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The LA Report Blog


October 20, 2007


Product Review by Don Rose

You know you have something special when your new sneakers/shoes come with their own instructional/informational DVD, and even a mini-guide booklet tethered to a lace hole! As the booklet says, "Strictly speaking, MBTs are not shoes at all." Whoa. What a statement! They sure look like shoes! But read on: "MBTs are highly effective pieces of fitness and exercise equipment. And this is also their main benefit." In other words, they may appear to be just a pair of sneakers/shoes, and they do achieve that basic function (getting you around while encasing your feet in cushy comfort), but they also achieve other useful functions, namely helping your posture and (according to others' testimonials) alleviating back/leg/foot problems.

When I say MBTs rock, I don't just mean I like them a lot and think they "really rock, dude!" -- I also mean it literally. The curved sole is reminiscent of the curved bottom of a rocking chair; as with a rocking chair, you can balance easily atop your MBTs, or you can rock back and forth a little. Wearing the MBTs on the first day also reminded me of my first day trying another piece of cool technology -- the Segway; it too takes a little getting used to, but in a very short time you find yourself balancing easily, and enjoying it immensely, and it's very easy to use.

My first reaction when I opened the MBT box: cool look, great smell. (Ah, that new shoe aroma!) I chose black, size 11 (a half size bigger than my usual 10.5, but I was advised to go a bit big, and they were right; the fit felt perfect). I was so pleased at the great fit right out of the box, something that rarely happens for me. It may be the best feeling of immediate comfort I have ever experienced in a new shoe or sneaker. It just felt right away like a favorite snug glove you love, even though it's new. I also noticed the thick soles; I felt like I was taller, and standing straighter.

I wore my MBTs all day today, even ran a little with them, and I never really felt any loss of balance, even though I was wearing a new piece of technology and never spent a day wearing curved soles before. I did, however, feel like the shoes were a tad heavy when running; my guess is that it just takes getting used to, since MBTs do after all feature thicker soles than most shoes I have seen. Also, keep in mind that I spent my Day One going on intuition, without reading the manual (something I don't recommend you do, since the manual does have useful instructions and information); I wanted to see how intuitive the MBTs were to use. I am sure reading the manual will make future days with the MBTs even more fun and rewarding, as I will better understand how to "operate" them for maximum benefits.

To summarize my Day One experience: I like them, I really like them! More specifically, I believe MBT's makers (Swiss Masai, www.swissmasai.com) are on to something unique, and potentially groundbreaking, in the fitness footwear industry. MBTs strike me as a unique piece of technology that, at the very least, combines great comfort, support, sleek style, and improvement in posture. Other MBT owners also report experiencing health benefits that include pain relief, stronger muscles, etc. The MBT shoes may cost a bit more than some other shoes, but for all the benefits and quality you get, it sure seems worth it. It's also nice to know that MBT unconditionally guarantees their footwear against defects for six months (although, judging by how solid these shoes feel, I highly doubt that will ever be an issue).

Special kudos to Melanie Segal of Platinum Publicity, who featured MBTs this year at her always-excellent Platinum Pre-Emmy Suites, held at the Luxe Hotel on Rodeo Drive; many celebrities and VIPs attending the rooftop penthouse event stopped by MBT's packed booth to try them on. The LA Report has heard that several celebs wear MBTs regularly, which is not surprising, since they are often the first to hear about and investigate cutting-edge trends in health and fitness. Our advice to you, dear reader: read more about MBTs, visit their website, try a pair on, and I bet you'll soon be saying, "I want my MBT."