Steven Robbins, a prominent and original barefoot researcher wrote the following comment on the post discussing minimilist shoes vs being barefoot while running .
Since I have authored much of the original research regarding the bare foot in running and its advantages, I feel responsible to counter incorrect ideas regarding minimalist shoes. There is no evidence that minimalist shoes are superior to thin soled running shoes (racing flats) that preceded them. I consider them simply as a attempt by running shoes manufacturers to exploit runners through misleading marketing indicating that they resemble running barefoot – which is false. The detailed arguments can be found at my website
Barefoot runners should realize that the human foot is best adapted for running on naturally deposited ground. Running barefoot on man made surfaces certainly represenst some additional risk of injury, the magnitude of which is not known, but probably lower than running without shoes. Shoes are required to extend the running season in regions with severe winters, and for use on extremely low frictional resistance man made surfaces.
Be sure to check out his site for some invaluable information regarding barefoot running. Thanks Steven for the information. We are listening and appreciate all the insight you provide.