5 Barefoot Running Books That You Must Read

Are you looking for the best barefoot running book on the market? New trends always have a way of being pretty confusing when they first make their way on the scene.

It is easy to get lost in the pomp and fair of it all. And not understand why you are following or what you are following for that matter. Technical terms are thrown around. You may need to understand them to appreciate the trend or product. 

Photo NameWhat We like 
Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never SeenThis book is well written.
There is a lot of research that went into it.
It is a bestseller.

Barefoot Running Step by Step: Barefoot Ken Bob, the Guru of Shoeless RunningThe story is well told.
It covers critical techniques.
Everything is explaining in context.

The Barefoot Running Book: The Art and Science of Barefoot and Minimalist Shoe RunningIt is packed with information.
The information is very practical.
It is ideal for beginners.

Barefoot Running: How to Run Light and Free by Getting in Touch with the EarthCovers the aspect of psychology which most books don't.
The authors complement well.
Walks you through injury prevention.

The Running Revolution: How to Run FasterWritten by one of the most qualified people in this field.
The theories are proven.
There is plenty of illustration in the book.

Barefoot running or walking is something that people used to do long before shoes were thought of.

However, as the centuries rolled by, there was the advent of shoes which was a booming business for a lot of corporations. Many designs came into being and this also meant that manufacturers have been competing since. 

The competition also gives rise to various ad campaigns, and wrapping your head around them is not always easy. Some manufacturers will tell you just about anything to get you to buy a pair of shoes for a profit.

As the end-user, it is so important that you sift through what is being hurled at you so that you get to know what is good for you and what isn’t. 

Barefoot walking is a trend that is on the up and up. Some shoe manufacturers specialize in making shoes for people who prefer to walk barefoot.

Shoes that can emulate the best way to do this have been flooding the market for the past couple of years. Whilst there are gurus in this industry, some of the new players also have quite a lot to offer. 

But how do you choose which ones work and what trends are a load of baloney?

Thankfully, some independent researchers and authors put together the information that you need about barefoot walking and running, in a relatable way. In this article, we take a look at the different books available for the barefoot enthusiast.

In a Hurry

Are you in a hurry and wondering where to look for a good barefoot running book? There are a few things that you will need to look for in particular, that can make your life much easier.

Sometimes you may not be much of a reader and this could make it difficult to know how to pick a good book. We have the tips you need to get the right one. Check on the author and see if there are any reviews on his or her work. 

You want to know how much you can trust the content, especially medical content.

You may also want to check on the writing style and make sure that you can relate to it. Is it something you can understand? You may also want to check on the skill level it caters to.

If you are a beginner, you want to get a book that addresses everything you need to know as a beginner and not jump into technicalities that are not common sense.

You also need to ensure that it is written in a language that you understand. Nowadays, books are available in hard copies and soft copies, make sure that you can get the book you need in the format you prefer.

Our Top Pick

The Art and Science of Barefoot and Minimalist Shoe Running

We have looked at all the different books available on the market today, that address barefoot running and all it entails, and we found our favorite pick to be the Barefoot Running Book: The Art and Science of Barefoot and Minimalist Shoe Running. This paperback book has 224 pages of barefoot running nuggets that are sure to help you on your journey. It is written in English and has received great reviews on Amazon.

Product Reviews of Barefoot Running Books

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

We have all wondered what the cause of pain in her foot is at one point or another. In most cases, we will stop at that point without ever finding out the reason. Perhaps this is what sets the author apart from the rest of us.

Instead of just letting it pass, he decided to dig deeper into some of the questions that we tend to leave unanswered. The result of that inquisitive nature is the book that we’re looking at.

Did you know that the Tarahumara Indians are able to run hundreds of miles without any of these protective shoes that most of us are accustomed to? 

Not only do they run barefooted but they also avoid most of the injuries that we come across. In this book, the author looks to find out exactly how they do it.

How is it that the ones who have the list protection underneath their feet and often facing the most treacherous conditions are able to come out without any injuries and to endure for longer distances. 

This book starts off in the world-famous Harvard science labs before stretching down to the copper canyons where the climate is slightly different and to other parts of the world while comparing their experiences.

The most interesting part was perhaps the comparison of competition between the ultra runners and the people from the Indian tribe that we previously mentioned.

