The footwear and medical communities have long debated the health benefits of rocker bottom shoes, but a new study suggests MBT footwear could help post-race recovery, or reduce post-race fatigue.
For the study, 45 runners participated in a full marathon race in their own running shoes. Afterwards, the runners were divided into three groups. One group wore MBT shoes for the next three days, another wore trail running footwear, and the third group wore what they would normally wear post-race.
The runners were asked to rate their fatigue for the three days. Participants who wore MBT reported significantly lower fatigue levels by the final day compared to the other two groups.
One possibility for the MBT wearer’s low fatigue is that wearing the MBT shoes increased the activity of the fatigued muscles. This activity may aid in an ‘active recovery’. Generally, exercises that involve a slightly higher intensity (active recovery) after exhaustive exercise promote a more effective recovery from fatigue as compared with passive recovery, which involves no specific exercise, the reported revealed.
The researchers noted the fatigue evaluation involved only a subjective questionnaire and various types of personal bias could not be completely removed. However, the study concluded using MBT shoes during everyday activities promoted recovery from the exhaustive fatigue induced by running a full marathon, and that it could even aid in recovery from recreational activities.
MBT shoes funded the study, but the company had no role in its design and data analysis.