I have been sporting the "anti-shoe", more commonly known as Masai Barefoot Technology (MBT), for the last three years. For me, wearing the shoes results in a feeling similar to a therapeutic massage or great Pilates session.
The anti-shoe philosophy is based on the belief that many of modern man's ills arise from walking on hard surfaces in the wrong kind of shoes. MBTs are designed to counteract the effects of walking on hard surfaces by simulating the experience of walking barefoot in soft sand or springy moss.
The MBT technology encourages the body to activate neglected muscles. Recruiting and utilizing the proper muscles results in improved posture and overall body alignment. Wearing MBT footwear forces leg and foot muscles to work differently. When you walk in MBT footwear, the foot rocks and calf muscles do the job that they were meant to do – stabilize gait so that the body can remain upright and maintain balance. That improves the way other muscles in the entire body interact with each other. Because MBT footwear encourages shorter gait forcing the body to maintain its own stability and alignment, every step puts less strain on joints and ligaments. This ultimately reduces the risk of injury and pain from improper walking biomechanics.
To my delight, the company is ecologically responsible. To ensure that MBT products are free from any substances that are hazardous to human health or the environment, the company has established a set of standards and guidelines. The focus is to avoid the use of hazardous materials such as heavy metals, as well as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and allergy-inducing chemicals. MBTs are packaged in cardboard shoe boxes. Thanks to a special folding process, where neither glue nor staples are used, the shoe boxes can be recycled easily.
I like to wear my MBT anti-shoes while I'm hiking, shopping, and even out in the garden. So the next time you tell someone to take a hike, they just might enjoy it!