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Barefoot Running Step by Step: Barefoot Ken Bob, The Guru of Shoeless Running, Shares His Personal Technique
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Barefoot Running Step by Step: Barefoot Ken Bob, The Guru of Shoeless Running, Shares His Personal Technique

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  457 ratings  ·  50 reviews
“Barefoot Ken Bob is The Master. Long before anyone else was even talking about barefoot running, he was perfecting the art . . . Now, after twenty years of teaching, experimenting, and “merry marathoning” (as he calls it), the first and best source of barefoot-running knowledge is bringing his ideas to print. And it’s about time.” —Christopher McDougall, author of Born to ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published May 1st 2011 by Fair Winds Press (first published January 1st 2011)
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Loy Machedo
Loy Machedo’s Book Review – Barefoot Running Step by Step by Barefoot Ken Bob Saxton and Roy M. Wallack

In my quest to learn and understand the sport of running, this is the fourth book I have read this year. As of now, I have read
1) Finding Ultra by Rich Roll,
2) Chi Running by Danny Dreyer, and
3) Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
4) The Runners World Big Book of Marathon and Half-Marathon Training by Jennifer Van Allen, Bart Yasso and Amby Burfoot,
And to my surprise, almost every book in th
...more
Sharon
If you're looking for an introduction to Barefoot running (or Barefoot-style, or the benefits of Minimalist shoes) - this isn't the best resource available. The author does not do a good job of explaining the techniques that he so highly recommends - and instead simply repeats himself over and over as a substitute for a good explanation. It doesn't work... For example: he recommends lifting your foot as your are placing your landing foot down to reduce impact. That's the wording he uses in the b ...more
Jen Marin
Spring is here, and the days are brightening. After a wet winter without warm minimal shoes, I have gotten out of the habit of movement and activity. Now that the days are lengthening, I have felt the urge to run again, to use my body and connect with the earth.

I did, in fact, go for a run. I ran in my VFF Treks that have been my winter wear this past year, at least when it is dry. But I was at the park, and I got the urge, and it felt so good I did a bit more of it. The next day, my lateral met
...more
Vic Heaney

I am trying to cautiously adopt the barefoot running style but without actually running in bare feet. The essence of barefoot running is to run lightly and gently, minimising the impact on the ground - clearly running in bare feet on the rough stones round here would encourage one in this but I feel it would also murder my feet.

So I have been studying Barefoot Ken Bob's book. He admits to being a zealot and he will not countenance the idea of running in any type of footwear. Although his book is
...more
Sam Woodward
My favourite time of day is my early morning runs along the coast but like the majority of runners, I'm regularly plagued by injuries which have prevented me from going out for weeks at a time. This has ultimately made it difficult to get into a regular routine & has made we wonder how in the long-term I could continue doing the sport I love the most without causing myself some serious problems. So when somebody mentioned the seminal Born to Run & how it touches upon barefoot running &am ...more
Kristi
I guess i shouldn't have been surprised that he was so harsh on Vibrams. The thing is that not all of us can go barefoot at work, at school, etc. I am going to try harder, but i am required to wear closed toe shoes to work, i'm kind of cheating when i wear Vibrams and Sanuks. I guess i'm not sure that flip flops and Vibrams are horrible compared to socks with rubber painted on the bottom. They're not perfect, sure, but if you can't feel the ground through Vibrams then your feet are in bad shape. ...more
Christina Kessler
Oct 11, 2011 Christina Kessler rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: any runner
Shelves: natural-science
This is a very good guide to barefoot running. I'm not sure if his idea of perfect form is something every barefoot runner would agree on, but the main message is that you just need to really pay attention, which I agree is key. I like the goofy exercises. I strongly agree with his point that if you want to barefoot run you have to start totally barefoot to get the feedback from your feet, rather than in minimalist shoes. It helps keep you from overdoing it, although you probably still will over ...more
Andrew
I wish there were a better book on the subject, mostly because my literary standards are high and his is hardly literature. There's also nothing here you can't get from browsing the forums at Ken Bob's site. If you do want a book, this is the only one, but it would be profitably supplemented by a foray into Pose, and naturalrunningcenter.com.
Chris King
I've run barefoot with the author on numerous occasions and was really looking forward to this book but there seemed to me to be less step by step assistance in it for running barefoot than there were anecdotes telling me _why_ I should be running barefoot. Overall the tone felt kind of like preaching to the choir.
Olivierco
Ken Bob Saxon wants to share his passion about barefoot running but sometimes his writing gets too passionate to my taste. Anyway his book gives clear explanations of his barefoot running technique (a little different that the one described by Jason Robillard in The Barefoot Running Book Second Edition: A Practical Guide to the Art and Science of Barefoot and Minimalist Shoe Running) with many pictures, training tips and good stories.
David
If there was a companion volume to Chris McDougall's Born to Run, Barefoot Running Step by Step would be it! Barefoot Ken Bob and Roy Wallack are geniuses, and their decades of experience shine clearly through every page of the book.

