You think "barefoot... is a fashion trend?" Seriously? It's a fashion trend to run/live barefoot? Hmmm. I wonder what the creator thinks of that. Our feet are fashion trends. Are our arms, legs, necks, etc., fashion trends too?
..."not enough research has been done into the subject?" How much research has been done to prove that shoes help people and don't harm them? Nada, nilch, zip, nothing, ZERO! Just thought you should know. It's all hype by the shoe companies as it always has been. A simple Internet search will prove this.
"I live in central London where we have unnatural man made surfaces like concrete and tarmac." And you think running with an inch and a half of foam covered by rubber and having your feet enclosed in caskets is natural? Motion control, pronation control, cushioning, etc., etc., that's natural? Really?
Your feet are not as defective as you have apparently been led to believe by the shoe manufacturers and some in the podiatric community. God didn't create a perfect species but came up short when it came to the feet. Think about it.