Sunday, October 7, 2012

Movie Review and Giveaway: Michael Sandler's Barefoot Running

Oh, boy! The "trend" that is barefoot running has officially hit the small screen. The authors of the book Barefoot Running: How to Run Light and Free by Getting in Touch With the Earth are now the stars of the informational movie by the same name. Barefoot Running is available now on DVD from the RunBare website: a fantastic, well-designed resource for all things barefoot.

The movie.
After a representative for Michael Sandler (it may have actually been Michael, I have no idea) touched base with me about the upcoming release of his movie a few weeks ago, I was pretty stoked to see Michael spreading the good news of barefoot running in an other-than-text media. Obviously video can touch a different audience than books can because of the time and effort one must invest into reading. (I teach 7th grade reading and English; I know a thing or two about this.) I was fortunate enough to get a chance to see the film and have a copy to give away!

Here is a preview from the website:

I thought I might give a breakdown of the information you will find in this video with a short review/critique. After all, why would you visit my blog if you didn't care what I thought, right? The list below is a summary of the content of the video. It contains information on:
- Michael and Jessica's personal barefoot running stories: their respective history and how they discovered the joy of running shoeless.
- The biomechanics of barefoot running with practical tips and shoutouts to Barefoot Ted, Christopher MacDougall, and Dr. Daniel Lieberman of the Harvard Biomechanics lab
The instructional portion contained info about:
- Posture
- Core engagement
- "The String" ala Danny Dreyer/Chi Running
- Arm positioning
- The "Controlled fall" idea
- Definite forefoot strike instruction; without heel touching but sometimes "brushing" the ground
- Lots of borrowed/synthesized material from various sources (POSE, etc.)
- Grounding - a bit hokey and hippy-ish, but whatever.
- Pre-run meditation "listening to your body" - "syncing with nature"
- Great foot strengthening and warm-up drills
- Pretty, natural feet, wider forefoot for yoga platform
- Form drills: "pelvis to neutral," etc. - one of the video's biggest strengths
- Err on the easy side - never to the point of blistering
- Foam roller and ball technique (tennis)

Barefoot Running is a great resource that all avid barefooters should take a look at, but it is best as an introduction to running without shoes. Michael and Jessica's personalities are hilarious (they are huge nerds; I identify with that), and the instruction has an overall very hippy-esque taste to it. Regardless, there is a ton of great instruction on how to transition properly to running roads and trails with the least possible separation between you and nature.

Now on to business! Here's how the giveaway will work; you must complete one of these steps for one entry with the possibility of completing all three for a total of three! (confusing, I know).
- Post below in the comments = 1 entry
- Post a link to my blog on Facebook = 1 entry
- Do something creative to get people to visit here and post up (anything goes)= 1 entry

*Update: Tweet a link with the hashtag "#unshod" and consider that an extra entry! Contest ends on Friday, October 14.

Let me know in the comments which you have done. Enjoy, and best of luck.


  1. I'm sure I can't win anything since we are family, but I'm so proud of your commitment to barefoot running and educating others. You've never done anything halfway, so I can't say I'm surprised. Love you!

  2. I am a UK based barefoot blogger and the movie hasn't arrived in the UK yet. I am looking forward to it.
    I am just about to post a link to your blog on facebook at and I will post a comment on my latest blog post(which is about a UK guy with 4 copies of the movie to sell.) I have added a section at the bottom with a link to this page at

    Hope that is 3 entries

  3. Thanks, Sis!

    Chris, those most definitely count. Thanks for dropping in, and best of luck!.

    BTW: I will be posting winners on Friday the 21st.

  4. count me. If i win it wont be a conflict of interests. lol

  5. I just put a link on fb. two entires down.

  6. I'm in! Cheers. I'll post on FB and Tweet.

  7. I'm sure I won't get selected, I never win anything, but here goes. Maybe this will be my lucky entry. :-) Oh and I'm also putting a link to this on FaceBook.

  8. Thanks for entering, guys! Keep 'em coming. Let your friends know.

  9. count me in! Win or not i would like to get this DVD.

  10. Winner has been posted! Check out the front page.

  11. love the site(s) you've made. I am starting to try water shoes to save money.

  12. Water shoes are a fantastic money saving measure. Theere are many variations with differing degrees of durability, but for as cheap as most of them are, there is plenty of room for trial and error. I hope your winter running goes well.