I had been running barefoot for ~one year prior to reading this book and after the first two chapters, my form was improved by a factor of ten. Prior to reading this book, I cursed the gravel they use during snow removal. After reading this book, I can easily run ove
...more
Michelle Rocha
After a disastrous attempt at faux barefoot running (in so called minimalist shoes- resulting in serious foot injury) i decided to try again, this time with the help of an expert. The book gives very specific instruction on successfully running barefoot. In week one of my implementation so far, so good. If you follow his advice, you'll do what you thought was impossible. I'm hoping that in time my feet will strengthen to the point where I'm not experiencing all the foot issues ( plantar fasciiti ...more
Tomio
Very informative book on barefoot running. I became interested in barefoot running after reading Born to Run. Thorough Barefoot Running-Step by Step, you really learn how to go about this transition. I loved the book and am learning to barefoot run, even running in just socks in -10C.
Dhitri
What can I possibly say about this book that hasn't been said by most reviewers out there. This book is a must, not only for starters in barefoot or minimalist running, but also for anyone who wants to get serious about their recreational running (in other words, those who've been stung by the running bug, like me!).

This book comprehensively looks at the issue of running form, running efficiently and reducing your risk of injury. But more importantly, this book is highly persuasive and motivati
...more
Alastair Arthur
An extremely thorough guide to the techniques and benefits of barefoot running. Ken Bob Saxton is obviously so passionate about going barefoot and his desire is to envangelise to benefits to all runners. It's good to understand what has worked for him over decades of running and the theories about the physical benefits. Sometimes it's over the top (e.g. the injury threat of running in shoes), but there are also concessions to a mixed approach of shod and barefoot running. The key message of star ...more
Sunflower
A confession. I did not read this book in its entirety. I got too hung up on the hero-worship of "Barefoot Ken Bob" which I found quite intrusive. However, if you want to go back to barefoot running (I know, I know, that's how we all started but the running shoe companies have had us in their thrall for too long) this is the book for you. It covers everything from how to wean yourself off running shoes, how not to do too much too soon, minimalist footwear for those who aren't ready to commit jus ...more
Edgar Perez
Amazing information

I bought this book in order to better my running. as someone who ran for passion. I wanted to learn how to get better. and ultimately barefoot running to me was and always will be the first and last step in terms of the "next level" of running.
Chris
Excellent background information and technical foundation, as well as a step by step progression and pointers on how to avoid the most common pitfalls experienced by those who are pursuing movement excellence.

The most important factor in seeing results is whether I apply what I have learned, which is not a commentary on the quality of the information, but the character and priorities of the one who has received the information.

From the effect that I have seen of the little I have yet applied, I
...more
Jeff Van Campen
This is an inspirational and quirky introduction to barefoot running. Ken Bob Saxton is a purist, so this is a great book if you're looking for a book to convince you to try barefoot running. The book does an excellent job of telling Ken Bob's personal journey to barefoot running. It also gathers a number of inspirational stories of other barefoot runners.

