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Tread Lightly

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  261 ratings  ·  31 reviews
"Humans evolved over the millennia to become one of the most exceptional distance-running species on Earth. So why are injuries so common? Are our shoes to blame, or is it a question of running form, training, or poor diet? In this groundbreaking book, Peter Larson and Bill Katovsky explore the reasons why runners experience injuries and offer potential solutions to the cu ...more
Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Skyhorse Publishing (first published January 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.89  · 
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 ·  261 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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Todd Johnson
Nov 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: running
After the "Born to Run" audiobook I was itching for something more firmly rooted in reality. This was just that.

Most of the book is a pretty thorough literature survey on subjects like footwear, foot plant when running, arm swing when running, stride rate, and stride length, and all of their effects on injury and efficiency. The tl;dr is that you can run safely pretty much any way that's comfortable to you, as long as you ramp up slowly and build strength along the way.

(The authors do come dow
Mikey Sklar
Aug 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fun read. I learned a bit about running injuries and not to make a big fuss over shoes.
Kaspars Koo
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A really good book for runners on shoes, feet and avoiding injuries. Does not tell you what to do but gives you the context and guidelines to make better decisions.

The authors seemed quite nerdy, but that is probably why I enjoyed it so much. Really enjoyed the parts about the history of the shoes and history of long distance running. (Although the Boston Marathon was started in the 19th century, the first woman ran it only in 1967. That year only 741 runners entered but tens of thousands viewed
May 12, 2013 rated it liked it
I picked up this book in the hopes of trying to figure out why I seem to be plagued with running injuries more frequently lately. Is it overuse? Or age? Maybe both but honestly probably just age--groan. Anyway, this book is all about examining running injuries and their causes, prevention, and related myths (i.e. "barefoot running cures all ills". Not so).

This book was very well-researched, even though ultimately we don't know much of anything about running injuries. There were some interesting
Cindy Dyson Eitelman
Jan 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-17
I guess I'll have to read this again before saying much about it. I read it during vacation, mostly in front of a big screen TV playing NCIS episodes. My concentration must have been faulty.

I remember that it's full of summaries about research into the question of why running injuries seem so common nowdays despite mankind's unique adaptation to running over a lot of years of evolution. The most common predictors of a future injury are previous injury, lack of experience, competition, and weekly
Lars J. Nilsson
Jun 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I haven't read very many running books. In fact, I've only read three that I can remember, one being Christopher MacDougal's legendary "Born to Run", and Jason Robillard's excellent "The Barefoot Running Book".

And having read Robillard this book nicely fills in the gaps, fleshes out and in generally expands on the topic of barefoot running versus shoes, the history of running, the mechanics of running, injury prevention and so on. While Robillard is hard core barefoot, this book doesn't take an
Pete Murphy
May 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People and looking for a neutral pros and cons book on things like barefoot running, diet etc.
I am just getting into running and have read a few books on the topic such as Born to Run by Christopher McDougall and Finding Ultra by Rich Roll however I found this book to be the best of the three I have read so far (I would still strongly recommend the other books mentioned).

However Tread Lightly by Peter Larson and Bill Larson is rather than being an inspiration or interesting story is more informative and full of running facts. I particularly liked the neutral way the two authors present f
Peter Leventis
Dec 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
As a runner, I spend some time thinking about how I can run more efficiently. Tread Lightly discusses, as the by-line suggests, "form, footwear and the quest for injury-free running". One of the authors is a former Anatomy professor, so he has a research/scientific/evidence-based approach to this.

After spending some time discussing the history of running and the development/evolution of the running shoe, the authors support a less-is-more approach to running shoes--i.e. they provide evidence aga
Kent Say
Nov 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: running

It's hard to get the facts on where the state of the science in terms of running and injuries and how best to avoid them. This book covered the basis well...

Main take aways: we really don't have great answers yet. If you are a beginner and try to do too much too fast you are more likely to get hurt. A varied routine may help (i.e. not running on the same street, with the same shoes, etc). We have no clue in terms of why some types of shoes work for some people and not for others... try different
Oct 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Full disclosure: I didn't actually read the whole book, both for time reasons (it was due back at the library) and also because a lot of the information just wasn't useful to me. I wanted tips on how to improve or change my form, and instead got a history on the evolution of humans as runners (hey, I already read Born To Run), or a thorough history on ALL types of shoes (interesting, but again, not why I got the book!). I started skipping to chapters that I thought might be more relevant and did ...more
Sep 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book for new runners or long-time runners looking to increase their knowledge on the sport and on the shoes available in the market. When a consensus can't be made on a topic, such as the best foot strike to implement, they present all sides in a fair manner and criticize flawed arguments when necessary (e.g. the shoe fitting process at stores and marketing techniques used by shoe manufacturers to pigeon-hole runners in shoe types (i.e. stability shoes vs neutral vs barefoot)). I enjoyed t ...more
May 23, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
There are a lot of things in this book to like. The history of shoes is great, and the discussion of scientific studies on gait and footwear is a lot more interesting than it sounds. The last chapter is inexplicably devoted to the paleo diet, which seems really out of place in a book primarily about shoes and running form. Aside from that, there's a lot of fascinating stuff.

