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on September 14, 2010
While I think that there are some good tips in the book on how exactly to get started barefoot running, at 61 pages, it's more of a pamphlet than a book. The price is a bit high for what you're getting.
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on April 21, 2010
I am a new runner. I've never run in a race, or run a continuous mile even. However, when I wanted to start running, I learned about barefoot running. I researched it some more and discovered it was really the route I wanted to take. I was disappointed though, that there were no books on HOW to actually learn (or maybe there are, and I just didn't find them). Yes, there are websites and forums, but the information I found was scattered all over the internet. Then this book came out. I had already been reading on Jason's website and blog, but this had everything contained in one easy-to-understand book, even for a beginner like me. It's an easy read and I appreciated the humor scattered throughout it. Although I had been attempting barefoot running prior to reading the book, I did not achieve "proper form" until I read it and implemented some of the techniques. Now I am just working on building endurance!

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in barefoot running...either exclusively or part-time.

Now that I am running more regularly, and my feet are stronger...I LOVE running! And believe me, I NEVER thought I'd ever say that!
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on August 24, 2011
When my good friend of many years recently told me about his new passion of barefoot running, to say I was skeptical would be an understatement. The whole notion seemed utterly fringe and ridiculous. Still, he recommended I read two books before making up my mind, Born to Run by Christopher McDougall and this one, The Barefoot Running Book by Jason Robilliard. Okay, I'm convinced. The idea of un-protecting my foot in order to strengthen it and prevent future injury sounds counter-intuitive. Nevertheless, the science is slowly backing up this claim. The barefoot and minimalist running movement is part rebellion against profit-seeking shoe companies, part searching for why running injuries have increased exponentially in the past 50 years, and part exploration of a different kind of natural approach to running. A simple primer argument is this: Children are encouraged to spend lots of time barefoot in order to build up their foot posture and muscles so why is the same practice discouraged once we get older? I'm a new convert to the practice so I reserve the right to change my mind down the road. So far my experiences have been exhilarating! There is an emotional connectivity to the ground that surprised me, like I used to be asleep while running.

The book itself is very good, offering numerous tips on getting started and all the while the author constantly (and rightly) reminds you to take it slow. The how-to subject matter can easily be condensed down to half the size or more since a lot of progress in barefoot running is self-discovery, but the extra anecdotes don't diminish the book at all. His trail journal of the Hallucination 100 is an especially good coda for the book.
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on June 13, 2010
This book is very short, but easy to read. It gives strengthening exercises, running techniques, training schedules, etc. However, I believe most of the information in this book could have been learned by trial and error of running. There is no profound information in this book. It was an easy read and gave some good tips however. It's worth the read.
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on December 1, 2011
I bought this little book July 2010, found the couple pages that prepared me for barefoot running in a simple, easy-to-follow sequence of exercises. The light bulb turned on in my brain in a few minutes and I've been running ever since. When my husband got his first pair of Vibram KSOs, he ran like a duck. He didn't want to hear how to run from me. I showed him the pages in this book and he was suddenly running like a gazelle. I'm back to buy another copy for a friend who has the Vibram 5 Finger running shoes with no idea how to use them.
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on April 5, 2012
Backstory
Up until this past Fall, I'd alternated between playing basketball and casual running on my treadmill. Then I jumped the shark and ran in our annual Turkey Trot event at school. (My thinking...I'm fit. It's *only* 30 minutes. What the heck?) Dumb as that may sound, things worked out -- no debilitating injuries. More importantly, my experience that day compelled me to hang up the high tops and become a runner.

Transitioning from shod running to barefoot or minimalist running was an inspiration that came through extensive exploration into better footwear or at least a less punishing way to run. I had never been truly satisfied with either my running shoes, or my basketball trainers -- plantar fasciitis, nasty bunion on my right little toe, gimpy knees, etc. so the pump was primed for finding an alternative.

My initial research yielded useful information about how to start barefoot or minimalist running, all of it FREE from the web. I took it and ran with it. Literally. For the most part ignoring or missing out on the warnings about jumping in too quickly, I plunged headlong into TMTS (too much, too soon) overdrive. In the end, I "paid" for all that FREE and lightly regarded information -- I had to shut down my "pursuit" of barefoot running. For three weeks, I stopped running and start icing. Funny how "free" advice often goes unheeded.

Fast forward to The Barefoot Running Book, 2nd Edition; recently bought and paid for. I'd spent the money, now it was time for putting it to work.

