03. 18. 2005
Shoe technology that makes you feel barefooted
I must have feet on the brain this week. Actually, what brings me back to feet is posture. I was a girl who grew too fast, so I have imprinted in my mind that I am tall and must slouch to be equal with others. Meanwhile, my actual height is the average for women in the U.S. - 5 feet, 5 inches - so I have the awkwardness of a woman who thinks she's way, way too tall without the benefit of actually being tall. Sometimes, I am aghast to see my Quasimodo-like reflection in a store window, and momentarily, I straighten up. But, then I get busy plowing through my day and forget all about my poor, crooked spine.
Recently, it occurred to me that there must be some simple technology to help my posture, something short of a full-blown back brace or shock therapy to erase the memory of being lanky. I may have found my answer in these shoes by MBT, which are made to replicate walking in sand with bare feet:
"Through its multi layered sole MBT-AE transforms flat, hard, artificial surfaces into natural, uneven ground. Wearing MBT-AE is like walking in sand. Unlike most conventional training shoes that only support and cushion your feet, the unique uplifting lever spring action of the MBT-AE sole challenges the core strengthening muscles to be more active. This reactive, more supportive muscle action creates good posture and increases shock absorption for all the joints, significantly reducing musculo-skeletal compression."
My only reservation with these shoes is that they look rather clunky to me. (Besides suffering from the delusion that I'm tall, I also think that I have big feet, so I like shoes with minimal bulk.) Suppliers seem to be primarily based in the U.K. and Ireland.
Remember Earth shoes from the seventies? They disappeared for awhile, and then came back a few years ago.
Earth shoes employ a negative heel technology, which also improves posture by making you stand as if you're barefoot on sand, as shown here: