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MBT Shoes Logo Swiss Masai MBT shoes at Aviva!

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QUICK LINKS: Why MBT? | Animation | MBT Owner's Video | MBT FAQ

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Looking for other healthy footwear products?

Be sure to check out kybun shoes, Karl Mueller's follow up to his MBT concept.


With MBT from Swiss Masai, you've discovered a code to a more active lifestyle. All of us can benefit from more movement in everyday life and that is exactly where MBT can help. MBT shoes use built-in instability to create movement while you stand and while you walk, which is your code to a more active life. More movement integrated into your daily routine can helps you to increase muscle activation as well as improve your posture and balance. You'll be surprised at how they make you feel as you do a little more for your body every day.

MBT Shoes Canada

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MBT Shoes Canada
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"Dear Aviva, I just received my first purchase from you, the Goti boots, what a wonderful experience it was dealing with you, received my product within a week, no problems, no worries, and the product is wonderful, the MBT boots, are just as described, and my feet are loving it. It was wonderful doing business with you and will be doing more in the future." -- Heather G.

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Why MBTs?

MBTs are not just shoes in the ordinary sense – they are a revolutionary fitness aid. Over ten years ago, Swiss Masai invented Masai Barefoot Technology (MBT) physiological footwear with its unique, patented sole construction. MBTs promote healthy walking and standing by transforming hard flat surfaces into soft uneven ground, thus creating a natural instability, which provides all the benefits of walking barefoot. With their uniquely-designed sole, combined with the appropriate training, MBTs help to improve both your posture and gait by activating neglected muscles, thereby helping to reduce stress on your ankles, hips and knees.

Are MBTs really worth it?

In addition to being fabulous posture-improving footwear, MBT shoes are an investment in your future health and well-being. MBT physiological footwear is supported by 39 major medical and scientific studies globally (verses one to none for competing products). MBTs have also been granted a Medical Device Establishment License in Canada.

"MBT strengthens the large and especially the small muscles in the lower extremities. The small muscles are less trained in normal shoes. An athlete with strong large and small muscles has many possibilities to act and react during sport activities. Thus, performance should increase and
injuries should decrease."
  - Prof. Dr. Benno M. Nigg, University of Calgary

What are the benefits of MBT footwear?

- Strengthens & tones muscles in the feet, legs, buttocks, stomach and back
- Increases muscle activity & circulation which may help reduce cellulite and varicose veins
- Relieves muscular tension, back and joint problems.
- Leads to a relaxed upright posture and gait

Improved Posture • Increased Abdominal Muscle Activity  • +9% Buttock Muscle Activity • +19% Rear Thigh Muscle Activity • +18% Lower Limbs Activity • -19% Stress on Hip and Knee Joints

With each step we take, pressure acts on the foot. MBTs distribute this load evenly, which prevents ailments that can be caused by the concentration of pressure on individual points.

Unlike ordinary shoes, MBTs distribute pressure equally across and along the whole foot.

The body reacts to this natural instability with intuitive compensatory movements. This provides neglected muscles with effective exercise.

Applications: MBT is for everyone. It’s the world's smallest gym. Gentle, active rolling instead of repeated compression leads to relaxed, natural standing and walking. Muscular tensions decrease and the muscles become more balanced.

Warranty: Swiss Masai unconditionally guarantees MBT footwear against manufacturing defects and workmanship for a period of six (6) months from the date of original purchase.***
"Masai Barefoot Technology", or MBT, is the first physiological footwear - that is footwear that has a positive effect on the whole body.

The health and fitness-enhancing concept being MBT is based on a simple insight: the human musculoskeletal system is designed for walking barefoot on soft, natural ground. But we all spend most of our time moving on hard, flat surfaces.

Swiss engineer Karl Müller discovered the beneficial effect of walking barefoot on natural ground for himself in the early 1990s - and also the reason behind it: the stimulating effect of natural instability on the body’s supporting muscle system.

Müller began to develop a unique sole technology that enables the body to walk naturally, and allows it to benefit from all the positive effects of natural instability also on hard, flat surfaces. The Swiss engineer’s research and development work was inspired by the East African Masai - exceptional athletes with well-shaped bodies, and little or no experience of back and joint problems.

"Masai Barefoot Technology" made its first appearance on the footwear market in 1996. Development of the unique sole construction - which is patented worldwide - has continued since then, with great success.

How Does MBT Work?

The revolutionary sole construction places the body in a natural instability that can otherwise only be achieved by walking barefoot on natural, uneven surfaces. MBT relieves stress on joints, exercises muscles and thus strengthens the entire musculoskeletal system - all these effects result from the interplay of the following components:

1. The TPU and glass fiber shank (inside the PU midsole) provides the necessary stiffness for the sole construction. The stiffness of the shank ensures a natural rolling movement of the foot with every step and optimizes the pressure distribution over the whole sole.

2. The most important point of the PU midsole is the balancing area underneath the metatarsus, which requires an active and controlled rolling movement with every step.

