Customer Review

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars it is not a Kisumu, May 9, 2011
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This review is from: MBT Women's Kisumu 2 Sandal (Apparel)
I will begin with: I love the original Kisumu sandals. I received my first kisumu, put them on and after months of thinking I would never walk without pain again, I was in heaven. I had expected to break them in as recommended over a few weeks but I put them on my feet, was off and never looked back.

Now, years later I needed to replace my beloved Kisumu and find none of the original in my size but a sleeker, more feminine Kisumu 2 available. I purchased without hesitation and of course I did it at the last minute before leaving for a 2 week trip to the UK were a lot of walking was on the agenda.

I can not tell you how disappointed I was when I wore these the first day walking. It is without a doubt less bulky, more slender and feminine looking. However more importantly, YOU MUST PLAN TO build up callouses to wear without pain. The first day walking I did not get blisters but holes on the sides of my ankles where the strap carved out a nice section of my foot to rest in. Unlike the original Kisumu the padded back strap is not so padded and the padding does not extend as far as it did on the originals. The strap over the top of your foot by your ankle is also shorter so adjusting it is difficult at times and it seems to ride higher up my foot so I had to continually adjust it.

Looks wise, it is a nice sandal. After the vacation and forced limited use, I have now begun to wear them again and they are getting better. How they fit my feet is fine although they do not "feel" the same as the original Kisumu. I can walk in them without pain but I seem to tilt my foot and have to be sure I am walking properly were in the originals, I did not have to think about it, my stride was straight on without doing as much thinking.

I really like the more slender style but I would have been happier had they kept some of the features which made the sandle so great. With the handle of Kisumu 2 you expect the same great sandal with a few tweaks, these are not the same as the original Kisumu.

MBT should have given these sandals their own name so comparisons would not be made and certain expectations would not be in place. They were probably hoping for folks like me who saw the kisumu name to jump and it worked, I did.

Update: it is (was) spring here 2012 and once again I have the same problem of these sandals carving holes in the side of my foot. By the end of last summer I had developed basically a callous where the strap rubs and therefore it no longer bothered me. Over the winter my callous has disappeared and I am back at square one....even worse I am wishing I had not purchased these sandals. You should not have to develop foot armor to wear a shoe that is supposed to be comfortable and whose purpose is for walking. I actually dont even want to put them on because I do infact know the pain they will cause.
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Showing 1-10 of 16 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 2, 2013 7:32:39 AM PDT
I could not agree more. I have had the same problem as you and purchased a pair of the Kisumu 2 in brown. They are not even the same shoe. The leather straps have different sized closures that are flimsy and difficult to adjust and close and the "leather" itself is cheap and thin and stretched out after two normal wearings to the point that I can't wear them. I am out a couple of hundred $$$'s for a pair of shoes that say unisex, but sized for a man. They are heavy in the soles and flimsy in the top. Why oh, why did they stop making the first Kisumu?!? I finally found a pair in a size smaller and purchased them on summer before last. My toes hang over a bit on one foot, but I don't care. They are comfortable. I didn't wear them as much last summer because I was working part time 5 days a week and that cut into my walking time, but the sole is already wearing out on one. I also bought the Panda style sandal summer before last, but it rubs a blister on my bunion on one foot and nothing I do to adjust it works, even wearing socks. The same is true with the boots after a period of time, but I'm willing to try to get them stretched out. I also have another pair of closed toe MBT with the velcro closure straps that are more attractive than the sandals, but I only wear them for limited periods of time as I'm trying to break them in to my feet slowly so that they won't give me blisters like the Panda's did. I just found another pair of Kisumu's, "gently used" on consignment. They seem to be genuine, but the tag is different from the pair I have while the soles, closures etc. are the same. This is the best shoe they ever made and none of the others compares. They are my fourth pair of Kisumus and I don't understand why they can't make them like they used to! I have major foot problems and have had surgery and a fracture since then on one foot and they are the only ones I know that I can walk in for long distances without hurting my feet.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 15, 2013 8:36:32 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 15, 2013 8:38:34 AM PDT
Y'all have reinforced my iffy feelings of buying the second edition sandal. Hopefully they will come back to making the original. I keep looking for my size but cannot find the sandals. Have refused to buy in white. I have worn the first pair out. I am retired and I wear these every day. Have been for 4 years. I should have bought many more pair when I realized how wonderful they feel. But I did not, yuk... I have 3 other pair of different styles. But no sandal. I do love the tennis shoes and my Mary Janes. The MBT web site should be reopened any day. Cross your fingers and say a prayer.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 15, 2013 8:00:36 PM PDT
glouise says:
I am not very optimistic. Since the original creator of MBT sold his company, the shoes have just not been the same. We can hope though...

