Let me start off by telling you I'm a runner. I've considered myself a runner since I was 16 years old and joined my high school cross country team. (Wow, has it been 18 years ago?) I've played volleyball, basketball, tennis and hiked all over the place. Needless to say, I've always had an active lifestyle. But sometimes I feel like my past is catching up to me!
For the last few years I've had some recurring pain in my right foot. I've learned this means I've stressed or pulled my foot muscles in some way. Usually rest and arch supports does the trick and I'm back to my old self in a couple weeks. Recently the old pain resurfaced, I wasn't able to run and was having trouble resting my foot the way I needed to. Oh the injustice!! Maybe I can't rest it correctly because with three kids I spend a lot more time on my feet than before!
Last week I was in WalMart and came across this pair of shoes. I wasn't planning on buying a new pair but as I looked at them something flicked in my brain. Wasn't the sole of this shoe designed to strengthen your feet somehow? Didn't I remember they were supposed to mimic your feet walking in sand or something? I vaguely remembered reading something about this type of shoe years before.
On a whim, for $25, I bought this pair of shoes and wore them for the next 4 hours. Late in the afternoon I realized my abs and butt muscles were working hard at keeping me balanced on those funky curves and boy, did I feel constipated! All those clenching muscles can't be good for keeping bathroom visits on schedule. But my feet were comfortable!
Then I hopped on the Internet to read up on these shoes and realized I probably wasn't supposed to have worn them for that long on the very first day. These are Danskin's version of the MBT or Mubai Barefoot Technology. True MBT shoes are priced in the $200+ range. This type of shoe was designed to imitate the footfall of the African Mubai tribe who walk in soft sand and have perfect posture. (If you want to read some more on MBT here is a couple informative sites I found; here, here and here.)
During the first week I wore them the pain in my foot decreased everyday. I wasn't icing it as much and I was lots less grumpy, always a plus! On the other hand other parts of my body (ankles, hips, knees) became sore because I was using muscles I hadn't used, or used correctly, in a long time.
In the middle of the week I took a 40 minute walk and they felt great but I realized just how bad my posture must be. Toward the end of the walk I had to work harder and harder to stand up straight and not slouch. Of course I probably wouldn't have noticed my posture without these shoes.
The pain in my foot is gone now but I'm not sure the shoes had much to do with it. (I did a few other things that I think had a bigger impact on my recovery.) On the other hand I really like walking around in these shoes. It's like getting a mini workout without trying!
So, anyone out there ever have shoes like these longer than a week? What do you think? Do you like em' or are they over rated? Could you ever see yourself wearing something like these?