Michael Sandler is a true barefoot runner, but it wasn't so long ago he was told he would never run again. In 2006, Michael was involved in a serious accident in which his femur, hip and knee were crushed. He was told by doctors that he would never run again, perhaps never walk again and may even lose his leg. Today, he has a titanium femur and hip, a missing ACL and a one-inch leg length discrepancy. However, he runs 10-20 miles a day, mostly barefoot which he says made his recovery possible.
Prior to his accident, Michael used to wear custom insoles and custom orthotics while running. When he started back running after his accident, he suffered injury after injury. When he sought professional help, he was told that he would never run again. Then he decided to give barefoot running a try. Running without shoes taught him how to find his natural form, to run light and free, to get balanced and become more efficient through feeling the ground with his bare feet.
Michael Sandler shares what he has learned in Barefoot Running, a step-by-step guide to help runners overcome and prevent injuries by learning how to run barefoot. His book teaches runners how to transition to barefoot running or minimal shoes properly without risking injury. Michael Sandler has coached athletes professionally for over 20 years. However, his greatest feat has been his ability to overcome injuries from a near-death accident which threatened his ability to ever walk or run again. He credits barefoot running with his incredible recovery.
Watch this video of Michael's incredible story and see how he easily runs barefoot in icy cold conditions and various other difficult terrains. And he does all of this despite his injuries and leg length discrepancy!
Barefoot running didn't just alter Michael's running style, it altered his life. He became more peaceful and he enjoyed running more than ever. He learned how to heal his body by connecting to the earth. He did this gradually, allowing his feet to wake up and get stronger. Without shoes, the skin strengthens and becomes less sensitive and blood circulation to the feet is enhanced. This adaptation enables barefoot runners to run in both cold and hot climates as their feet develop and become stronger.
ABC News also covered Michael's remarkable and inspirational story in the following informative video:
Michael recommends that you begin running barefoot gradually--doing 100 yards the first day, take a day off, then 200 yards the next day, a day off, and gradually increasing as your body is ready for it. He believes the body knows how to strengthen itself and running naturally will improve your running stride, form and performance while you experience fewer injuries. Your feet and arches will become stronger and you will feel a greater spiritual connection to the world.
It is not necessary to run completely barefoot to experience all the benefits it offers. I have been running in minimal shoes (Vibram fivefingers) for over 10 years and I would never consider running in cushioned shoes again.
Studies now support that landing heel-first while running causes a transient impact of three times the body's weight. As barefoot runners land on their forefoot or mid-foot, running barefoot can have three times less impact than running in a shoe.
Barefoot Running by Michael Sandler is a comprehensive guide to barefoot running. It can help you overcome your inhibitions about barefoot running. This book will help you manage your feet as you introduce them to the earth. You will learn how to deal with running on different surfaces and in hot and cold temperatures. The book also includes nutrition tips and information on barefoot benefits for seniors and children.
Barefoot Running by Michael Sandler can help you transition safely to barefoot or minimalist running. You will learn how to run light and free, naturally. If barefoot running can help Michael heal his broken body, surely it can help us run injury free!