For practical advice, I'd look to other sources, like Jason Robillard's Barefoot Running Book. There's plenty of practical advice here, but K
...more
Heinrich Souza
Imported from my LinkedIn Reading List via Shelfari.

[Edit, 15/10/2013]: Highly recommended; I've been running injury-free since I read this book. I have to admit that I wear minimal footwear, and am not a barefoot runner, but the principles and technique in this book (stride, cadence, etc) are key. -1 star for all the historical/political stuff.

If you don't want to invest in the book, I found that watching Dr Lieberman in action (mentioned in the book) helped as well: https://www.youtube.com/wat
...more
Michael M
Love it! And it works. I tried it and loved running barefoot. Just takes a little time to get baby soft feet a little more tough to handle the terrain. No knee pain since running barefoot, no shin splints since running barefoot. Just awesome!!! Gotta give it a try and stop being afraid of what people might think of you running without shoes or the fear of stepping on stuff. You were born with feet to walk, run and to step on things with. We were not born with shoes. So ditch the shoes and give i ...more
Kulpreet Singh
Very poorly written.

Interesting ideas. But fail to inspire cause of the hodge podge presentation.

I did and will try running without shoes.

I guess I was convinced about doing so even before I read the book and was looking for convincing arguments. Sadly the book doesn't have any facts to convince me, just anecdotes to help you confirm what you already think.

There are some nice drills to try and handle the pain of running without shoes on tarmac.
Alex
This is a fantastic guide book for anyone considering barefoot or minimalist running. Ken Bob lays everything out in an easy to understand and enjoyable fashion. He tells you what to do and how to do it. He's passionate, zealous, and highly entertaining. As a bonus- Ken Bob is extremely funny- the book of chock full of hilarious stories, anecdotes and witticisms. I read it from cover to cover in one sitting!
Phil
Excellent info by a man who has run barefoot for decades. Including more than 100 marathons. Also inspirational. Some reviews have complained the book is repetitious. Maybe for someone who's just READING about barefoot running, rather than for someone (like me) who's actually DOING it. I found the detailed info extremely helpful.
Beth
While I don't always buy all of Barefoot Ken's arguments (for example, I'm pretty sure when he ran with shoes, they were the wrong size), I do believe in barefoot or at least minimalist running, and there is great information on form here. There are also some other fascinating things, like information about the harm shoes do to horses.
Anastasia
The inevitable must-read after Born to Run. It's been particularly helpful for thinking about posture and form while running, and the anecdotes are fascinating, even though I'm still a little wary and thus only using barefoot for warm-ups. I appreciate the diversity of perspectives included, which helps it read less like a manifesto.
Daniel Schulte
This book is mostly a book for convincing people to go barefoot. For people like me, who are already interested in going barefoot, only about 25% of this book was useful. However, I do want to point out that the 25% that was useful was great and very beneficial. I recommend this book to everyone who has even heard of barefoot running.
Wendi
Aug 14, 2012 Wendi rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: runners
Lotsa great pictures. Easy way to start the whole barefooting thing. Barefoot Ken Bob is The Man. He explains things very simply and easily and his best advice is to take it slow and listen to your feet. Funny stories, including horse barefooting and a naked buns run.
Becky
Very helpful in the first half on how to run barefoot - truly barefoot, and explains why minimalist shoes including Vibrams are not running barefoot. Not sure I'm brave enough to take my tender soles barefoot out there, but definitely want to.
Dru
A both very informative and inspiring book on barefoot running! Ken bob is a great guy (I got to meet him at a barefoot running festival!). Highly recommended for anybody interested in running, health, going barefoot or just for the heck of it.
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“Calf pain is not a rite of passage; it is mostly a wrong of technique. If you bend the knees more and learn to allow a heel touch after the ball-of-the-foot landing, you should not suffer much, if any, calf pain. Those who say, “Barefooters must suffer while strengthening their calves”—either through pain on the road or hitting the weight room—are wrong;” 0 likes
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