Proprioception – Making Sense Of Barefoot Running

Anyone with an interest in minimalist/barefoot running will likely have heard of Harvard University Professor Dan Lieberman and Chris McDougall, Author of Born to Run. However, you may not have heard of Lee Saxby.

Here’s what Dan Lieberman and Chris McDougall have to say about Lee:

“I’ve never seen anyone better able to diagnose and correct a runner’s form, and he has that ability — special to good coaches — to translate his advice into words that make sense and which you can follow.” (Dan Lieberman)

“The first time I saw Lee Saxby was the last time I ever had a running injury.” (Chris McDougall)

With comments like these, you know that you should take note of what the author has to say and, it just so happens, you can have a read of exactly what Lee does have to say thanks to ‘Proprioception – Making Sense Of Barefoot Running’ a completely free 32 page eBook introduction to minimalist running.

“Lee Saxby is at the forefront of applied barefoot science. He has been coaching movement for 20 years and has spent the last 10 years coaching barefoot technique to help runners overcome injury and increase performance. The coaching drills he uses are based on a deep understanding of the biomechanics of movement and his extensive practical experience with athletes of all abilities from beginner to elite levels.”

The eBook consists of 5 chapters which cover everything from evolution to human locomotion, body posture (kinematics) and the subsequent loading of the body’s structure (kinetics) to a look at proprioceptive feedback from the feet and tips on how best to transition to minimalist running.

  • We Have Forgotten How To Run
  • The Human Foot Is An Evolutionary Masterpiece
  • Proprioception: Our Sixth Sense
  • Footwear That Makes Sense
  • Reawaken Your Innate Barefoot Running Skill

Head on over to and you will find a variety of additional resources, from videos to an iPhone/iPad app.

Since the recent inaugural Scottish Barefoot Run reawakened my interest in minimalist running, I have been looking at improving not only my technique but my knowledge and understanding of the issues involved. ‘Proprioception – Making Sense Of Barefoot Running’ is insightful, concisely written and easy to read and has helped me on the road to fully appreciating the importance of the foot.

When I started reading the document, after being pointed in the right direction by Lee’s colleague Ben Le Vesconte, I did not expect to find myself squatting, a movement that, with my tight legs, I find does not come easily to me. However, squatting is cited as one of the stages of transition, aiding balance, strength and flexibility and, as such, I now find myself attempting to ‘master squatting’ with the ultimate aim of improving my running.

If you read only one thing today, make sure it’s ‘Proprioception – Making Sense Of Barefoot Running’.

Inaugural Scottish Barefoot Run Update

Further details have been made available regarding this Saturdays inaugural Scottish Barefoot Run & Conference:

11.00 am Registration opens, everything is free but we need the disclaimer signed
11.15 am Coaching with Helen Hall from Vibram Five Fingers
11.30 am Fitting of barefoot shoes from Inov8 and Brooks
11.40 am Run and safety briefing, Donnie Campbell
12.00 pm Run starts in waves depending on numbers
13.00 pm Lunch, homemade sandwiches and bananas, water is on tap all day
13.30 pm Head to The Eric Liddell Centre

Free socks will be handed out on entry to the conference

14.00 pm Barefoot Conference Opens with a welcome from Colin McPhail and an introduction to Matt Wallden from Vibram 5 Fingers and Ben Le Vesconte of Vivobarefoot
15.30 pm Toilet Break
15.40 pm Open Forum with Vivobarefoot, Vibram Five Fingers, Inov8, Merrell, and Pearl Izumi
16.20 pm Close of Conference and off to Pub (Golf Tavern is always worth a visit)

From the event organisers:

We are excited about the attendance of the barefoot trade, especially that of Ben Le Vesconte and Matt Wallden who are both highly respected in the world of natural running. Guy Russell from Inov8 is another of the barefoot worlds well ken’t faces and has a wealth of knowledge to share with us.

Try on a Barefoot Shoe: May sound like a contradiction of terms but there are many types of shoes which work in a variety of ways to assist us with our quest in more efficient forms of running and are delighted to welcome Guy from Inov8 with a small representation of natural running footwear. Don’t forget to take a look at some of the transition shoes that Pearl Izumi and Merrell are also showing.

Coaching: We are delighted to welcome Helen Hall who works closely with Vibram Five Fingers and is one of the country’s top natural running coaches. We hope you will all get a chance to meet Helen and discuss your form; hopefully some very useful tips will be exchanged. Donnie Campbell is arguably Scotland’s top coach and is also on hand to help you with your form.

Socks are very important and we are extremely lucky to have discovered TEKO a Scottish based company who’s environmentally produced garments cannot be beaten. They are kind enough to hand out a pair of these to everyone attending the conference at 2.00pm in the Eric Liddell Centre at Holy Corner

Thanks to all helpers too many to mention individually and especially to:

Hope to see you all there – be sure to introduce yourself and say hello. A report on the day will follow in due course.