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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 Paperback – May 1, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"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 Run: A Hidden Tribe, Super Athletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

"Ken Bob Saxton, a pioneer of the modern barefoot running movement, has logged more miles in his birthday shoes than just about anyone I know, and he has helped countless people run barefoot. As one would expect, this delightful book, full of wit and wisdom, is an invaluable guide for anyone who wants to run barefoot, avoid injury, and have fun."
--Daniel E. Lieberman, professor of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University

Learn Barefoot Running from the Master!Almost overnight, barefoot running has exploded onto the fitness scene. However, it involves more than simply taking off your shoes. In fact, everything you've learned about barefoot running is probably wrong--unless you've learned it from Barefoot Ken Bob Saxton. The leading instructor and proponent of unshod running, he has completed seventy-six marathons barefoot, survived an astounding marathon-a-month challenge in 2004, and gone on to top that with sixteen marathons in 2006, including four in a fifteen-day period--all barefoot. Barefoot Running Step by Step separates the facts from the hype, outlines Ken Bob's personal techniques, and details the latest research on the newest trend in mankind's oldest sport. Whether you run barefoot occasionally, part-time, or full-time, you'll find methods for improving your form, staying injury-free, dramatically improving your speed and performance, and having more fun.
Ease into it: The steps you need to make the transition from running in shoes to barefoot running as painless and easy as possible.
Improve Speed: Barefoot running's injury reduction benefits are well-touted; however a new landmark study proves that barefooting--even part-time--can make you faster.
The Bent Knee: The hidden secret to perfect running form. How this crucial adjustment will keep you running stronger and injury-free for life.
Vibrams and Minimalist Shoes: Barefoot running is not a transition from shoes to minimalist shoes to bare feet. It's the other way around. Why you need to run barefoot before you use other footwear.
Start From the Head: Proper barefoot form doesn't start at the feet. Discover how to get the correct body biomechanics.

Barefoot Running Step by Step is filled with series photos and illustrations that show you the "do's" and "don'ts" of barefoot running, the latest research, and Ken Bob Saxton's personal experiences and insights for running barefoot for life.

About the Author

Roy M. Wallack is a Los Angeles Times health and fitness columnist and former editor of Triathlete and Bicycle Guide magazines. A participant some of the world's toughest running, cycling, and multisport events, including the Boston Marathon, Badwater UltraMarathon, Eco-Challenge, La Ruta de los Conquistadores, and TransRockies Run, he finished second in the World Fitness Championship in 2004. Wallack has written for Outside, Men's Journal, Runner's World, Competitor, Bicycling, Mountain Bike, and authored Be a Better Runner (2011); Run for Life: the Breakthrough Plan for Fast Times, Fewer Injuries, and Spectacular Lifetime Fitness (2009); Bike for Life: How to Ride to 100 (2005), and The Traveling Cyclist: 20 Worldwide Tours of Discovery (1991)  

Ken Bob Saxton is the leading instructor of barefoot running in the country, featured in Runner's World, The New York Times, and the bestseller Born to Run, by Chris McDougall, who calls Ken Bob "The Master of Barefoot Running." He has completed more than 75 marathons barefoot (and one marathon in shoes), including running the Boston Marathon several times and surviving an astounding marathon-a-month challenge in 2004, which he topped with 16 marathons in 2006, including 4 marathons in a 15-day period--all barefoot. "Barefoot" Ken Bob, as he is popularly known, has trained thousands of people across the country in person at his workshops and educated thousands of new barefoot runners throughout the world, from Mumbai to Oslo, via his popular website

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Fair Winds Press (May 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592334652
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592334650
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.8 x 10.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #496,567 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

151 of 155 people found the following review helpful By J. Fulton on November 28, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
At the outset, let me say that my review is not meant as a critique of the authors or the content on running. For those things, I think the book is very good. But I had three issues with the book.

First, a lot of the book is devoted to Barefoot Ken Bob's personal story, his journey into barefoot running, and his exploration and learning on the topic. If you enjoy this, you will like this aspect of the book. If not, you will find yourself flipping pages to find the content.

