Barefoot running is something that is gaining a lot of attention recently in the news media and in the Article running forums. Here are a few:
Barefoot Running Debate
Vibram Five Fingers Cause Metatarsal Stress Fractures?
"Top of Foot Pain" from Barefoot Running
The Effect of Running Shoes on Lower Extremity Joint Torques
Is barefoot running a good thing?
The debate really centers around the use of running shoes vs the use of barefoot running. One side thinks running shoes are evil and are the cause of all the overuse injuries that runners get. They think that you need to run barefoot to strengthen the foot to prevent the injuries. They can be quite fanatical about it (just see some of the forum threads). They make extraordinary claims for the benefits of running barefoot, none of which is supported by any research evidence. The barefoot runners do like to point to what they claims as evidence, but none of that research actually showed that barefoot running was actually better than shod running, it just showed that it was different.
The other side point out that barefoot runners do get a lot of injuries, especially 'top of foot pain' which is common and there also appears to be an epidemic of stress fractures in those who use barefoot running shoes. They also point to the fanatical and also religious like beliefs that many of those who run barefoot have. It is very common for these runners to totally misunderstand and misrepresent the research on running and running technique to twist it to make claims about the superiority of barefoot running which the research does not actually show. There is no evidence that barefoot running is any better or worse than shod running.