I'm giving this three stars instead of four because the narrator of the audiobook said "casual" when I'm 100% sure the aut
Jul 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely for real hardcore runners who have been following the trends since 2009 or so. If you are an intense shoe geek you will like this book (you know who you are). Lots of info, very informative, got a little dry in a couple parts as the authors were giving you statistics like crazy - but some people love that stuff. Over all I think they did a great job putting in to place a lot of information without leaning to far one way or trying to sway the reader to try something that might not work ...more
Doug Newdick
Jan 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: exercise
Tread Lightly is compulsory reading for every serious runner. Peter Larson has written a highly readable book about how to avoid running injuries. The beauty of this book is how it summarises and puts into a practical context the latest scientific and medical research on the mechanics of running and injuries. Avoiding fads the advice that Peter Larson gives is both practical and well-grounded. You are never given bare advice. Each time the latest research is explained and the advice is related t ...more
Jun 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: running
This is not a manual or a step by step book on how to achieve the correct running form rather it's all of the knowledge that both the authors have garnered through out the years and it's presented that way. It was a fairly easy read, although initially I had to get over the fact the fact that they do not really make any recommendations or show you anything.

Will this book change the way you run ? Not likely but then you will know more about the current research that is going on surrounding runni
Eric Schreiber
May 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this one - an easy read with lots of great detail, data, and stories about running. The authors cover many aspects of running - human evolution, the past ~100 years of elite runner history, the evolution of running shoes, how running stores work, cadence, stride, foot strike, upper body, nutrition - all kinds of good stuff. They don't take a hard stance and say one way is the only way, and they cover all kinds of interesting studies and research. I come away feeling much better ...more
Sam-Omar Hall
Jun 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
A nice companion to "Born to Run," picking up where that book left off regarding: if humans have evolved to run long distances, why do runners seem to suffer so many injuries?

The book is half science - the science of running injuries, running shoes, running form,

and half lore - the history of running, persistence hunting, the evolution of running shoes, exceptional runners of the past.

It's all very readable and interesting if you're a runner. The discussion of running shoes was particularly enli
Robert Kosara
Jun 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: running
This is a great book with lots of good, well-sourced, current information. What it doesn't do is advocate a particular style of running, footwear, etc. It can seem a bit too neutral at times, but the authors do a good job of showing both sides of the evidence and in particular that there is little clear indication that any one thing is definitely better than the other. The only thing they clearly argue against is overstriding, though you can work on that whether you heel-strike or not.
Sarah Delacueva
Jun 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Great book with lots of information about how humans evolved as runners and the history of running shoes. It discusses foot strike, gait, and form (and how there is no one perfect version of any of those things). The book is largely geared toward helping people figure out how to avoid running injuries. Super fun for me because for some reason I like to read about running. I also really enjoy the runblogger blog written by one of the authors (Peter Larson).
Oct 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
For a runner looking to make sense of all the hype and research about running this book is the key. It is well written and researched. The authors compare results of research and show the inconsistency and gaps as well as the clear facts. The runner who reads this book will be better informed and able to separate the fact from the hype. At least for what is known. This book lead me to start learning more about biomechanics and human anatomy.
May 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Based on the title, I assumed that the book would have a really heavy-handed “minimalism, minimalism, minimalism” agenda. And I wouldn’t mind if it did, since I do tend to lean toward that direction myself. But the book presented multiple facets of running that were all very balanced and thoughtfully presented.
Jan 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: running
Coupled well with Born to Run and the barefoot minimalist shoe debate. Good data points I'm ready to try different shoes and no shoes (beach runs are shoeless and I know how good they feel) and let my natural pronation and wide Irish Peasant feet do what they were designed to do. Slowly and gradually. Injuries suck.
Aug 13, 2014 rated it liked it
The work presents a well-balanced and researched look at the proper footwear, the evolution of running and the cultural differences in running (for example, Kenyans run barefoot for transportation).

It could have use a little editing, as some themes were repeated; however, each chapter can be written independently of the others so it may be attributable to that.
Apr 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: epub
I've been running 8Ks, 10Ks, and half marathons for years. I decided I wanted to start running full marathons now. This is a good book. Good information on speed, diet, running form, and running history.
Jun 04, 2014 rated it liked it
It's less agenda oriented than "Born to Run," but isn't nearly as fun. "Tread Lightly" examines studies done on shoes, foot-striking, and stride length. While I left the book more educated than I came, most of my questions are still unanswered. But that is the case with running and injuries.
Jul 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: running
This book ranged between a 2 and a 4 for me, depending on the section. I definitely found some useful information, but somehow this book wasn't everything I'd hoped it would be.
Walter Higgins
Sep 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: running
A great read. Chock full of common sense advice for runners of all experience.
Nov 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Great book to prepare for a half-marathon.
Mar 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Good, balanced approached to running. Most importantly keep the aerobic exercise tantamount.
Jonathan Grant
Jul 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Interesting. Makes me want to read further about form.
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