Second, there is basically the same information available for free on the internet. While the authors here do a good job of covering the major points of barefoot running, there is so much out there for free that its hard to justify spending money to get the same thing. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with buying the book to support or reward Ken Bob for maintaining a great website. But between the various gurus out there on this subject, it would be hard to find something unique that justifies buying this book. Look up Lee Saxby, Chris McDougall, Mark Cucuzella and you will find massive amounts of online information about barefoot running, including great drills, tutorials, the works. This is an area where books were just too late to the scene.

Third, well, its a book! Its not an easy thing to explain how to change their running stride and give them the tools to make the changes and stick them out using text and two dimensional images. Even though I enjoyed and learned from the book, I found myself time and again checking out the videos in websites from the above mentioned individuals, including Ken Bob, for a better picture of what this looked like.
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92 of 100 people found the following review helpful By Curt Busse on April 17, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the fourth book on barefoot running to appear in rapid sucession after Christopher McDougall brought worldwide attention to the subject with his bestseller, "Born to Run." Of the four, this one ranks at the top.

McDougall's quote on the cover of this book says it all: "Ken Bob [Saxton] is the master." During the 1990's Ken Bob discovered that he could run barefoot without the pain that he had suffered in shoes. He started the first web sites dedicated to running barefoot as well as a popular message board at Yahoo. Over the years he has freely shared his wisdom, wit, and enthusiasm with others interested in making the same transition and has mentored some of the other greats like Todd Byers, who recently completed his 100th barefoot marathon(!).

That alone was enough to encourage me to buy this book, but when I saw that his coauthor was columnist, author, and sports enthusiast Roy Wallack, I was convinced. Roy's book "Run for Life" is one of my all-time favorite books on running. So I had lofty expectations when I purchased Ken Bob and Roy's book online - and I was not disappointed.

Although the book is coauthored, it is narrated from Ken Bob's point of view. There are lots of interesting stories, historical accounts, and pearls of wisdom; the book is well-organized, informative, humorous, and entertaining. I also really like the big pages and illustrative color photos.

The book starts off with Ken Bob's personal account why he started running barefoot and how he discovered some of the important principles laid out here. After a chapter discussing some of the advantages of running barefoot vs. shod, the authors launch into the core of the book - roughly a third of the 239 pages - on running technique and drills for improving that technique.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Fred Smith on December 14, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For the past two years, I've been trying gradually to get back into running after a "break" of nearly 40 years. But my progress had been constantly hindered by calf, knee and hip problems. I read "Born to Run" which opened my eyes to the concept of barefoot running so when I saw this book, I decided to see what it is all about.

This book has gotten me to rethink the way I've been running, or trying to run, all my life. Although I'm still wearing shoes, I have been gradually incorporating Ken Bob's principles of light, gentle running into my routine and, for the first time, I can run regularly without pain! For me, that is huge! In this book, Ken Bob does a good job describing the philosophy of barefooting and breaks down the technique so that you can understand and actually do it. As he says, barefooting is more than just taking off your shoes. It's a relearning of how to run. I highly recommend this book to anyone, even if you don't plan to shed your shoes.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By NC on August 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is what I had been waiting for: Actual step by step information on how to run properly. I had previously bought another Barefoot running book and I couldn't figure out how to run from that book. Now I realize that all it did was basically describe a forefoot strike and said to listen to my body. That may have worked eventually (basically me just figuring out proper form myself) but I couldn't get past the calf straining or heel slapping. I ended up giving up.

Then Amazon sent me an advertising email for Ken Bob's book. Barefoot Ken Bob's book actually tells you how to use your body (and no calf strain is required)! In fact, if you look in the Look Inside! Amazon preview, you will find his most important lesson, which simultaneously eliminates both calf strain and heel striking. After reading everything in the Amazon preview, I couldn't wait to get the book, so I went straight to Barnes and Noble and bought it (since I would have had to wait for it if buying from Amazon, which would have been cheaper though).

The next day, I was on the rough pavement and ran for ten minutes barefoot, with no pain and no strain. I did it again 2 days later and then again and again and so on with no injuries. It has been fabulous. Also, my walking has improved. Thank you Ken Bob and Roy for bringing this clear and easy to understand information to print. I wish you had published the book earlier so that I could have saved myself some grief with some of the other mis-information that is out there. Oh well, I guess that just makes me appreciate it all the more. Hooray, now running is more fun that I have ever known it! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
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