Barefoot running is something that is done by a small minority of runners but is getting more news media attention. As we were originally created to run without running shoes on soft ground in order to survive it is claimed that this is the way we should be running now. However, since that time we first stated to run, for better or worse, asphalt or concrete got invented with it came the need to protect our feet the higher impacts of the harder surfaces. The longer term benefits or harm from these impacts on the body have not really been investigated. The number of runners people that take part in barefoot running is claimed to be growing, but so is the anti barefoot running rhetoric in response to the claims being make for barefoot running.
Those who run barefoot, do make an extraordinary number of claims about the benefits of running barefoot. They claim that barefoot running is a lot more energy efficient. They claim that there are reduced or no overuse injuries from barefoot running. There is no research to support or refute the claims running with or without running shoes is any better or not than barefoot running. Those who claim benefits from barefoot running like to point to research that they claim is evidence, but it does not stack up to analysis. Barefoot runners have been called zealots because of the way they are so defensive and do not see it that way.
All this of these debates about the pros and cons, does not mean that barefoot running is not without benefits. The barefoot running community do react negatively to anything that is negative about barefoot running. Barefoot running is a hot topic in many countries.