Voice of America

Growing Number of Runners Opt to Run in Bare Feet

Voice of America

Voice of America


President of the Los Angeles Barefoot Runners Society, Ken Bob Saxton believes the cause of joint pain is often shoes.

“They allow us to run very sloppily, they allow us to slam our feet into the ground with higher impact with a straight leg with our knee locked up so that all that impact go straight into the knee and into the hips,” he said.


Saxton has run 79 marathons in his bare feet.  He says when he sees sharp objects such as glass on the ground he runs around it or on top of it without getting cut.

“Most of the glass just lays there and as long as you come straight down like this and pick your foot up nothing happens,” he said.


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8 comments on “Growing Number of Runners Opt to Run in Bare Feet

  1. It’s like a breath of fresh air. Finally running/walking barefoot is becoming known. I’m also glad to see the interview of your doctor who explains how shoes bring more problems than they solve. I wrote a book, where barefoot is a major part. I developed products that help people feel what it’s like to walk on the forest floor and on the pebbles by the water. I write articles, blogs, comments to articles about foot problems. I tell them that most of their problems would go away if they walked barefoot on natural, untouched ground. There are so many people who wear shoes even at home on carpet. I bet somebody even sleeps with the shoes on. Anyway, I wanted to give you my thumb up and tell you about my efforts. Perhaps we will do something together. Take care.

  2. Barefoot Ken Bob gave an excellent summary of barefoot running and picked apart examples of shod(dy) thinking during his interview, which couldn’t all be included in the report, sadly. Ken Bob, it struck me how you’ve been able to so simply and humorously say the most straightforward principles again and again over more years than I’ve even been running, shoes or not. Even if this great website hasn’t been successful in reducing the number of times you’ve been asked how to run, it’s helped more people than could have learned from seeing you out on the trail. We’re much obliged.

    Very interesting watching the video of us running- look at the differences! My head is bobbing, my knees are still not bent enough, my heel is lifting prematurely, my soles seem to be twisting (even though I don’t get blisters), I’m weaving along at a slightly too slow tempo. But micro-analyzing isn’t the way to go. Just look at Barefoot Ken Bob in the video. Nuff sed.

    I “learned” to run with shoes. It’s as if I’d learned to handwrite in the dark: with the light on, I’m looking at what I thought was writing, and I see scribble! But it’s a start towards better listening to my soles.

    Enjoy the Born to Run Ultra in Los Olivos!

  3. Supa-Nice !
    The more exposure about the deception of junk sport shoes, the better.

    Thank you Ken.
    You are a hero to all humanity..
    Humanity just doesn’t know it, yet.
    I’ll make sure to spread the love for our barefeet.

    I’ll be writing about this topic and making videos.. hopefully a song or two as well 🙂
    I mean we are “born to run”

    Being barefoot frees me…
    Not just my body, but also my mind.

    -Lucky Love

    [a man who snapped his whole achilles heel whilst running in thick NorthFace boots]

  4. “…Shoes are important, because it supports the arch of your foot…”

    Is there any other part of the body, besides that arches of our feet, and our brains, that we so strongly believe are best protected from exercise and activity?

    • Irony at its best and most cruel.

      We are designed to run long distances with a miraculous locomotion system, but we are told the opposite.

      Being 6’3, I wore support shoes all my life, as well as all different types of shoe soles. What a scam.

      I want to slap my doctor across the face and scream cry to his face, than collapse into fetal position and touch my feet. Lull myself to sleep with the realization and safety of my barefeet.

  5. Lucky Love is right. All the support your foot with shoes and insoles is bs. The best cure is to put bare feet on untouched, uneven, natural ground. Walk on it, stand on it, run on it. It will make you and your feet strong with lots of energy. Unfortunately people so believe that they need to support their feet with shoes, it’s like people used to think the Earth was flat. It will take a while until the masses will start believing a new set of realities.

  6. After hearing a lot about barefoot running, I have finally given it a go this year. Now I can’t imagine going back to wearing shoes! It has given me a new lease on life and made running fun again.
    Thanks for being such an effective teacher and role model Ken Bob. You are a great mentor and ambassador for barefoot running.
    I have written about some of my experiences with making the transition to barefoot running and the knowledge I have been exposed to along the way on my blog.
    You can check it out at:

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