I am looking back to the offerings by the biggest shoe makers and it seems to me for a "barefoot" shoe, some are just based on marketing rather than barefoot principles. Consider the Vivobarefoot 10oz trail shoes then the New Balance Minimus Trail Zero (4.5oz). On the road, the Zems weigh ~2oz, Merrell Bare Access weighs 5.6oz and the Saucony Hattori which for people with less wide feet is only 4.6oz or so even for the AW (all weather) edition but none of these are trail shoes.
Is it acceptable for something like Vivobarefoot
to have 10oz+ shoes for their Trail offerings when Vibram, New Balance, Merrell, Inov-8 have established trail offerings with 7 oz or less? Merrell even has a rockplate+Goretex in theirs...
The most recent study as referenced by Sweat Science and Pete Larson (http://sweatscience.runnersworld.com/2012/02/barefoot-versus-running-shoes-which-is-surprisingly-more-efficient/
) states that shoe weight is more important than anything. I'm assuming this means the Bare Access should be better than most of the minimalist offerings since it's zero drop but 5.6oz.
The study shows that if you are already a regular barefoot or minimalist runner and are not a heel-striker (the authors specifically controlled for footstrike to avoid comparing heel striking in shoes to midfoot/forefoot when barefoot), running in a lightweight racing flat will probably not significantly change your economy (of the 12 runners, 8 were more economical in the shoe, 4 were more economical “barefoot,” and when pooled there was no significant difference economy between when the runners were shod vs. unshod). Thus, if you feel that lightweight shoes are desirable in a race situation, go for it – they might even improve your economy a bit.
What happens if we continue to reduce shoe weight – does the relationship remain linear? How do equal weight shoes with cushioned vs. non-cushioned soles compare (e.g., compare the Merrell Road Glove to the Merrell Bare Access).
edit: the shoes in the poll options are just to give you an idea of what that weight is , for example I don't consider Nike Free 3.0 to be minimalist enough due to the heel-toe drop and the stack height