kyBoot have changed my life! I have autoimmune arthritis. As if that isn’t enough, my lumber spine is not at all healthy: a bulging disc (L3/L4) and a herniated disc (L4/L5), together with facet joint hypertrophy and narrowing of the lateral recesses are just some of the MRI findings. In summary, I have both autoimmune and degenerative (probably age-related) factors causing me considerable discomfort.
My Shoe Adjustments
My rheumatologist gave me a stern lecture about heels some time ago and I had spent quite some dollars on flatter shoes for the office. We all know high heels aren’t good for us, but we keep wearing them anyway – until we get to the point that it is JUST TOO PAINFUL to persevere.
In my down-time I was already living in runners, but that’s not such a good look in the office. Even very good runners weren’t the total answer, as I would still end up in pain and was unable to walk the distances I really wanted to. Socially? I was warned, in no uncertain terms, by a girlfriend NOT to wear runners on a night out. Even with my new lowest of low heels I was still experiencing pain in my right buttock and lumbar spine at various times, usually from about 3pm. On a night out with the girls, I had to leave the party at about 8:30pm – I was just in too much pain.
In sheer desperation one day I dragged my old MBT shoes out of the closet and wore them for two days. NO PAIN! However, they were so old (I’d forgotten I had them) that wearing them triggered end of life (theirs, not mine). Not surprising really – nothing lasts forever. I tried to buy replacements. Very, very hard to get in Australia these days.
kyBoot by kybun
While doing my “can I buy MBTs somewhere else” research I stumbled across kyBoot by kybun. kyBoot don’t have a very high profile in Australia – yet.
What makes them different? This is an American video, but illustrates the technology.
I visited the Melbourne stockist in early July with definitely NO intention of buying, just seeing what was available and trying a pair of kyBoot on. Yes, I walked out with my first pair. As soon as you walk around in kyBoot you can feel yourself standing differently. My back felt different straight away. A co-worker who sees me at work every day told me I was walking as if I was twenty years younger – and that person is qualified to make that physical assessment.
I walk around a lot in my office job so my first priority was something I could wear to work that looked professional (i.e. did not look like runners). As you can see from the video below, they are fine for an office environment.
A Second Pair
Now I had solved my office problem, I wanted some that I could wear working in Limberation (my exercise guidance business). Something that would go with my gym gear. On the kybun website I had spotted the very colourful style featured at the top of this article. Sadly, this style is not stocked in Australia. Yet, anyway! The Melbourne stockists, Peter Sheppard, very kindly ordered them in for me specially. I was very excited when they arrived. I was able to determine the size required by trying on a similar kyBoot style prior to ordering.
Pros and Cons
kyBoot are expensive compared to normal shoes you might buy in your local department store. Remember these are very special purpose shoes. As a friend said to me, “You can’t put a price on pain reduction”. Yes, my budget had been very tight that month, but I was so happy with my first pair I bought a second pair.
The heel can look a little odd when walking. Please ignore the cat hair, she was all over me when I got home! In this photo I am landing on my heel to show the “squishiness”. The runners I have bought are not as squishy.
You must try them on and be correctly fitted. My two pairs are two different sizes – the runners I wear with sports socks are slightly bigger than the ones I wear with stockings or bare feet. Take a typical pair of your socks with you to ensure the correct fit. I was really interested in getting a pair of sandals for summer, but I have very flat feet and in an open shoe my toes don’t stay where they should, so I may have to stick to closed styles.
The benefits are worth every cent. Everything we do – controlling our weight, increasing our movement & exercise (re-conditioning our bodies), reducing stress in our lives – all contribute to us managing our conditions and improving our quality of life. If a shoe helps us experience less pain and be able to move for longer before we experience the change (onset of pain), then we are going to be better off. Not only will we experience less pain, but we will re-condition our bodies faster than we might otherwise have done which in turn will help us manage our pain.
I have worn mine every single day since I got them (three months ago). One of the Peter Sheppard staff told me that is what she had done the day I bought my first pair and frankly I didn’t believe her. Now I do.
The styles available in Australia are not the full range, however styles will change over time and if you are travelling overseas you may find different styles available in different overseas outlets. Just make sure you are getting the genuine article by checking the kybun stockists page.
Research. Read the kybun site to familiarise yourself with the product. The English version of the site probably doesn’t read quite the same as the Swiss version, but the basics are covered. There is even a section on “Initial Reactions” as depending on how you are standing/walking now your body may need to adjust. I didn’t have that experience, nor did the people quoted above, but be aware it is a possibility.
I hated giving up my heels – but now I just don’t care! I’m happily walking around everywhere! Yes, I kept my low-heeled fashion shoes – there may be social occasions when I want to wear a dress shoe.
If you were a MBT wearer, as I had been in the past, these are much easier to walk in. There is a MBT v kyBoot comparison page on the kybun site.
I highly recommend kyBoot based on my personal experience. I come home from work without pain. My hamstrings are not as tight as they were, I can touch my toes again!
Website from Robyn Dunphy: limberation.com