The Review
If you're approaching the subject of barefoot running with healthy skepticism, you'll likely find it helpful that Jason (the author) went to great lengths to cite empirical evidence (actual studies, not anecdotal contrivances) for the benefits of returning to our barefoot origins (as little kids, not cave dwellers) to experience the injury-free joys of running once again. In short, he's done his homework.

In my initial reading of this book, I've already learned to reframe my transition to barefoot running; enjoying the process of re-beginning to become a barefoot runner. For someone who's prone to jump in with both feet (no pun) and "push through the pain" this remade perspective has been liberating, almost as much as wearing my VFFs to school every day.

I've also found a better path to patiently giving my body time to adjust to a near-barefoot existence (as I reset my proprioception, get a truer feel for the road again and give my muscles time to rebuild). More to the point, this book is organized into a progression of stages, whereby moving to successive milestones in the progression is based on first mastering the preceding stage -- without pain. Each of these stages are further distributed into three components -- conceptual theory (quite distilled and easily grasped), issues or concerns (encountered along the way), and activities (physical tasks for practicing technique).

There is enough here to offer flexibility and customization, and as with *any* book like this; the author's recommendations will only take you so far, then the rest is up to you. Learn, and then take the initiative to apply and explore. Or, in the words of the author, "...I will teach the basic components all barefoot runners have in common. It will be your responsibility to experiment to find out exactly what will work best for you."

Suffice it to say, there exists a plethora of books on the subject of barefoot running (I perused samples of several others before buying this one), and for *my* money, The Barefoot Running Book, 2nd Edition, by far and away, offers the most favorable (and injury-avoiding) path forward for me. I hope others have a similar experience.
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on January 24, 2012
This book contains very useful info for anyone interested in adapting a minimalist running style. The problem is, most of the info here is posted online for free (by the author himself I believe).

For $2.99 though it's worth having it all in one easily accessible place. And I would say the book goes into more detail somewhat. It's not rocket science, but it is extremely good advise. I read this book before switching to a minimalist running style, and took it very seriously. The transition has been enjoyable and injury free so far!
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on July 27, 2010
I recently received a copy of Jason Robillard's "The Barefoot Running Book" in the mail and was excited to see what this experienced barefooter had to say on the topic. I heard of Jason previously through both of site, Barefoot Chronicles. Jason is also an active poster on the Runner's World Barefoot Running forum.

The book is short but full of informative information. It's written clearly, and the author injects humor here and there, making it more than just a boring textbook. Barefooting is supposed to be fun anyways, right?

After introducing himself, Robillard discusses the very basics of running barefoot, including taking it slow, listening to your feet, and just having fun doing it. Coming from a Pose Method background ([...]), I do differ with the explanation of how to run, but he still does a good job of explaining the most important concepts, which are that of the leaning from the ankles and pulling the foot off the ground. Besides that technical area, I thought he does a great job of explaining different drills you can do and reminding you to relax when you run. While it's important to keep your core active and tight, people get nagging injuries due to shrugging their shoulders, plantar or dorsi-flexing their ankles, or just remaining too rigid in the knees throughout the whole stride.

The book's "Concepts" sections are well thought out, the drill "Activities" are all extremely useful, and the "Issues" sections address well-known problems that newbie, and experienced, barefoot runners face from time to time. Robillard provides sections for all skills levels, from beginners looking to run a few miles to racers eager to set new PR's, and to people who'd like to get into barefoot running on trails where there are more hazards than when running on pavement.

The book definitely accomplishes its goal of introducing barefoot running to the uninitiated, and it's length and humor keep it accessible to adults and children alike. I highly recommend it if you are interested in learning barefoot running, as it inspires you to just get out there and go!
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on June 12, 2013
I had adopted minimalist running several years ago, and learned through a lot of trial and error. I was hoping to fill in some gaps, especially around form. This is more for the beginner who isn't sure they want to do barefoot/minimalist, with testimonials about barefoot running and information about terminology. The formatting is cheap and jolting, the organization a bit scattershot. An okay book, but you'd do better with a few hours spent on the internet.
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on November 8, 2014
Throw away those heavy, restraining, and very expensive shoes and try minimalist sandals or nothing at all. At the least you will rediscover what it felt like to run barefoot through the grass. You might even discover that the nexus of your foot problems lies in the very shoes you thought were helping you. Could happen.
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