Chung Shi Shoes or MBT shoes? MBT is particularly proud of its PU mid-sole with a pivot underneath the metatarsus, helping to activate the stabilising muscles. This means that with every step, the mid-sole will activate a large number of stabilising muscles. Certainly the fixed MBT mid-sole stretches the fascia and helps reform an arch for those of us with flat feet, making the MBT particularly recommended for fasciitis.
The Chung Shi has a mid-sole air-bag, which acts as an active arch-support. The air bag activates reflexology zones and its massaging affect stimulates circulation. Certainly you will be amazed by the surge in circulation and the Chung Shi is particularly recommended for varicose veins. Although less supportive than the MBT, the Chung feels like it works your muscles harder, and you will be particularly impressed when you stand still, and feel those saggy tummy muscles being pulled back in!
In terms of product care, Chung Shi is better, as they can be placed in the washing machine without destroying them. MBT are more delicate and can only be wiped clean. However, despite their higher maintenance, MBTs can be re-soled and the UK Head Office offers an efficient repair service.
MBT uppers are made of thicker material than the Chung Shi and your feet do become quite hot. This absorption of heat is especially true of the best selling MBT Low Sport Black. The MBT insoles are perforated to improve breath ability and treated with an anti-bacterial agent. Yet, the Chung Shi Grey and Promos uppers have tiny air pockets that are airy and cooling for the toes.
Aesthetically speaking, the German newcomer is slightly more stylish than MBT, which look larger and clumpy in comparison. That said, the new range of MBT, such as the Boost, has a more sculpted sole and dare I say it, look more “normal”. The pick of the range for style, is the vegan friendly grey training shoe and the funky red Promo.
To conclude, the Chung Shi is an average shoe for strollers to power walkers, in addition to everyday. With a more natural feel to them, they are safer for driving, virtually indestructible for cycling (I have destroyed a pair of MBT), more corrective than MBTs, and you will ‘really’ feel the muscles working! To counter this, MBT are great for jogging, which is little publicised, more “springy” and more forgiving of a John Cleese style “funny walk”.