Inventor Karl Müller
The health shoe pioneer
Karl Müller III is the inventor of the kybun air-cushion technology and founder of kybun AG, the company that manufactures kybun shoes. Müller is a Swiss ETH engineer and movement scientist who developed the air cushion technology to relieve musculoskeletal pain and improve mobility. He made the original discovery while walking in rice fields in Korea and has since dedicated his life to developing and refining the technology. Müller is a pioneer in the field of biomechanical research and has filed numerous patents for his inventions.
«I get a kick out of seeing people walk again without pain, thanks to my shoes. In kybun shoes you don't walk, you float. The walk-on-air feeling is unique»
Karl Müller, graduate engineer of ETH (Zurich) & movement technologist
The aim is to preserve kybun for generations to come
Karl Müller is a visionary of the footwear industry who has significantly influenced companies such as Nike and Skechers.
In his pivotal career, he has experienced his fair share of ups and downs. Today, Karl Müller enjoys a self-sufficient life at home in the country. He is still busy researching new ways to enable people to live pain-free.
Karl Müller's discovery in the paddy fields
The basic principle of the shoe industry has long been that the shoe has to support and guide the foot. Even today physicians prescribe orthopedic arch supports for problems with feet, knees, hips, and back. The causes of the complaints, such as lack of strength, coordination, and movement of the foot, are often not properly identified and consequently only the symptoms are treated.
In the 1990s, Karl Müller discovered the health-promoting benefits of walking on elastic, springy clay during an extended stay in South Korea.
His first commerical shoe, the MBT with its rounded sole was completeley contrary to the shoe industry's basic principles and was strongly criticized by experts. Despite this negativity the mainly positive reactions it had on the body, contributed to the rolling, unstable shoe's worldwide success. For Karl Müller this was just a stepping stone and to develop his concept he would leave MBT. Karl succeeded in perfectly imitating the rice paddy feel of walking and integrated it into everyday life.
From the rice field principle to kybun
A strong foot is the solution to the most common back, hip, knee, vein and foot problems, as well as for preventing overweight and falling in old age. This is because most musculoskeletal complaints originate at the foot. This can be illustrated schematically using two bottles (see illustration). When the bottle is on the ground, it is stable. Like a skyscraper, the foundation is the widest part and the construction becomes narrower towards the top.
The foundation must nevertheless be elastic and dynamic so that it can withstand an earthquake, for example. As with the skyscraper, the foundation (the foot) of the human body must be the strongest component in order to remain in good condition for a long time. If the foot is weakened, the body reacts like a bottle standing on its lid. In this position, the bottle is no longer stable. The same is true for the body. A weak foot leads to signs of overstress in all joints, e.g. the sacroiliac joint (the point at which the spinal cord and the pelvis are joined) and the spinal cord.
The elastic, springy kybun sole activates the entire foot musculature when walking. This is the most important prerequisite for a natural walking posture, because the foot, the foundation of the human body, must be dynamically strong to absorb shocks and and maintain the body's upright posture.
Left: Unstable feet & weak foundation
Right: Stable, strong fast reacting feet