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 16, 2013 1:16:54 PM PDT
Be careful of knock- offs, they are everywhere.....I am waiting for the web site, but that really means nothing....maybe Zappos will carry them. They have an excellent return policy.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 16, 2013 7:49:20 PM PDT
glouise says:
Since the company stopped making shoes, Zappos no longer carries them and yes, I love their return policy. The walking company was/is having a clearance sale with really great prices. Of course the down side is, all sales are final which means you really have to know your size for the style you are purchasing. Sherman shoes also carries real MBTs and Rich has a great knowledge of how they run in comparison to other mbts. I told him what my size was in the original kisumu and he recommended what he thought would work in the styles I was looking at on their site.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 17, 2013 6:32:15 AM PDT
It scares me to realize what I would pay for an original Kisumu. I guess you are correct about Zappos. Yuk. Years ago I checked out Sherman shoes in fact I bought a paitr of MBT's. Oh well. Guess I will glue these old sandals and keep looking. Wish I knew who to trust. Thanks for the info. I will go buy more games from Amazon. I do love Amazon.....

Posted on Apr 19, 2013 11:27:27 AM PDT
J. Rowdy says:
Thanks for the heads up on the different fit. I have been looking at several websites, and also saw a message about MBT going bankrupt. I found some new/used on ebay, but not my size. Just wondering.... aren't the men's and women's the same? Just larger? Again, thank you for the review. I am willing to spend the money on the real deal, but not waste it on shoes I will never wear.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 19, 2013 12:41:21 PM PDT
I wear a 4 in men's sorta scary though. Does sun one know of another brand that is similar. I have been looking at Sketchers but straps are different I don't want fancy flip flops.....

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 19, 2013 5:14:35 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 19, 2013 5:30:29 PM PDT
glouise says:
I have normal width feet and a normal arch in one foot. I am overweight. I was originally perscribed orthodics due to 2 issues: one foot has no arch due to a foot injury and issues in both feet with plantar fasciatis. I was able to walk without pain with the orthodics as long as I always wore the shoes with the orthodics.

A friend recommended MBTs and they were amazing from the day I put them on. I could work all day standing and walking wearing MBTs, no orthodics needed, and at the end of the day, take them off and still have no pain while walking around. Since I did not need orthodics with the mbts, I could once again wear sandals....amazing. I am giving you this long back history to give you an idea of my foot issues because I think it makes a difference as to what works for someone.

After the disappointment with the kisumi 2, when planning my vacation, I began my hunt for a replacement. What I ended up buying were Orthaheel sandals. I purchased two, one is the tide (a thong or flip flop type sandal) and the other, a Muir Vionic Sport recovery Adjustable Sandal (the look of a sport sandal). Both worked very well for me and I am able to walk without pain with both of them. I took them both on vacation and walked all day around Old San Juan, up and down a hill and for blocks in the vionic and at the end of the day, I was still without pain. When I took off the sandal to let my feet rest cause they were sore (it was A Lot of walking) I could walk around bare foot without pain.

I would not work all day in these sandals. I do not think they would give me enough support. That said, I wore them the whole time we were on vacation in Puerto rico (vionic when out and about, the tide when we went to the beach and around the house) and just pulled them out of my closet with the nicer weather and they are great.

I will mention, they don't have the weight and substance of mbts. I also have to remember to stand straight with shoulders back with these when I never have to with mbts.

Zappos and Amazon both carry the orthaheel. If you go to footsmart or the orthaheel site, they can recommend shoes that may work for you using a series of questions. Using the tools at these sites is how I initially was introduced to the orthaheel and they may be worth checking out.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 19, 2013 5:42:13 PM PDT
glouise says:
The original Kisumi was a uni-sex sandal and yes, it was the same sandal for both men and women. Most sites that carried the original shoe, listed the sizing. I have looked at the mens kisumi but have not found any small enough for me.

I would be hesitant to buy used MBTs just because we all walk differently and the shoes can wear funny depending upon how someone walks especially if they over or under pronate.

Also as someone who made the mistake, be sure you are buying real MBTs. The knock offs are just not the same, nor do they last as long.

MBT did go bankrupt. I was told they hoped to be back by next year but I am not holding my breath.

Some web sites that still carry real MBTs: Footwear etc, The walking company, Amazon and Sherman Shoes. Since the company did go bankrupt, some of these sites have them on clearance so the price is great but you can't return them if they are not the right size.
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