A really interesting article in today's New York Times, Kick Off Your Shoes and Run Awhile, discusses a developing trend: running barefoot.
During the past decade two barefoot-style training methods for runners have been developed based on the same principle: that legs, not shoes, are the best shock absorbers. That is, you land on your forefoot, instead of your heel, and paw back.
Many people now think that structured running shoes are leading to "lazy feet", that is feet that have under-developed muscles and are therefore more prone to injury. Running barefoot, or with new less structured shoes, may help strengthen feet and eventually lead to less injury. I'm curious about the claim, though not entirely convinced. The article says a lot of things that make sense to me.