Renowned “Physiological Footwear” brand refocuses on US market with refined product, high expectations; SIMBOL to focus heavily on outdoor/fitness shoes
Saint Louis, Missouri — Refocusing efforts in the US market, MBT® – the original “Physiological Footwear” brand – has hired Park City-based SIMBOL Communications as their public relations agency of record. SIMBOL will handle PR for all lines but will focus primarily on the technical running and fitness models.
The brand reached a pinnacle in North America in the mid 2000’s with their unique look and biomechanical benefits, so much so that other brands began to borrow the popular MBT rocker design. Unfortunately there were issues with some of the benefits claimed by those other brands – claims MBT has never made – and despite impressive sales and brand recognition, they had to reduce US operations in 2010.
However, they’ve remained strong internationally and in 2015 began a comeback in the US that they’re confident will return them to the widespread popularity they once enjoyed.
“In the 2000’s you’d see our shoes everywhere, along with other popular brands that borrowed our design,” says spokesperson Michelle Erbs. “When folks try them, they quickly realize the technology works – we’ve found our philosophy is quite true: ‘try them and you’ll buy them.’ We’re confident SIMBOL can help us get a whole lot of new people to do just that, especially in the active lifestyle, fitness and outdoor spaces. Our first big push will be at The Running Event in Austin to help generate buzz in the running space.”
With SIMBOL’s roots firmly planted in those industries – and instructions to focus heavily on MTB’s newly designed fitness and running shoes – the partnership is an ideal fit. The SIMBOL team also sees the timing as highly advantageous, with the Athleisure trend making more casual styles far more acceptable in the office and on the town. In addition, max cushioning has become a major player in the running space, and MBT’s runners offer an ideal combination of cushioning with a more natural stride.
“This is a great product, and loads of people have enjoyed them. They had some PR issues, through no fault of their own, but we’re going to turn that around and get this brand back where they belong,” says, SIMBOL Co-Founder Scott Boulbol. “After all, not long ago cork sandals and strappy rubber slips were a major fashion faux pas – now they’re all over the magazines and runways! Plus, massive outsoles have taken over the running industry. Add in MBT’s physiological benefits as well, and they’re really a no-brainer.”
MBT – or Masai Barefoot Technology – footwear is easily recognizable with the trademark “rocker” sole. The design was based on watching Masai tribespeople walking barefoot in the dirt: The uneven terrain kept their feet unstable and constantly adapting to the different landings. The natural instability of the unique MBT sole imitates walking on soft, uneven surfaces like the Masai. This gently engages the lower muscles, reminiscent of walking on a sandy beach. So even when standing still, the wearer is still “on the move.”
MBT® is a Swiss born, and the original Physiological Footwear™ brand focused on active, healthy lifestyles. With subsidiaries in Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom, United States and Australia. MBT® footwear combines a balance of function and style with its patented construction. MBT® is based on the study of biomechanics and natural stability. Since its founding in Switzerland in 1996, MBT® has grown to become a global brand and is currently available in 45 countries around the world.
About SIMBOL Communications
SIMBOL Communications formed to help brands tell truthful, authentic stories through exposure in a wide variety of media outlets, developing creative in the outdoor, cycling and fitness industries — as both industry professionals and competitive enthusiasts — the founders of SIMBOL have the all the tools to get powerful stories to the right audience.