In my last group training session a woman asked about my VivoBarefoot shoes. It’s the first time in the two years I’ve worn them that a stranger has shown interest in my shoes. Seems you can read about minimalist shoes in the paper every week, but very few actually use them for running. Out of the hundred something runners I see every week, about zero to one of them are wearing minimalist shoes, except for the odd Lunaracer racing flat. And even those are far between.
Anyway, the woman told me she had started running in VivoBarefoots, and had to stop after two weeks because of all kinds of pain in her lower legs. She seemed to be doing fine in her cushioned running shoes, but I wish she had read this book before venturing into barefoot shoes. I am afraid her story is a common reason why the five fingers end up in the back of the closet. (The other main reason being how they look.)
The book is short and very well written. I read it in a single day. It explains the main ideas and principles of running with less cushioning, and the author, Scott Douglas, is very careful to include all the ‘caveats’, and different viewpoints on barefoot running, which is nice. The book also includes some simple exercises, like how to do butt-kicks (on yourself), and how to go about shopping for shoes.
All in all, I’d say many people would be better off reading this book quoting reputable coaches, than getting all their information from web forums. It’s essential in the sense that it’s short, and IMO important for anybody interested in barefoot and minimalist running.