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Barefoot Running: How to Run Light and Free by Getting in Touch with the Earth Paperback – September 20, 2011

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Frequently Bought Together

Barefoot Running: How to Run Light and Free by Getting in Touch with the Earth + Barefoot Running Step by Step: Barefoot Ken Bob, the Guru of Shoeless Running, Shares His Personal Technique for Running with More Speed, Less Impact, Fewer Injuries and More Fun + The Barefoot Running Book: The Art and Science of Barefoot and Minimalist Shoe Running
Price for all three: $37.84

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press; 3 edition (September 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307985938
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307985934
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #576,108 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Michael Sandler has applied his passion and insights into barefoot running in a way no one else has so far. You are holding in your hands a book as exhaustive and accurate of a description of barefoot running as you could ever hope for.”
—Barefoot Ted of Born to Run
Barefoot Running by Michael Sandler is the best book on the market on how to begin and excel at barefoot running. I highly recommend it.”
—Dr. Michael Nirenb erg, author of America’s Podiatrist blog

“Enjoy the insights this book has to offer. . . . It is about form, joy, and the love of running. Run free!”
—Micah True, Caballo Blanco de la Sierra Madre of Born to Run

About the Author

MICHAEL SANDLER is a barefoot runner athlete, coach professionally for nearly twenty years. After an accident left him with a titanium femur and hip, Sandler was told he could never run again. It was only by going barefoot and feeling the ground that he began to heal. He now runs ten to twenty miles a day, pain free.

JESSICA LEE experienced nagging knee pain and hated running until the day she went barefoot. Now she helps women of all abilities experience the joy of running light and free.
 Michael and Jessica are the co-founders of RunBare Company. Together they travel around the world, teaching people how to rediscover the joy of running.

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Customer Reviews

Very sound advice and a lot of good information in this book.
I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in learning more about barefoot running.
Andrew Michael
I am now convinced that running truly barefoot is much safer than in shoes.
Moses Goldstein

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Zachary D. Bergen on May 11, 2010
Format: Perfect Paperback
I love this book! I have been running since high school and as I approach 50, I want to continue running. I am convinced that my switch from "shod" running in high tech running shoes with orthotics to a barefoot stride will insure running for years to come. This book is an exhaustive treatment of the subject in a great format. I found out many things I did not know that have helped me as I transitioned out of traditional shoes. Now I look at runners who are heel striking knowing for certain they could have a better running experience. The authors state that you should start slow. I could not emphasize this enough and by going slow it will pay off. Your feet have been trapped in shoes and need to learn how to be feet again and have the feedback with the brain and your kinesthetic awareness heightened. Since running barefoot and with the help of this book, I have gone through many phases of "healing" and have completely changed my attitude about feet and how tough they are.

I think even if you still buy the myth of running shoes, you should improve your stride by using this book and translate that new brain learned response back to your traditional running shoe regimen. Although I think you'll find your old running shoes to feel unnatural and clunky like I did. I can't go back. The neat thing is that there are plenty of minimalist shoes to choose from for all seasons and conditions.

This book will also serve as a reference. I often flip through the pages to learn more about something like their advice for difference surface types. It is a good companion for people who want to know if their experience of barefoot running is normal since there are not a lot of people out there to share experiences with (yet). I also joined the barefoot running group.
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Quintus on January 19, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a really comprehensive book which captures a lot of the fun and joy of barefoot running. Michael Sandler is an inspirational figure, and people should certainly listen to his advice about running barefoot.


He tends to make some embarrassingly pseudoscientific statements, which damages his credibility. The worst has to be the discussion on page 18 about how barefoot running 'grounds' the runner, eliminating the 'buildup of positively charged free-radicals' which are implicated in all sorts of diseases. Um, what?

First of all, free radicals have a complex relationship with health and are not universally bad. They are actually a very important weapon the immune system has to destroy invaders. For example, macrophages use a process called oxidative burst to kill invading bacteria. On the other hand, too much free radical production can damage tissues and presumably lead to some diseases.

But does running barefoot eliminate free radicals? And, more importantly, will running barefoot actually reduce the risk of nasty chronic diseases? The sad reality is that there is no scientific evidence at all to support these statements.

The barefoot running 'community' needs to focus on the fun and relaxing aspects of the sport before making sweeping statements about health. Leave that to the scientists, please - who incidentally are doing some very good work on impact stress and injury rates.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By nickmiller23 on January 28, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
I found this book to be quite repetitive after say chapter 6 or so. I can appreciate the need to find a meaning in the reasons we do things, but some of the expamples in this book seem rather far fetched. For instance, running barefoot in the morning or in the evening to set our personal biological clocks to the clock of the earth, through our feet is a little excessive. I've read "Born To Run" by Chris McDougall, which was an excellent read. That book inspired me to the point where I went out and bought my own Vibrams and began running in them. I THOUGHT that "Barefoot Running" would inspire me further. To the contrary, I found myself nodding off at some rather "hippy" notions such as feeling all the nuances of my feet in the morning and taking what is described as nearly 30 minutes or so to mentally check out every molecule in my body and tune myself to how I feel. Personally, I work part-time, go to school full-time and then come home to my wife and son. I want to run, not get in touch with nature and find my personal aura/chi/inner-being every morning - I'll fall back asleep!!! I agree with some points, such as listening to yourself on the run and not overdoing it; but this point is repeated 3 to 4 times every chapter for the first 8. I advise you skip this book and move on to another.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Olarte on November 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
I write very few reviews here, but from time to time I feel compelled to share my experience when I find a truly unique and life changing product.

Well Michael Sandler and Jessica Lee's book "Barefoot Running" is truly such a product.

I was lucky enough to discover the joy and benefits of Barefoot or minimalist running after reading Chris McDougall's excellent book "Born to Run".

After buying my Vibram 5 finger shoes, I did a bit of research in order to transition smoothly and found the wonderful book Barefoot Running.

Thanks to Michael's account of how he got into Barefoot running after a debilitating accident, and then following his advice and detailed explanations on why and how to run barefoot in proper form. I learned to run properly and enjoy barefoot running.

In a short 18 months I went from 1 mile to a full 26.2 mile Marathon earlier this week.

While there are several great leaders in this field including Barefoot Ken Bob (who also has an excellent book), Barefoot Ted (great Luna Sandals) etc. that I have been fortunate enough to meet and learn from.

It is Michael Sandler and Jessica Lee's work that did it for me. Not only is it so easy an logical to understand the technique behind BFR, but Michael's story and writing is truly inspirational and motivational.

And so while I recommend all the people and books mentioned above, if there is ONE book that is a must get if you are interested at all in a healthy, natural and enjoyable way to run, I have to say that the book is "Barefoot Running".

I was lucky enough to meet Michael and Jessica last week and the NYC Barefoot run, and if you get a chance I hope you get to do a clinic with Michael as well.

Ivan M. Olarte
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