One thing a new barefoot runner should do is research barefoot running to understand how you should use your feet and legs and what these form modifications mean in terms of injury prevention.
The good thing is, there are very different perspectives on barefoot running that you can learn from. To help calm the research process down and give you a better direction, here are great running books for barefoot runners. The more you know, the more you’ll do well in a shorter time frame.
Great Running Books for Barefoot Runners
The Barefoot Running Book – The author, Jason Robillard, is one of THE barefoot running trainers because he’s been doing it long before the barefoot/minimalist boom. His book is formatted to give recreational joggers thorough referenced tips about transitioning to barefoot running, with barefoot drills as well as emphasis on the importance of being patient when transitioning.
Barefoot Running: How to Run Light and Free – I really encourage all barefoot running beginners to read this book. Why? Because the author, Michael Sandler, is at the forefront of advocating the health benefits of barefoot running. This book really helps push barefoot running learners to where they want to go. This book debunks many barefoot running myths and teaches you to avoid common mistakes barefoot running learners make. This book also provides excellent strengthening exercise tips for the feet and ankles as well as awesome balance activities.
Run Barefoot, Run Healthy – Many barefoot running beginners may experience soreness or injury, causing them to fall victim to revert back to their footwear. This book is really good for barefoot runners who have uncertainty, because it provides an incredible amount of research references to help convince you that running shoeless is the best thing you can do for your body.
Barefoot Walking: Free Your Feet – I think it is important to focus on walking barefoot first because it strengthens your feet very quickly and is a great build-up to barefoot running. But walking barefoot goes way beyond strengthening the feet. The author, Michael Sandler, goes into detail about the enormous health benefits of earthing. This book supports the purpose of earthing and the concept of mindfulness to help you connect yourself with the earth with your bare feet to boost your well-being. Another added benefit of this book is that it includes a spectrum of information that ranges from eating better to improving circulation.
Barefoot Running Step by Step – This book presents what barefoot running learners are looking for: a step-by-step training guide with a variety of exercises that will help you get into the groove of finding your sweet-spot when running barefoot. Barefoot Ken Bob, the author, is one the barefoot runners who created original content for transitioning to barefoot running. His ideologies on barefoot running resonate well with beginners and encourages learners to land gently and lighter.
Born to Run – We are all very familiar with this book. This book is more about addressing how the footwear industry destroyed the running community and how certain tribes around the world run without standard running shoes and suffer virtually no injuries. This book funnels you to believe that having a ‘biomechanical flaw’ wont affect your health when you run barefoot. You don’t need to come from a running background to excel in barefoot running, and this book really emphasizes that we are all born to run. This book is full of information diversification regarding biomechanics, endurance running, etc.
The Take Home Message
Barefoot running is the best biomechanical optimization strategy for any runner. If you don’t know what you are doing, you will after reading these books.
When it comes to running, your feet is where you have the most control of your stride. I believe that these books are hidden gems that will help you figure out what you are doing wrong. Once you get it, the whole circle comes together and you’ll be injury resistant and more efficient.
More From Run Forefoot:
BSc Neurobiology; MSc Biomechanics candidate, ultra minimalist runner & founder of RunForefoot. I was a heel striker, always injured. I was inspired by the great Tirunesh Dibaba to try forefoot running. Now, I'm injury free. This is why I launched Run Forefoot, to advocate the health & performance benefits of forefoot running and to raise awareness on the dangers of heel striking, because the world needs to know.