After run is are those who are looking to push themselves to perform at the highest level for a long distance. 

If there’s anyone geared to take on this tribe it is these guys. This book is well written in such a way that it is easy to get through without being bored.

It is such a riveting tale that will not only leave you more knowledgeable on the subject but also entertain you.

Pros

  • This book is well written.
  • There is clearly a lot of research that went into it.
  • It is a bestseller.
  • Most readers will find it motivating.
  • It is a very entertaining story.
  • It is packed with stories of interesting people.

Cons

  • Does not cover as much about why barefoot running is better than the shoes we use today.
  • Has some hyperbole.

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Barefoot Running Step by Step: Barefoot Ken Bob, the Guru of Shoeless Running

Barefoot Running Step by Step: Barefoot Ken Bob, the Guru of Shoeless Running

With the increase in popularity of barefoot running, it goes without saying that more and more people will be taking this sport up. Buy large, injuries are bound to increase as well.

This is largely due to the fact that most people do not know how to run barefooted without injuring themselves.

Making such a massive change to the way that your feet have become accustomed to is undoubtedly a recipe for injury if you do not do it the right way. 

This is where this book comes handy. It is designed to give you a step by step guide to prepare you to safely get into barefoot running. The good part is this book doesn’t only contain how to rather barefooted.

It provides you with a lot of information on why you may want to write and barefooted as well as some of the signs and techniques that have been developed over the years. 

The aim, of course, is for you to get to a point where you develop the right technique for barefoot running. As a result, you will encounter fewer injuries. Your stride will also improve and your insurance. The story is quite well written as well.

There are not too many fillers where people just ramble on without saying much. Most of the words are put to good use.

The greatest endorsement that this book could ever have gotten is that of the trailblazer Christopher McDougall who said that Ken Bob, the author of this book is a master. If Chris says Ken Bob is good then none of us has the right to doubt him.

Pros

  • The story is well told.
  • It covers critical techniques.
  • Everything is explaining in context.
  • Explains how to transition.
  • Links to other sources for additional material.

Cons

  • Some techniques are one-sided.

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The Barefoot Running Book: The Art and Science of Barefoot and Minimalist Shoe Running

The Barefoot Running Book: The Art and Science of Barefoot and Minimalist Shoe Running

If you like the idea of pairing text with some illustration to make stuff easy to understand this book is a great pick for you.

Not only does the author explain how to go about barefoot running but he also goes into greater detail including some illustrations that make it easy for you to see what he’s talking about without having to imagine it. 

Everything that’s within this book is taken from an approach of trying to figure out what the science of running barefoot actually is. Beyond this, it also looks to understand the art of barefoot running.

By understanding the art one is able to see how people who do barefoot running can be capable of doing it without injuring themselves.

There’s also great explanations as to why people would take barefoot running instead of the cushiony running shoes that we are all used to. 

As with other books that we’ve already covered this one also takes you on a step by step guide. It is perfect for those were just getting started barefoot running.

If you know nothing else but are interested in starting barefoot running, then this is a perfect place to start the guides within the book is very practical.

You will find that there is no unnecessarily complicated technology. Everything is written and illustrated in such a way that is easy to follow.

The photographs included in the book are obviously incredible to just drive this point home. 

Pros

  • It is packed with information.
  • The information is very practical.
  • It is ideal for beginners.
  • It is well written.
  • Links to additional resources.

Cons

  • Most of it focuses on long-distance runners.

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Barefoot Running: How to Run Light and Free by Getting in Touch with the Earth

Barefoot Running: How to Run Light and Free by Getting in Touch with the Earth

Most of the barefoot books on the market are written by a man. As such the reader base and the perspective that it has taken is largely tailored to a male audience. This is perhaps why this book was fairly refreshing.

I know they say not to judge a book by its cover but as soon as you see a man and a woman on the cover and then realised that the book was also written by a man and a woman it goes along way.

As you begin right to read through it you also begin to see the perspective of understanding the impact that barefoot running or going on minimalist shoes has on both men and women. 

The subheading of the book reads, “How to run light and free by getting in touch with the earth.” This, of course, explains exactly what this book is about.

It focuses on how and why it might be important for us to get rid of the excess weight that we tend to find themselves having to carry around in the name of foot protection.

