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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Barefoot Running (Complete Idiot's Guides (Lifestyle Paperback)) Paperback – February 1, 2011


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"Most shoes are simply devices for withering the foot. Take these 'plaster casts' off and spring again like a child. This excellent book will show you how!" --John Bryant, Former Coach to Olympic Champion (& Barefoot Runner) Zola Budd
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Product Details

  • Series: Complete Idiot's Guides (Lifestyle Paperback)
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Alpha (February 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1615640622
  • ISBN-13: 978-1615640621
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,321,249 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By V. M. Howard on February 22, 2011
Format: Paperback
Highly Recommended - All bases covered.

This book is laid out very well, the photos are great, and bullet points nicely done. The guide does not start out with "technical stuff" first, but gives a nice introduction into the whole concept of barefoot and minimalist shoe running. The meat and potatoes come a little later when you actually learn how to properly and carefully transition into the sport. The bases are really covered and the book includes methods of logging and planning your barefoot activity into your daily life. Nice since I am in the medical field so was looking for that aspect of the movement. The authors delve into body mechanics, proper stretching and strengthening routines, and provide a solid appendix of helpful materials for those looking to learn even more. No page is wasted and you won't find any "fluff" - just solid, well researched and helpful material. It is definitely a winner!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Barefoot Greg on May 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Barefoot Running is a comprehensive, informative, and essential guide for anyone interested in barefoot running and who wants to do it well. Authors Dr. Craig Richards, a podiatrist, and Thomas Hollowell present a very readable and thorough introduction to barefoot running and they also provide some depth for seasoned barefoot runners. They respectfully explain why we should "avoid motion-control shoes and any high-tech, mind-numbing claims that promise you they can do better than you can naturally" and provide a step-by-step description of how to get back to running naturally.

Most barefoot runners become so for physiological reasons like a desire to reduce injury, improve balance and proprioception, and get faster and the guide documents these well. The guide also discusses the mental and emotional benefits. The authors offer a nod to spiritual benefits and "the potential to put you closer to nature," which are often why barefoot runners remain committed to barefoot running. Personally I would have appreciate more emphasis on the `getting back to nature part' but I shouldn't really expect that from the CIG style.

I'm still not entirely sold on the Complete Idiot's Guide style - it feels better suited for learning software than something like barefoot running. But the bottom line is that the format works. The handy "The Least You Need to Know" bulleted summaries of each chapter help when reviewing the material and a quick scan of the table of contents reveals the book's comprehensiveness, in true CIG style.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Caity Mccardell on July 19, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a fairly new barefoot runner - been running for about a year and a half - and I wish I had this book when I first started. Yes, I roamed around on the Internet for information (which is plentiful), but The Complete Idiot's Guide to Barefoot Running lays it all out - and more - clearly and informatively.

There is a surprising amount of detail in this book, from how to get started to developing a long-term plan. Details include almost 2 pages about running on grass, sand and trail, for example.

I appreciate that the book encourages newcomers to go completely barefoot (not wearing minimalist shoes). Exceptions to this are laid out: circumstances where the terrain calls for it; weather conditions, finishing a run when the bottoms of your feet are done.

I like the outline/structure of the Complete Idiot's guide. "On Your Toes" offers brief suggestions interspersed throughout; chapters and sections are clear and relevant; you know what is "In This Chapter" at the beginning of each chapter; and bulleted "The Least You Need To Know" is at the end of each chapter. "Tip Toes" are barefoot running tips; "From The Sole" are fun facts and helpful tidbits.

I love the photos - they're very helpful to understanding the exercises the authors present. The exercises aren't overly complicated, by the way, which can really turn me away. The book even shows us the best form to have when we fall, which might sound irrelevant but it's completely tied in to the need for barefoot runners to be aware of their body movements and connection to the earth (which might go astray at some point on the trail).

I'm really glad I bought this book - it's given me important insights into the incredible world of barefoot running.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By walt on May 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
Up until I read this book, I was only guessing at the barefoot running technique, and not too successfully. Here is all the information that I needed to transition from wearing shoes to running barefoot. I found the information very easy to understand and incorporate into my training. It seemed the authors could read my mind as they anticipated all my questions with clear direct answers.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kyle Roberts on May 21, 2011
Format: Paperback
Simply one of the best BF running books out there, and I've read them all. I own a minimalist running shoe store in Milwaukee, WIsconsin called Revolution Natural Running & Walking Center. We stock 8-10 barefoot running books in our store and this one truly stands out.

With clear and concise writing, it really gives you all you need to know about why you should consider barefoot running, and how to go about learning the technique.

One of the authors, Thomas Hollowell, was speaking in my area recently. I drove an hour to attend his talk, and it was well worth it. His talk was great and his feet were unbelievable!! Strong as an ox ( aka Beastly Feet!!). If everyone had feet like that, foot pain would be a thing of the past.

This book is definitely one of the most thorough, in depth, and to the point, a must-buy.
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