Do not get me wrong... I am as opposed to the "shoe-industry" price gouging as the next guy... in fact I am still wearing shoes from March, April and July 2009 in rotation. Having established this fact, allow me to mosey along to the point here.
During the summer it seemed that this bare-foot running thing really took off. Each day we had a new post to read about how the purists do it... how the runner with the shoes was hurting himself in the long run. Though recently it seems that this extremism has dissipated slightly. Could it be the Holidays? Yes. Could it be the winter? Most definitely.
There seems to just need to be a certain level of common sense here. I would not venture out bare-chested during a snow storm no matter what I had worked up to. It would be stupid. Likewise, exposing, even calloused feet of flawless running form to sub-freezing temps seems, at best, risky.
So, where have all the bare foots gone? Have they run south for the winter? Have they stopped running altogether? I can't imagine they have hopped on a treadmill; no, far too hypocritical. I do not mean to come of edgy, just curious. While I cover up head to toe I will keep my eyes peeled for the shoeless wonders who love the sport more than the rest of us... more than the shoe slaves.
For my part, I am in the middle on this. I HATE spending upwards of $100 for 400-500 miles on the trails and roads. So, I did develop a better approach. That is running economy... mechanical efficiency. It just makes sense for ALL runners to do the same. It is not the fault of the shoes that we become injured, it is the fault of our bodies and minds. So I buy new shoes. And I run in them and run in them and run in them. My last three Marathons have been run the same shoes and I trained in those shoes as well. All told this one pair of shoes has seen about 1500 miles to this point and they are still feeling cushy to me because they are my "new shoes".
disclaimer: barefooting can be great for grass field striders!!!!!