I'm 26, a big guy (6'6", 240 Lbs), I have been running with slowly increasing seriousness and frequency over the past two years.
About a year ago, I picked up some "nice" running shoes (a pair of higher end Asics... the gel, bouncy, high heel type. I loved them! I was clomping around on my heals more comfortably than ever. I raised my mileage, frequency, and speed, and was enjoying myself. I haven't had an injury yet, but I do suffer from sore knees and hips quite often.
Then it came time for new running shoes, my beloved Asics were dirty and worn down. So I started looking around at reviews and what not, and somehow stumbled upon an article talking about how shes were like casts for your feet, and that feet were meant to walk and run, and they are plenty capable of doing it on their own. I think i'd heard this before, but it never really clicked. But this time it did. I spent the next few days reading basically everything about the subject, and trying to practice changing my stride a bit.
Ive always been a shoe guy. And socks... I liked them both. They kept my feet safe and supported, and I could walk however and wherever I wanted with sturdy shoes. I was like a tank! And I never saw any reason to change. I remember a time when shopping for shoes that I didn't buy them if i could feel rocks and pebbles and things under my sole.
But reading about it created a major shift in my thinking, suddenly i didn't want my thick shoes anymore, I wanted to strengthen my feet and feel the ground under my feet and the grass between my toes!
So, that pretty much brings us to where i'm at now. I've been going barefoot more, I found some Sanuk shoes at Ross for 20$ to get me out of my clunkers while I'm at work. They have pretty thin soles, zero drop, and have plenty of room for my toes, and I can wear them without socks.
I also have my eye on the Merrell trail gloves, and i'm just trying to get up the guts to drop 110$ on them. In the meantime, i'm exercising more, and doing it barefoot.
I even went on a short jog around the neighborhood in nothing but the shoes evolution gave me. It was raining out, and 6:30 in the morning, i ran by one of my neighbors in my rain jacket, shorts, and bare feet and he looked at me and said barefoot?!?! I just smiled and said "Yep" and kept jogging.