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Query regarding link between wearing MBT shoes and Achilles tendons injury

Question: Query regarding link between wearing MBT shoes and Achilles tendons injury

I developed a bilateral Achilles tendons injury following the wearing of MBT shoes. My tendons are swollen and sore, I have not been able to train for nearly 5 months. It is like they have been completely over stretched and are bulging.

I have had osteopathy, sports massage, have been doing posture realignment, taken good quality natural anti-inflammatories, used over the counter anti-inflammatory creams. To no effect whatsoever.

I am usually very active, a black belt third Dan in free style Tae Kwon Do, a sport I have been practising for 30 years at least twice a week. I usually recover quickly from the odd sprain or sports injury but not this time.

I have not injured my tendons, have not changed anything to my normal routine or shoes, the only thing I did in May 2010 was buy a pair of MBT shoes on the recommendation of a couple of friends who swear by them. I wore them in accordance with the DVD, 10 minutes at first, then 1/2 an hour, then longer. The shoes felt comfortable and I only wore them a few times before noticing a serious inflammation to my tendons.

Has anyone come across similar problems?

Please advise. Many thanks,


No personal experience with these shoes. But looking at their design they will cause increased stretch on the Achilles with every step and will require increase Gastrocnemius/Soleus contraction from midstance through toe-off of the gait cycle. You probably overused the muscles while wearing the shoes and have traumatized the middle portion (the hypovascular portion) of each tendon. Wear normal running shoes for awhile and trial wearing firm heel lifts (7-12mm high)for awhile (no longer than 1 month)to decrease the strain on the area. Look up the Alfredson Protocol for a heel drop exercise routine for Achilles tendonopathy.


Thank you very much. I will try that. Best regards,



I've been using MBTs for about 4 years and they have only helped my achilles.

I injured my left achilles about 18 years ago and even after rehad it periodically became inflamed (about every 3 years or so). I'm active in tennis and aikido but have curtailed most of my distance running.
I tried MBT shoes as a way to strengthen my achilles and it has worked great for me.

However, I don't wear them to work out in (and certainly not for tennis). I wear them daily and for 'walking around'. My day job is at a desk so I'm not on my feet all the time.

I do not recommend these shoes if you work on your feet all the time or if you spend a lot of time standing up. Also, don't try them in any activity where you must be stable (e.g., my massage therapist tried to work while wearing MBTs - it didn't work and her back started to hurt).

Just wear them for walking and maybe every day if you're not standing in one place a lot. These are meant for walking, not standing. And sometimes they just won't work for folks.

Good luck with the achilles. I know exactly how you feel.


I work a lot with people who have achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis, both can be exacerbated by the MBT shoes. As the first writer said, the shoes encourage an increased range of motion of the foot, if the structure of your foot is such that you are prone to biomechanically related injury, the MBT shoe will lead to overuse injuries. Your friends have different biomechanics to you, everyone responds differently.

I would suggest icing every night, 20-30mins after work and then before bed. Wear good supportive shoes. Stretch the calf gently for 20-30s each leg, 2 x, 2-3 x daily and then if all else fails and you can't get on top of it, take a trip to your local sports podiatrist. But try everything else first.


Thank you. Much appreciated.



Thank you for this good advice, much appreciated. I'll try this.




I have tried increasing the icing and seem to be noticing a very small improvement.

I have done icing for several months now, but only 10 minutes off and 10 minutes on and so on. The longer time seems to be triggering a reaction.

I have persevered with stretching, ultrasound, sports massage, Osteopathy and supplements for several months now with no result whatsoever so I am encouraged by this small improvement.

I am very angry with MBT. These shoes appear to have caused serious damage in a very short period of time. It has really affected my life.

I have exactly the same injury on both Achilles but there has been no trauma, nothing different from my normal routine except the shoes.

I have written to MBT and they have offered a refund but I will follow it up with the Advertising Standards Authority and other consumer organisations.

If any of your patients feel strongly that these shoes have damaged their feet, I would be grateful if you would suggest they get in touch with me.

Thank you in anticipation,

Best regards,




don't know if this thread is still active but if you see this Lawrence, there may be something else going on-- did you by any chance take an antibiotic around the time you had the double tendon injury that you attribute to the MBT shoes? In particular a common one-- Levaquin or Cipro (I guess those are their trade names)-- they, as I understand it are of a family called floroquinilines. I ask because I had severe bilateral tendonitis from one of these and it is not at all uncommon, apparently, even to the point of tendon rupture. I figured it out only by luck, I hadn't connected the pain in my ankles to an antibiotic for a stomoc issue-- only because my doctor had vaguely heard of some connection. It was severe and while I can now walk, older athletic activities are severely limited (2+years later) and it flares up every so often. Just thougt I would mention as this may be relevant to you (I am not a physician).


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