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The Barefoot Book: 50 Great Reasons to Kick Off Your Shoes Paperback – 1 Aug 2010

4.1 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 156 pages
  • Publisher: Hunter House Publishers; 1 edition (1 Aug. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0897935543
  • ISBN-13: 978-0897935548
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.1 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 590,401 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Back Cover

Can something that feels as good as going barefoot also be good for you? (Yes!)
Most of us kick off our shoes when we get home from work or an outing. It just feels good. Well, as Daniel Howell points out in this timely guide to barefooting, it feels good because it is good for us.
Research shows that going barefoot strengthens our feet, makes them more flexible and improves body alignment. Why, then, are we buying shoes for infants who can't yet walk? Wearing high heels that hurt with every step? Spending hundreds of $$ on running and hiking shoes? Some of us are following social conventions or fashion trends. Most of us think we're protecting our feet and keeping them clean.
Not so, says Dr. Howell. An expert on human anatomy, he explains how shoes can:
upset natural weight distribution
overload joints
decrease foot flexibility
reduce shock absorbtion of the arch
cause bunions and in-grown toenails
Put your best-bare-foot forward
Howell offers practical tips--and 50 good reasons--for easing into a barefoot lifestyle. He describes the best shoes to wear (if we must) but strongly encourages us to try going barefoot and to feel the life-changing health benefits.
With barefoot hiking and running clubs springing up all over and the recent success of minimalist footwear, the time for bare feet is here. Whether you want to create more barefoot time for you and your family or go bare 24/7, The Barefoot Book will help you every free and natural step of the way.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book, easy to read and very informative. It takes a controversial proposition - that walking and running barefoot is better for your health than wearing shoes - and supports it with a wide variety of fascinating evidence. Scientific research is referenced in a notes section at the back, along with suggested further reading. Everybody who is more concerned with their health and well-being than conforming to social norms, or pandering to vanity and pursuing a "Sex in the City" lifestyle, should read this book and then follow its advice and ditch their shoes as often as possible!
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I was hoping to pick up some useful information on the value of going Barefoot. This book is a great source of information. From the mechanics of the foot, to myths about going barefoot.

I found a little piece on how the foot works really useful. The foot on impact acts to absorb and soften the impact of the foot landing, and then stiffens and acts like a lever on lift off.

I've been barefoot running now for around 11 outings so far. I landed on a pebble stone about half way through those 11 runs. The book mentioned that landing on stones and bruising the foot is about the most common impact one encounters. It was comforting to know it was common because I was beginning to think I might have fractured a bone underneath. Its getting better now.

I'm starting out on grass along the seafront. The pads have certainly thickened a bit and the pain of just walking on rough things has gone. I still 'feel' the surface but don't wince from it.

My feet have become a lot stronger. I've been walking in flip flops ever since I first heard of barefoot running which is around 2 months ago now. I feel there's a long way to go still to get to optimum strength in my feet.

In some ways its exciting to rediscover the joys of barefoot and even go beyond my previous knowledge of it. My ignorance about the effects of shoes is disappointing prior to my involvement recently with barefoot. At 49 I've gone pretty much in shoes since my twenties. Fortunately they've been accommodating width wise. But I've been struggling with shoes for a while now. I guess I'm a barefooter at heart.

If you love your shoes then this book will cast a shadow over that. Moderate use of shoes is ok but really barefoot is the way to go.
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Format: Paperback
A barefooter friend recommended this book to me. I had already been inspired by Christopher McDougall's "Born to Run" to start minimalist / barefoot running, and wanted to learn more. Howell is a great ambassador for the unshod lifestyle. If his encouragement to kick off your shoes is driven by an evangelical zeal, it is certainly backed up by (properly cited) research and personal experience. Aimed squarely at the layperson, the book clearly explains what happens when we walk, run and stand, and how shoes interfere with those processes. Should you feel inspired to wear your shoes less, you can find plenty of advice here about the practical and social aspects of going around unshod. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about barefoot living or adopt a more barefoot lifestyle.
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Format: Paperback
A fine book that will open the readers eyes to a terrible secret:

Shoes are the cause of all our troubles, not the cure. They cause all sorts problems including bad posture, knee and joint pain, corns, calluses, verrucas, athlete's foot, flat feet, ingrown nails and weak, over-sensitive feet. There is no such thing as a sensible shoe, some just do more damage than others. There is no benefit in just removing your shoes when you are sitting down - you need to use your feet for walking, on all kinds of surfaces, to keep them happy and healthy.

There is an interesting chapter on the mechanics of the human foot, a complex and very well designed machine that does not usually need protection or correction. He also addresses how we feel the world beneath our feet, and which shoes are best if you are forced to wear shoes.

I have not worn shoes for about 14 months, and sometimes find it hard communicate the reasons why - it is such a foreign concept to some people. I recommend this book for lifestyle barefooters to give away to friends and family as it explains all the things we know but can't explain in the nice easy way that Dr. Howell does.

In short, this is the book that every barefooter has drempt of. There should be a copy should be in every home, library, hotel room, ...
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Format: Paperback
I have to profess to having been a barefoot youth, even wandering around in the snow on occasion. You'd have to suspect a degree of positive bias on my behalf for that reason, butI have to say that this book makes an excellent case for why shoes are not the best thing to wear. Any shoe in fact; high heels, as you would expect, come in for due criticism, but any shoe has its problems for foot health and proper function of the body overall. It all starts from the ground up, after all.

I'm nonetheless surprised that Vivo Barefoot shoes come in for the criticism they do, given that there are times when we really do have to 'toe' the line and wear shoes, especially to work. This company makes footwear that at least passes muster in the office, while not having support or any kind of drop, and reasonable proprioreception. The exclusion of hurache-style sandals in the review of minimalist footwear is also suprising, but is probably more a result of their rise in popularity occuring largely after the book's publication. If there is a second impression it would be good to see a more extensive review of minimal shoes.

Lastly it should be born in mind that this book is primarily for the American market. I'd hope that the author's assertions about the legal implications of barefoot living in the US hold true for the UK, Europe and other parts of the world, but it would be wise to check this out before using the extensive list of legal cases included in the appendix as a defense when some restaurant owner gets shirty for not understanding that bare feet are in fact far more hygenic than shod feet.

All in all a top book that everyone should dip into!
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