Barefoot Running: How to Run Light and Free by Getting in Touch with the Earth
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Barefoot Running: How to Run Light and Free by Getting in Touch with the Earth

3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  125 ratings  ·  23 reviews
"Enjoy the insights this book has to offer -- It is about form, joy and the love of running. Run Free!" - Micah True, AKA Caballo Blanco.


As seen nationally on TV, radio and in print, Barefoot Running is the original, most comprehensive guide to barefoot running, written by best-selling author and running coach Michael Sandler, who has coached and inspired thousands of run

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Paperback, 298 pages
Published May 10th 2010 by RunBare Publishing (first published 2010)
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Pat Loughery
Nov 29, 2011 Pat Loughery rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: runners, barefoot runners
Shelves: running
What an uneven, poorly edited, poorly researched book... but still helpful. If you take it as ONE MAN'S RECOMMENDATIONS on barefoot running, it's good. If you take it as a well-grounded, well-researched book... not.

The first few chapters are new agey "connect with the magnetic fields of the earth" kind of hooey, but if you can wade through that (or skim fast), then the book gets pretty good. Its discussion of mechanics, exercises, how to build up your foot, injuries - all are good. The discussio...more
Laura Leaney
Mar 22, 2012 Laura Leaney rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Laura by: Matt Miller
This is not an exciting book if you're not a runner or you have little interest in the bio-mechanics of your feet. And even if you do run, parts of this book will not set you on fire - in fact the entire section on becoming one with the earth and using meditation beads didn't do much for me. BUT, I found this book so helpful that I'm giving it four stars. The foot strengthening exercises are worth the price of the book, and the section on barefoot running offers extremely helpful advice for the...more
Roblyn
This was an interesting book - I especially liked the parts about the foot anatomy and the metaphysics of running with and without shoes. I also appreciated the parts of the book that talk about foot strengthening as a way to overall health. The spiritual aspect of the book could be a little heavy handed at times. It's interesting to read about different ideas regarding what our feet and bodies "need".
Lisa
Aug 26, 2010 Lisa rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: runners, those looking to run in more minimalist shoes or barefoot
This book had solid exercises for building up foot strength, stretching, ankle strength, and balance activities important to those starting out in more minimalist and barefoot running, which I hope to start doing as soon as my foot heals from surgery and I'm able to walk on it on the bare ground without a shoe. I'm not sure if I will go completely barefoot due to how much of a tenderfoot I am (and have always been... and winter is around the corner) but I know for sure that I will be gradually s...more
Anna Finke
Good book. I cannot completely judge, yet, but it does have many great insights. And though I'm most prob never gonna do the extensive combo of stretching, strength training for foot, separate stretching for foot, prep training for any condition and on any terrain or each exercise he recommends I really like that he's emphasizing so much on listening to your body and respecting its signs - health before ego.
It's really true that for most runners - including me - not being able to run their usual...more
Tommy
Sort of convinced me that I'm on the right track with my minimalist shoes, but the idea of shifting to full on barefoot running is - as I suspected - a tad extreme, despite the benefits. Plenty of support from the authors for ditching standard running shoes to decrease injuries, improve form, and become a more effective and efficient runner. The authors include lots of strengthening exercises, as well as a practical approach to weaning oneself off of running in shoes to a minimalist or barefoot...more
Adan
Liked it a lot. The authors are a recently-formed couple, and their new love was forged over barefoot running: he was an experienced runner who'd used the sport to rehabilitate himself after an accident. She was a former runner who, under his guidance, rediscovered the joy of it. Reading their take on it makes it all just so happy and exciting, wheeeee!

Sure, there's a bit of kookery, but I've always loved a little bit of that. Recommendations to sleep with grounded conductive sheets? Okay, that'...more
Paula
This book is not very well organized, doesn't show ample research, and leaves an abundant of statements that need to be personally fact-checked by the reader (and is very biased towards someone named Jessica Lee AKA the author's wife). However, it is unique and certainly one-of-a-kind. What is barefoot running? It is awesome.



