Well, regarding barefoot running. Tests were done and they show that there are no major benefits of running barefoot over running in tennis shoes. No increased oxygen intake or anything like that. It puts a lot more stress on your joints than if you were to run in shoes. Those barefoot running shoes, while better than running barefoot, are a bear to break in. I can't tell you much more on those types of shoes other than that because I don't use them. If you do decide to run barefoot make sure you run on the balls of your feet. The human body, when left to it's bare essentials, will tell you how to do things. It's extremely painful and detrimental to a person's health to run heel-toe while barefoot. It's a lot healthier and less painful to run on the balls of your feet while barefoot.
I don't have links to the studies that I mentioned above. I read the study reports at the college I attend. Given time I could most likely find them online, but as of right now I don't have the links.
"And somewhere in the northwoods darkness a creature walks upright. And the best advice you may ever get is: Don't go out at night..."