I have been obsessed with these MBT shoes for years, but they are too spendy for me – even when they are on sale, they go for around £80 – £100 a pair – so I was pleased to chance upon this new competition today. Three pairs are up for grabs, and you can enter the draw online.
For the uninitiated:
MBT stands for Masai Barefoot Technology and the shoes were invented by a Swiss engineer called Karl Müller in the early 1990s. He noticed, on a visit to Korea, that walking barefoot over some soft paddy fields alleviated his back, knee and Achilles tendon problems. He also discovered that the Kenyan Masai tribesmen don’t suffer from back pain and are famous for their perfect posture. Putting these two pieces of information together, Muller reasoned that this was because they walk across ground that yields underneath their feet. Walking on hard surfaces, such as pavements, that don’t have any “give”, he concluded, has done our backs in. Not to mention our knees and ankles.
Muller decided that the answer was a shoe with a curved sole, effectively with no heel, which mimics the rocking motion of a foot walking on soft sand or grass. (The Independent)
The health benefits claimed for these shoes are collected here.
The competition is open to UK residents aged 18 and over, and the closing date for entries is 30 June 2010. (The terms and conditions state 30 June 2009, but I’m pretty certain that’s a typo.)