Physiological Footwear: For Real?
According to the creators of MBT (Masai Barefoot Technology), these shoes are the “first physiological footwear”. (That’s hard to say. Do tongue twisters help sell shoes?) The claim is that the shoes make you “unstable” so that your calves, thighs and buttocks have to compensate, which in turn yields more muscle tone and better posture. The inspiration comes from the Masai tribesmen of Africa, who never wear shoes and walk barefoot over unpaved earth. They don’t have back or joint problems, and have lean, long, muscular bodies.
The philosophy behind MBT shoes seems to be in line with a broader trend. Diets that promote eating only natural, unprocessed foods are gaining popularity. People are starting to realize that we’re better off with what nature gave us. We’d probably be a lot healthier if, instead of sitting at desks and typing all day, we spent our days outside, planting our own vegetables and raising our own goats and walking barefoot on the beach. Think about it: no carpal tunnel, no obesity, no atrophied muscles. Ok, so that’s an overly idealized version of the “simple life”, and I’m sure that lifestyle has its own set of problems–that’s why hardly anyone lives like that. But when you’re sitting at a desk with your thighs dimpling and your eyes going cross eyed staring at a computer, you have to ask: is this what God intended? That we should all be stuck under flourescent lights when he created the sun?
Not that I’ll be abandoning my life in the city any time soon. I have to say, that after looking over the website for MBT shoes I realized I wanted a pair. I like the idea of excercising muscles without having to think about it. And in the end, isn’t that what it’s all about?
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