Yes, the so-called toning or "Wellness" shoes have a purpose and a very successful launch into the US market, currently importing over 100,000 pairs/month!
Since leaving full time practice in '03, I have been working part-time at a specialty sport shoe store, fitting and selling MBT shoes since '05, hearing complaints about competitors and dispensing MBT shoes to customers who are frequently referred by PTs, MDs, Pilates Instructors, and Podiatrists.
MBT (Masai Barefoot Technology) is the first and best designed to improve walking and standing posture, to relieve back pain and eliminate pressure under the heel. They have a soft heel, patented heel sensor and solid platform located under the center or pressure.
My experience is that they do not help and may aggravate Achilles, hip and knee problems, limb length differences because of their inherent instability. They are marketed as the "anti-shoe" because they have an unstable, rocker bottom sole that eliminates shock on impact.
The competitors I have seen are all soft on the bottom and cause fatigue, like walking in soft sand.
I will be happy to communicate with any DPM who wants more info.
Harry Hlavac, DPMdrharry@footguru.com
I ignore the fitness claims and use them for my patients with midfoot or MTPJ djd. It is easier than having my pedorthist add a rocker sole. They also seem to benefit quite a few of my patients with plantar fasciitis. Open your minds to the possibilities.
If they are comfortable, then I would recommend them, not
for toning, only for comfort.
TOO MUCH NEW AND ADDED STRAIN AND FORCE APPLIED TO MIDTARSAL BONES WITH PROXIMAL CONTRIBUTORY STRESS ON ANKLE,KNEE, AND ULTIMATELY HIPS AND LOWER BACK. IF ONE USES THEM, ONE MUST BE VERY SELECTIVE WITH PATIENT SELECTION AND ONLY USE THE SHOES UNTIL CONDITION RESOLVES OR IMPROVES.
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