For those of my reader who are not running or barefoot running obsessed, there are two camps.
Camp One subscribes to the notion that our feet are imperfect and we need shoes to correct our anatomy and prevent running injury.
Camp Two will tell you that the human foot evolved to run and is the most perfect running machine and that running without shoes or with minimal shoes in a natural style prevents injury. This is a central thesis in "Born to Run" by Chris McDougall.
There is very little clinical evidence to support either assertion though you can probably guess where I come down on this argument. As an engineer who works in product design that interacts with human anatomy, the human foot is a masterpiece in design.
In any case, Dr. Craig Richards is attempting to get shoe companies to submit their shoes for what might be the first comprehensive clinical trial on footwear (or lack thereof) related injuries.
As an engineer in the medical device industry, this scientific approach really appeals to me.
If you are a runner or you are associated with a footwear manufacturer, please read Jason's blog post below and try to exert some pressure on the shoe companies. The larger the sample size of shoe models, the better is will be for all runners.
Barefoot Running University » Dr. Craig Richards: A Call For Independent Shoe Testing