i found them benneficial, not everyone does, i'm faster, better "form" feel better durin and after runs.I dont wear socks very often with them, unless its cold or if i'm planning a very long run, just in case. Trailgloves are quite snug, i would go try them on, dont buy blind if you havent worn them before, but if you cant, go at least a half size up.
i think its worth going into barefoot slowly, a lot of people dont and get injured, i'd ran many miles in a very low drop minimal shoe when i switched and my calfs and achilles screamed at me the next day. and i'd even been walking in Vibram Five fingers for a few years. i would suggest you keep on your normal shoes for the long runs you built up to and on the days off go for a quick mile or so in your minimal shoes, maybe run round a field/football pitch/park on the grass especially if you're a heel striker, you will soon find out in barefoot shoes believe me.
this is a pretty good guide on transitioning.
take moving into minimalist shoes slowly it will be worth it in the end. I made the change 9 months ago and i feel far better than when i ran in shoes. I run in luna sandals and vibram bilikas i find both are great. I wear injinji socks with both, great socks that wear well and dont cost the earth. I wear my vibrams and luna's all the time for running, tarmac and trail.
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