Ian there are certain conditions for which going barefoot is nothing less than dangerous and under certain situations can be life threatening. If you are diabetic for example you are advised not to go barefoot for these reasons.
One such thread can be seen at the following url...
Debra... I most certainly use minimalist shoes myself as they suit me under certain situations but I do believe that supporters of minimalist shoes often present as fact or suggest that they reduce injury or that traditional running shoes cause injury.. There has been no scientific evidence what so ever supporting this. Im equally not aware of any wearer of maker of traditional running shoes who has suggested or claimed that traditional footwear reduces injury. This misinformation seems exclusive to supporters of barefoot and minimalist footwear.
Nobody has the same running form and biometrics as such seeking a professional to address your personal needs is a good idea imho
Ian... I personally would advise everyone to have a full biometric check for anyone and everyone no matter what type of shoes you are running in... Only with sufficient information can you begin to address your issues. You also run using your entire body which other checks such as gait analysis alone does not consider.
Im a natural midfoot striker as such easily progressed towards minimalist type shoes, no matter what type of shoe I ran in, I experienced soreness in my knees.. the barefoot brigade informed me that this would eventually go though using minimalist shoes, and going barefoot..... it did not Running shops which checked my gait advise support which equally did not address my issues A full biometric check discovered a weak hip which was causing rotation of my leg and it was this which was causing my soreness...... Addressing my issues solved my problems, so in my experience a proper check provided valuable information.
Although i myself run in minimalist shoes I think many people present midfoot striking and minimalist shoes or barefoot as a solution for everything which is simply not the case... minimalist shoes can cause injury, and for some people going barefoot can even be life threatening.
Understanding your own biomechanics is important as one shoe or solution does not suit all imho
I use profeet in London and find them to be really good, they have given me exercises to do to address some of my issues and explain things in great detail, they also have a quaified podiatrist on site. The only other place I am aware of is stride-uk over near hove in brighton which offers a similar service.
I personally found that it allowed me to understand more about my own biometrics and have become a stronger runner due to this. Unfortunately these kinds of services are not exceptionally cheap. Give them a call or google for them and ask questions.
I naturally midfoot strike and pronate, I run with cadence of 183 and do not heal strike even when fatigued unlike most people who have transitioned. I have had my full biometrics check under a number of occasions.
It is possible to pronate when midfoot striking and some people even naturally heal strike barefoot.
The podiatry profession have noticed an increase in specific types of injury associated with minimalist shoes, and as many people are getting injured using them as there are enthusiastic supporters of this type of shoe.
‘Is barefoot better?’ is the wrong question to ask,” says Lieberman. “The issue isn’t whether you run barefoot or not, but how you run – your form." http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/general/dare-to-bare-the-truth-about-barefoot-running-preview/8021.html
My advise would to have your biometrics and form accessed by a biometric professional rather than someone on a forum.... I would hope you would not simply buy the identical saddle for your horse because someone said it was good.... I would hope that you would appreciate every horse is different and the exact same thing can be said for you... what works for someone else may result in injury for you.