The book contains that running barefooted minimises the impact and forces you to have a forefoot centric approach to running. 

As a result, it is beneficial to your body. There’s also the case made for the fact that when you run with shoes you don’t develop form because the shoes compensate for poor technique and foam.

As with other books on this list, this one also offers you a step by step guide to get you from beginner to an expert level offer runner.

Pros

  • Covers the aspect of psychology which most books don’t.
  • The authors complement well.
  • Walks you through injury prevention.
  • Contains a lot of images for illustration purposes.
  • Covers adverse conditions that you may encounter.

Cons

  • Some concepts are not well expressed.

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The Running Revolution: How to Run Faster

The Running Revolution: How to Run Faster

The last book on our list is also inspired by Christopher MacDougall’s born to run. As a trailblazer, Chris started a movement that has pulled up several practitioners an authors to create more techniques and material that has pushed further what Chris started. 

The author of this book is a two-time Olympic coach. If that is not enough to convince you that he knows what he’s talking about you also be happy to know that this is a guy who has both the knowledge and experience of working with Top-level athletes. 

By developing this manual he wanted to equipment is to be able to enjoy running for as long as possible.

As with the other book that we looked at earlier this has great illustrations to ensure that the explanations do not go over your head.

One of the key areas of focus is how one can run for longer distances than they have been able to. 

In this case, it considers what’s the impact of your shoes is when you’re running and how you can use them too ain’t your efforts as opposed to hindering them.

It doesn’t only focus on the foot it also looks at things such as warm-up routines and exercises that prepare and strengthen your muscles before you go on a run. 

The techniques covered in this book also help you avoid injuries while running and afterwards. More importantly, if you choose to go with shoes the author also covers how to pick the right shoes depending on your running goals.

Within this book is a four-week foot proof training program that will help you transition and transform your running from beginner to the next level

Pros

  • Written by one of the most qualified people in this area.
  • The theories are proven.
  • There is sufficient illustration in the book.
  • Covers transition and transformation.
  • Suitable for runners at all levels.

Cons

  • Can be overwhelming.

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Buyer’s Guide

The various books on the market, all present interesting dynamics. You will find that they tackle different topics and tips that you may need to consider. 

Should the name of the author influence which book I buy?

It’s always a good idea to hear from someone who knows what they are talking about. Getting a book written by an author who is well educated on the subject is a good idea.

For example, Jason Rubillard is the author of the barefoot running book and is one of the best barefoot running trainers.

He is an experienced barefoot runner and this makes him a great tutor in the matter. His book gives people who run occasionally, tips on how to manage to transition to barefoot running. His experience helps you do the same. 

Does the focus or subject matter count?

Even though you are looking for barefoot running books, they all have different approaches and as such, it is important to know which aspect you want to be more knowledgeable in.

Michael Sandler for example, author of Barefoot running, how to run light and free by getting in touch with the earth, focuses on the health benefits of barefoot running.

It also debunks barefoot running myths that do the rounds from time to time. It also teaches you how to help maintain healthy foot muscles and also how to strengthen them.

He goes in-depth in his books, about how walking barefoot is about more than just strengthening the feet muscles.

Can I learn more than barefoot running from a barefoot running book?

You can find authors such as Michaels Sandler, who include dietary suggestions in staying healthy and as a result, being overall health and not just taking care of feet muscles. 

Are there books to help me transition?

Any of the books on our list above will do the job. Some books help you transition from running in shoes to running barefoot. It is important to realize that going cold turkey on your shoes is not a good idea. This means that you need to transition properly and safely. 

Conclusion

Reading on barefoot running is extremely important before you embark on this new journey. There are some health precautions you need to take.

If your feet are not used to being barefoot, then doing so all of a sudden can be painful. You need to ease into it and make sure that you avoid any potential injuries.

A good book can help you understand all that barefoot running entails. You may have been doing it for a while, but there is always wisdom in seeking more knowledge and understanding. 

We have reviewed some of the best books on the market that look at barefoot running. We hope that this helps you get all you need to know about it, regardless of your skill level. Happy shopping!

Hi there. This is Clare. Dave and I manage this site. We are outdoor enthusiasts. Most of the content is about products that we love using or have researched.
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