Having just completed my first (2k) run totally barefoot, I now feel highly qualified to share the bounty of my amateur expertise on the topic of barefoot running with the interwebs.
Man, it was awesome. Seriously. You people have got to try it.
I've been running in Vibram FiveFingers KSOs for a year now (with a break during the -30C hell of winter when I switched to the awesome Merrell Pace Gloves coupled with SmartWool socks).
I've actually been so happy with the Vibrams that I hadn't given much thought about going all Full Monty on the running front (foot-wise that is - me, the girls and the sports bra + jane strap are not quitting each other any time soon) but two things convinced me to go for it.
First, this weekend, my kid happily ditched her terribly cute minimalist footwear (water shoes, Joe Fresh, $8) to tear barefoot all over the playgrounds at Brewer Park. Observing the other kids (all of whom were fully-shod) slip and trip on the play structures while my kid nimbly navigated herself about, was yet more proof that shoes are generally a crappy, crappy idea. Especially for developing feet/minds/bodies.
Then I read this post on Naturally Engineered, which pointed out that running barefoot on concrete might actually be a good idea (you know, if you don't have easy access to beautiful beaches to sprint on). I figured why not take my own (equally-amateur) child-rearing advice and apply it to myself. Having spent a year in Vibrams, I feel I've managed to develop a solid, consistent forefoot strike (I no longer have any issues with sore calf muscles). So now I just need to (slowly and gently) break in my tender, tender tootsies.
Although I didn't really plan it, I think a transition from standard running shoes, to Vibrams (or another minimalist shoe like the Merrells) and then to barefoot is not a bad one. This approach has allowed me to slowly build up my weak foot muscles and then work on toughening-up the bottoms of my feet. Another good approach is the one outlined by this site.
So far, the only drawback I've found to the barefoot running is that if you enjoy a quiet, anonymous jog, I can guarantee that Vibrams and bare feet are not the way to go. I'd estimate that every second person I passed on the busy path at lunch today had something to say about my naked toes.
Ah well, let your freak flag fly eh?