There has been an interesting backlash against barefoot running in the recent weeks. Matt Fitzgerald's article that apparently associated barefoot running with an increased incidence of plantar fasciitis seems to have been the impetus of this backlash.
Months ago, we saw a sudden surge of anti-barefoot running propaganda. That particular wave, led by Road Runner Sports, used a tired fear campaign to dissuade runners from attempting barefoot running. It was an obvious attempt to sell shoes.
This new wave has taken a different approach. It uses self-reported "data" from medical professionals. Fitzgerald based his plantar fasciitis argument on one particular doctor's estimate on the rate of injuries he saw in his clinic. Fitzgerald also made reference to his own failed attempt at transitioning to minimalist shoes.
This article is a typical example of this new wave of anti-barefoot sentiment. It relies on incorrect assumptions backed by non-research-based reports from supposed experts. Most of these articles are not as blatantly anti-barefoot as the Road Runner campaign. Instead, they suggest barefoot running may be acceptable in small doses for people that are physically superior.
The truth is barefoot running is accessible to almost everyone. The injuries that are found in the barefoot running population is almost always the result of an impatient transition. If a runner can listen to their body, they can learn to run barefoot.
At the heart of the matter is a simple principle- do what works for you. Furthermore, do not begrudge others because you failed at something. We're all an experiment of one. We need to support each other, not cut each other down. We all run the same races. We are a community. Let's start treating each other as such.