Companies are started for many different reasons. Isamu Masuda founded Nikken because he personally had a need and nothing fulfilled it. In the true spirit of entrepreneurship, he thought outside of the box and found a way to fulfill his personal need and in doing so, created a company that could do the same for countless people, first in Japan and eventually, globally.
Young Masuda became the son of a single mother when his father died in World War II. His mother managed a small shop, and when he was 18, young Isamu found a job with a bus company. Over the next few years, he worked his way up from washing buses to being a desk clerk.
Married at age 27, Masuda was intensely interested in ways to improve health, possibly because he personally did not have a robust constitution. He started to work at a shop providing health-related products. His goals and career path changed when his son was born with daunting health challenges. The need to support his family and help improve the health of his son and himself, was enough to spur him into action. Doctors told him his son’s recovery would be expensive, so the new father logically decided he had to find a way to make a lot of money.
Inspiration came in the form of personal experience. Japanese people are introduced to hot baths early in life and grow accustomed to communal bathing. Families enjoy public baths with a key feature: pebbles on the floor of the baths stimulate the feet. Creatively thinking, Mr. Masuda combined the concepts of the stimulating pebbles with the age-long practice of using magnets, believed by Japanese to be therapeutic. He created the first magnetic insole that could be placed inside shoes.
His invention was a hit almost immediately. His customers claimed they felt better in different ways. They said their circulation improved, they felt more energetic and they were getting better sleep. But Masuda was not a businessman and didn’t know how to expand, so he reached out to an experienced financier. Together they grew their insole business.
Nikken sold only insoles for the first three years of business. They were sold to help improve overall energy through stability and stamina from the feet upward. Independent distributors later expanded into other countries and has now been an international company for more than 45 years.
Kenko Insoles are now available in two variations: mStrides and mSteps. Both continue on the Japanese tradition of magnets for therapeutic usage combined with the effect of the hot bath pebbles. The contemporary insoles make use of patented magnetic DynaFlux® technology. Depending on preference you can choose Kenko mSteps® insoles that are “bumpier” for more intense massage effects or Kenko mStrides® for a smoother surface. Both are durable, provide support for feet, legs and back, and are ventilated so feet stay cool.
As the flagship product line, Kenko Insoles have withstood the test of time and have built a huge fan base. Here are a few examples of what people with happy feet say:
” I used to have discomfort on my ankles for years. Since I wear the mStrides, the discomfort went away! So grateful for the technologies!” U. Pho
“I feel grounded and connected all day with my mStrides.” C. Aubry
“Ever since I was 7 years old, I’ve had challenges with my joints and being on my feet for long periods of time. I consistently wear mSteps or mStrides in my shoes and even my sandals. I like both so I just keep them, without switching them out. I no longer feel challenged when I’m on my feet!” B. Richmond
“I teach aerobics and strength training so when serious foot discomfort threatened my ability to that as well as to hike and dance, I needed help. My friend gave me a pair of mStrides and I was amazed. My feet felt great, I had tremendous energy in my legs and my class even told me I was too peppy! That was 20 years ago and I’ve never taken them out of my shoes. It’s mind-blowing how a product can be so effective and so simple to use.” C. Livingston
“When I started working at a cable plant, I had to climb stairs throughout the day while wearing steel toed boots. My back and legs were strained and I could barely walk by the end of the day. I order mStrides and put them in my boots. Now I am able to go up and down the stairs as many times as needed without worrying if I will make it to the end of the day. I am so grateful.” – A. Markus
“I am a busy mom and entrepreneur business owner. I love my mSteps—it’s one of the easiest things I can do to improve my well-being without adding another thing to my to-do list. I have improved balance and feel that it supports the flexibility of my back, while my energy levels are better during the day. Slide them in the shoe and forget about it.” A. Weinberg
How are you doing with your Summer Active Wellness regimen? Walking, hiking, running or gardening, traveling and anything you do on your feet can be surprisingly easy with Kenko Insoles. From now until September 30, you can save 20% off the Summer Active Wellness Pack. It contains three Nikken technologies—nutrition, magnetics and PiMag® water— with a jar of Kenzen® Super Ciaga® powder, a pair of Kenko Insoles (choose mStrides or mSteps) and an eco-friendly PiMag® Sport Bottle.