Trends & Features

‘Independent research has shown the benefits of our footwear’

MBT has disputed claims made by The American Council on Exercise that physiological footwear doesn’t offer any benefits that people cannot reap through walking, running or exercising in traditional athletic shoes.

An independent research study commissioned by ACE found no evidence to suggest that the shoes help wearers exercise more intensely, burn more calories or improve muscle strength and tone.

Researchers enlisted 12 physically active female volunteers, aged 19-24, for an exercise response study, during which they completed 12 five-minute exercise trials of walking on a treadmill while wearing Skechers Shape-Ups, MBTs, Reebok EasyTones and traditional New Balance running shoes.

To evaluate muscle activation, researchers recruited a second group of 12 physically active female volunteers, who performed similar five-minute treadmill trials and were measured for muscle activity in six areas: calves, quads, hamstrings, buttocks, back and abs.

ACE says the physiological footwear tested showed no significant increases in either exercise response or muscle activation when compared to normal athletic shoes.

MBT, widely regarded as the inventor of toning shoes, are challenging ACE’s findings.

The company told Sports Insight: “Independent research and published studies have shown the benefits of our footwear.

“Studies have been conducted by researchers at a number of educational and research institutions and we stand by the conclusions of that research and those studies.”

MBT says its pioneered 36 separate scientific studies into the benefits of physiological footwear.

Research from Sheffield Hallam University showed that walking in MBTs increased buttock activity by nine per cent, while research from the University of Calgary showed significantly increased gluteus activity and an increase in thigh muscle activity by an average of 37 per cent.

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