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Whole Body Barefoot: Transitioning Well to Minimal Footwear Paperback – April 15, 2015
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"It was SO GOOD! I read it cover to cover, and will be keeping it for future reference. It feels strange to say that about a book focused on the musculature and bone structure of the human foot, but it's true. For one thing, Katy Bowman has a great sense of humor, and that makes the topic way more lively and entertaining that I ever would have thought possible."
What if I told you that I read an incredibly funny book that is sophisticatedly written, based on real scientific data, easy-to-understand, and practical enough for daily use? You'd probably think I was crazy, but I'm not! Whole Body Barefoot is such a book, and I would strongly encourage every bipedal human being on the planet to pick up a copy....I truly admire anyone who can make me laugh and learn at the same time, especially when it comes to my favorite subject of all, the body. I also enjoy someone who has the ability to take sophisticated and sometimes confusing terms or principles and break them down into practical bits of information that are applicable to daily life. Whole Body Barefoot does this time and again, and it's one of the most important reasons I adore the book the so much.
--Preston Ray Fitness
About the Author
With radical, science-based health directives, Katy is taking the health-and-wellness world by storm with her bold "exercise is not movement" platform. A biomechanist by training and a problem-solver at heart, she has helped thousands reduce chronic pain, increase bone density, and improve metabolic health through movement and proper alignment.
In addition to hosting her podcast KatySays and writing for her award-winning blog KatySays.com, she is a regular source for national health publications like Prevention and Men's Health, and is a sought after guest on radio, television pod-casted talk shows and news segments. Creator of the Aligned and WellTM DVD series, Katy's groundbreaking work in pelvic floor restoration has made her particularly popular with midwives, OBGYNs, and others concerned with pelvic mobility, strength, and health
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Top customer reviews
I came to minimal footwear reluctantly and by accident, but my foot and back problems -- which I did not see as connected -- were wreaking havoc in my life. As soon as I moved to a big city in my early 30's and started walking full time on pavement, that was the end of a pain-free body as I knew it. My feet fell apart almost immediately. But it took years for me to figure out my shoes had anything to do with it.
Like most (?) people who embrace barefoot/barefoot-like footwear, I learned about it from the trusty internet. The problem is, the internet -- shock of shocks! -- is full of some very bad information. I read that basically just strapping on a pair of minimalist shoes and/or going barefoot was going to solve all of my problems, immediately. In truth, some of my problems resolved right away (no lower back pain, gone, just like that!); but my feet became a painful mess -- pain that would come and go, in places I'd never even had pain before.
I knew I was onto something with the minimal shoes because of the positive improvements, yet I knew something wasn't right because I kept experiencing injury. I think I've read every book on barefoot-ing out there -- even though much of it applies to running, which I don't do. Most of the books are terrible and full of pseudo-science and new age dogma, which I found to be a giant turn-off. Even more disappointing, most of the information stops with the foot itself -- not making the connection that the body, bio-mechanically, is whole, from head to foot.
Enter Katy Bowman. First of all, she's a very talented, funny writer, and she accomplishes something that almost seems impossible: this book is practically entertaining! She also has a knack for communicating complex ideas in a clear, convincing way; it's as if she's reminding you that many of the ideas espoused in this book are common sense, which they are.
I have been wearing minimalist shoes for a few years now -- not 100% of the time, but most of it (dress shoes, occasionally; sneakers once in a blue moon -- for the shallow reason of "fashion"). The improvement in pain has been extraordinary, yet I learned a lot in this book, which I think will, over time, will offer even more improvement (unlike other books, Katy is careful to point out that it's NOT an overnight miracle). I, too, have focused too much attention on my feet themselves, instead of considering the other muscles and systems involved in walking and movement in general.
If you experience any kind of bodily pain, I really can't recommend this book more highly. What this book offers is a real path to living a dramatically different life. That might sound like hyperbole, but it isn't. The absence of pain, even those small annoyances that many of us chalk up to the inevitable effects of aging, is truly liberating and life changing. Following the advice in this book, and completing the exercises, has the potential to be transformative. Really. And even if you don't have pain, that's an even better reason to read it: maybe you'll be spared the misery that so many of our bad habits eventually create.
To get an idea of the work Katy does, google her short video on Runner's World, really amazing...
It's a whole body-centered approach, as the name implies, in a culture where we tend to see feet as "just feet."
Science + practical application ... it's a winner.