This is when he discovered the positive effects of the clay soil in paddy fields. The soil in paddy fields becomes soft and springy once the water drains out, making it very comfortable to stand and walk on. Karl Müller, who studied engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland, spent many years investigating how to bring the experience of being in the paddy fields into everyday life for urban people. He began by developing a shoe with a round sole. The wobbly sole went completely against the guiding principle of the shoe industry at the time – to ‘support, guide and cushion’ – and was heavily criticised by scientists, medical professionals and the shoe industry.
From the rollover approach to the walk-on-air concept
However, the rounded, wobbly sole went on to have huge success all over the world, selling over 10 million units in 10 years, thanks to its many positive effects on the body. It revolutionised the shoe industry’s way of thinking and ten years later it was being copied by more than 100 companies.
However, Karl Müller discovered new methods for recreating the feeling of standing and walking in paddy fields even more accurately. His efforts have made it possible to bring this special sensation to the everyday lives of urban people. What he had learned from thousands of cases he had seen was also backed up by numerous studies: People who find it more comfortable to stand and walk are also physically healthier. In light of this insight, Müller sold the entire MBT Group in 2006 to investors who wanted to continue to focus on the rollover principle. Karl Müller then began to focus entirely on researching and developing the soft, springy movement concept – kybun. This led to the development of the kyBounder, kyBoot and kyTrainer products.
The feeling of standing on a soft, springy surface
Karl Müller’s kybun MechanoTherapy is an empirical, scientific process that has led to these discoveries. It has enabled the development of products that bring the comfort and health benefits of nature’s soft, springy terrain into everyday urban life. After many years of research and development, Müller and his team found a way of perfectly recreating the feeling of standing and walking in paddy fields. By standing on the soft, springy kyBounder mat and walking around in kyBoot shoes with air-cushion soles, you can strengthen your feet, develop a more upright posture, relax your muscles, protect your joints and improve your blood circulation.