Is it necessary? That depends on how adventurous you are. In the words of Patches O'Houlihan: Necessary? Is it necessary for me to drink my own urine? No, but I do it anywa...more
Miriam
The book was a fascinating read. I have been running for over twenty years, injury free. I started running a bit barefoot, on grass, at the park because of this book. My son joined me because it sounded fun. He soon got plantar fasciitis and the doctor asked "Has he been running barefoot?". We went back to wearing shoes. We also added chia to our diet and didn't notice a difference. So, although the lifestyle didn't work out for me you can see that the book was persuasive enough to get me to try...more
Wendi
This book is very technical and thorough. Lots of pictures. Michael Sandler is inspiring. This was actually too much info for me, but I turn to it every now and then to read up on foot-strengthening exercises and about being in your mental place when running. I liked Barefoot Ken Bob's book better because it was a simpler message and easier to apply to start barefoot running. But for the intellectual who wants to know everything beforehand, this is a good book for that. I'm a lazy, visual intell...more
Martin
From beginning a little bit spiritual - for me. But I gave a chance to this book and then it was much better. This book is not only about running barefoot (I'm only experimenting).

I like authors attitude: don't be fool, head a home, if your feet feel bad. This is not easy. But big true. You become a big runner after adapting this rule. No more "yet another mile, it will be ok". And I like authors running without pain. You should listen your body and pain is signal, something goes wrong. And thi...more
Andrea
great resource for anyone making the switch to barefoot. I have had a great experience so far but worry that too many people are trying it without enough knowledge to do it safely. This book went into great detail about all the details and probably saved me from some real injuries and helped me to do this long-term and be successful. I do agree the that the "connecting to the earth" part was pretty heavy but not enough to steer me away from the rest of the book.
Amanda
A great book for anyone interested in the actual mechanics of barefoot running. Some of the stuff he talked about was a little out there, like how just taking off your shoes can impact your overall well-being by equalizing your body with the polarity of the earth, and quotes like "we're being pulled along by the power of the earth itself!"
I skimmed a lot but also got a lot out of the instructional portions of the book.
Jessica
Michael writes an in-depth manual for transitioning into barefoot running. He goes beyond just discussing form to also include information about philosophy, exercises, diet, shoes, and training. With plenty of information and diagrams, this book can be kept on the shelf as a reference guide throughout your training. Runners at any stage can learn something from this text.
Sarah Kingston
A little hokey in some ways, extremist in others. The author is convinced he healed nerve damage by running barefoot, which sounds great, but who knows. He also thinks anyone can run in freezing temperatures with nothing on their feet to keep out the cold, and though I would love for that to be true, my feet just cant keep warm in snow. I'll keep reading.
Tray
Interesting book. I think it has some great ideas, and I like that it focuses on keeping the run fun, and tells you to stop as soon as it stops being fun. I don't think I will ever completely switch to barefoot, but I do see the appeal and this book does a great job of teaching the switch from shoes to barefoot.
Matt Colvin
I didn't really need a book to explain the benefits of barefooting, but this did provide a great way to get started doing it if you are interested. Also, there were some small reviews of the various "barefoot" shoes on the market that was beneficial.
Mie
Feb 01, 2011 Mie added it
I am loving this book. A fantastic reference. I keep going back to it. It has been very good for my feet, and I enjoyed barefoot running this past summer and fall. (Too cold, and I'm not as brave as the author to try it in the winter.)
Joseph Hallaux
great book, worth reading for any level of runner. does have a little hippy edge to it, but i really enjoyed it. i could see how others may not like this aspect though. it just got me more excited to get out and run.
Nathan
Lots of good information about running barefoot. It wisely focuses on the beginner, and how to get past the early stages of transition from shoes to shoeless.
cory
super hippi freakout running stuff, e.g. resonate with the earth's core, live forever, run forever.
Kari
A fantastic how-to.
Barb
Inspired to run
Barry Somers
Barry Somers marked it as to-read
Mar 31, 2014
Elliot Richards
Elliot Richards is currently reading it
Mar 29, 2014
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Michael Sandler, best-selling author and a leading national learning disability and ADHD expert and coach; columnist and speaker; has both ADHD and Dyslexia and was once told he would never succeed in school. He learned how to work with his cluttered mind, overcoming challenges and negativity while surviving kindergarten through high school and going on to earn several advanced degrees. His lesson...more
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“There’s nothing in the mechanical world that matches the sophistication, complexity, and multi-tasking ability of the foot” 2 likes
“The truth is that running in shoes is high impact, heel-centric, promotes bad form, is relatively unstable and inflexible, tends to weaken rather than strengthen your feet, and dampens your connection to the world around you. In contrast, barefoot running is low-impact, toe-centric, promotes good form, enhances stability and adaptability, strengthens your feet in miraculous ways, and provides delightful sensory and spiritual connections to the earth.” 1 likes
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