. The model that I tested out was the Tariki, which is sort of like a casual dress shoe. They had a very fine oiled leather look about them and you could tell that the overall construction of the shoe was meticulously designed with the longevity of the shoe in mind. They had nice off color complimentary stitching which gave them a modern flair, and they looked good in jeans as well as dress pants.
How do they feel?
Immediately upon wearing the shoes you can feel your back straighten up and your posture improve vastly. You actually feel taller, and at 5’10” that works for me. The sizing was accurate and true to other brands I wear though thicker socks were more of a snug fit for me. Something to get used to would be the weight of the shoe. Due to the size of the sole they easily weigh about twice as much as any sneaker I usually sport. These shoes are designed for walking and standing only, as I’d imagine running and dancing would not work as well (note: I did not test the MBT Sport Shoes).
Overall I thought these shoes are a great idea and they would be a welcome addition to anyone looking to improve their posture, or any of the afore mentioned remedies. I would especially recommend these shoes to anyone who works a job where they are standing or walking for the majority of their shift, like in a restaurant. The ones I tested carry a hefty price tag at around $270, which may be a deterrent for some, but as with anything that improves your body in the long run, price should not be a concern.
There are many styles to choose from here.
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