3. The soft PU Masai Sensor is the heart of Masai Barefoot Technology. The Masai Sensor produces a pleasant feeling reminiscent of walking on a sandy beach or on soft moss.

What Differentiates MBTs From Conventional Shoes?

The main difference between MBTs and conventional shoes is the 3D instability created by the unique MBT midsole with its balancing area and the soft Masai Sensor.

The curved sole makes the difference obvious to everybody. Conventional shoes constrain and control the foot. The body is stabilized in an unnatural way by the shoes, whereas with MBT shoes the body is forced to keep its balance through muscular effort. This natural instability underneath the feet ensures that neglected muscle groups automatically perform the balancing movements that nature intended.

Read the MBT FAQ Page

Product History and Description:

MBT footwear was designed in 1996 by a Swiss Engineer and has been available in Canada since 2003. The unique sole features the Masai Sensor, which is internationally patented. The sole also includes: the TPU and glass fiber shank, PU midsole with balancing area above the PU Masai Sensor. The outer sole has a variety of slip resistant patterns. MBT footwear is not considered custom orthopedic shoes. They are stock footwear that provides a unique therapeutic effect for certain orthopedic and systemic disorders.

Functions of MBT Footwear:

The 3 dimensional instability of the patented Masai Sensor activates the small muscles that stabilize the foot, ankle, knee, hip, pelvis and back so they align the joints of the body along the center of gravity. The result is:

• Stronger small stabilizing muscles reduce vibration and strain in tendons of larger / longer muscles; chronic injuries can heal and prevent RSI.
• Improved posture to reduce strain of spinal muscles
• Reduce compressive forces on joints in the lower limb and spine
• Improve kinetics and kinematics of joints in the lower limb and spine as the muscle recruitment patterns restore normal, co-ordinated movement

Benefits of MBT Footwear:

The specific design of the MBT sole results in the significant improvements in function, balance and biomechanics. Statistically significant reductions in pain and joint loading have be researched at the University of Calgary, University of Salzburg, University of Stanford and Praxisklinik Rennbahn (Basel, SW) published in peer reviewed journals including Physiotherapy Research International, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Gait and Posture and Clinical Biomechanics. Research highlights include:

• Improves self-reported functional capacity in cases of chronic LBP
• Significant decrease of neck pain after 12 weeks through one hour training once a week and additional wearing of MBT during daily activities
• Reduces hip joint loading and reduces hip pain in patients with hip replacement or hip osteoarthritis
• Reduces knee joint loading and reduces subjectively felt knee pain in patients with osteoarthritis
• Helps reduce subjective pain-rating following ankle sprain and MBT can be integrated into the physiotherapeutic concept to treat ankle joint instabilities without any risk and will have superior long term effects
• Reduction in pain after 8-weeks wearing of MBT by patients with medial-plantar heel pain
• Increase of quality of life and the habitual well being of employees – with work predominantly done while standing – in an operational setting after 7 weeks
• Daily wearing of MBT (4 hours) improves postural stability as effectively as a 4-weeks sensorimotor training
• Significant increase of oxygen-consumption (+9.3 %) while standing with unstable shoe construction compared to a flat control shoe with the same weight

MBT Footwear - Clinical Conditions:

For Your Doctor: MDEL Canada (3579). MBT shoes can be beneficial in a variety of clinical settings. MBTs are prescribed by medical doctors for a variety of conditions including, but not limited to:

• Lower Back/Pelvis: Mechanical low back pain, scoliosis, subacute chronic disc prolapse, sacroiliac joint dysfunction.
• Hip: Hip OA (osteoarthritis), weak hip stabilizers, ITBS (Iliotibial band syndrome), following hip replacement, piriformis syndrome.
• Systemic Disorders: Diabetes, varicose veins, lymphovenousedema
• Feet and Ankles: Heel spurs/ plantar fasciitis, hallux limitus/rigidus, bunions (exostosis), mid-foot OA (osteoarthritis), achilles tendonitis, sprained ankle, ankle fusion.
• Knees/Legs: Shin splints, patello-femoral syndrome, ligament injuries, post-knee surgery and immobilization, knee joint instability, knee OA (osteoarthritis), varicose veins, lymphodema, following knee replacement, following ligament reconstruction, following menisectomy or ACL surgery.
• Rehabilitation after the first 12 weeks following surgery of any kind.

MBT footwear is the first physiological footwear in Canada to be granted a Medical Device Establishment License (MDEL) (#3579)

How to Buy MBT Shoes? Order online or call us toll free at 866-947-6789.

Live in Winnipeg? Visit us in store to see our large selection of MBT Shoes and other footwear products.

Be sure to check out kybun shoes, Karl Mueller's follow up to his MBT concept.

Remember, in addition to the MBTs, we've got thousands of other health products at Aviva!

Don't want to order online? Call us toll free at 866-947-6789 to place an order.

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