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MBT History

Now , we are happy to talk about the mbt shoes history:

There's an old saying that there are no such things as overnight successes. If you've heard of the MBT shoe and believe it to be a simple "fad," you may want to reconsider your position after reading this article. As it turns out, the MBT shoe has a clear history that goes all the way back to...well, okay, it only goes back to the nineties, but there's still a lot to learn about these funky, heel-less shoes and how they came about.

People don't just pop out of the ground and invent a new shoe, and the new shoes don't grow on trees. Every shoe design starts organically, from someone who had an idea. In the case of the MBT shoes, that someone is Karl Muller, a Swiss engineer.

The Prehistory of MBT Shoes

As it turns out, MBT stands for Masai Barefoot Technology. That's all well and good, but if you don't know what the Masai is, then you're really left in the dark. The Masai is actually not a "what," but a "who." As in an African tribe residing around Kenya. You might remember them as one of the more iconic tribes in Africa, and they are famous for their excellent posture. Masai tribesman don't wear shoes very often, which has led to a lot of speculation about how their posture came to be so good.

The Early 1990s

Think back to the days of Vanilla Ice and grunge music and you'll be at the birthplace of the MBT shoes. During this time, Karl Muller happened to be in Korea and noticed that when he walked barefoot on the soft grass that his knee and tendon problems seem relieved.

Being no slouch, Muller grew aware of the Masai tribe at some point and put two and two together: maybe there was something to walking on soft ground with bare feet that helps the body reach its natural walking style and, hence, lower the amount of pain you feel thanks to the way you walk.


Eventually, the first prototype was created. The concept? Build a shoe that cushions the foot from the hard surfaces of Western modern life - think hardwood and concrete - while still stimulating the effect of having to walk with your bare feet. The result was the MBT shoe prototype, and by the year 2000, thousands of MBT shoes were being sold yearly in Europe.


The MBT is receiving a lot of attention these days including some buzz that it can help you lose weight and stay in shape thanks to the new, challenging walking style the MBT shoes present. While the MBT doesn't market itself as a fitness tool, many people are looking into purchasing a pair of their own because they hard about the potential waist-slimming effects.

Rock Bottom Soles

It's important to recognize that today's rock bottom soles are largely a result of the MBT design. Rock bottom soles like the Sano by Mephisto are also aimed at improving posture, gait, and chronic pain. Thanks to the rising popularity of both the MBT shoe and the rock bottom sole, you will find a lot of cheap knock-offs of shoes like this - that's why it's important to ensure you have not only have a good MBT or rock bottom shoe, but that you buy these shoes from the right sources.