I agree lighter is better. Barefoot is best, but not realistic for most us adults who have to go to work in shoes. But there are so many factors. Running is harder on feet than hiking. Running on cement (ill advised - which many cross country runners do) is bad no matter what you wear.
The other thing about the article is timing and training. Bowerman gets credit for the running shoe boom, although Adidas really got it started in the 60's. Until the mid 60's, with a few exceptions, most distance runners only ran maybe 50 miles per week. Since then, even high school kids can average 70 miles per week. Many college and elite runners average over 100 miles per week. So since the advent of the 'running' shoe, distance runners generally run twice as far every week. Wonder if that was taken into consideration.
Now lets look at how shoes are chosen. In the article, Nike was the official shoe at Stanford. That meant every runner wore Nike's. What if the 'last' used by the manufacturer is not correct for the runner... little choice because the shoe is supplied by Stanford and it was always a Nike. Most colleges supply shoes for runners on scholarship, and they furnished the brand the college has an agreement with. Not all brands fit the same. I do agree with Lananna that it is best to train barefooted if possible and to wear the cheaper shoes, because these shoes are 'under engineered' in the running world.
A while back I bought a pair of cross country shoes for training runs. I went to a well known store that fits distance runners. After trying on several brands/sizes, and running in them under the supervision of the sales guy, I ended up with a pair of Brooks. Brooks were not even on my shopping list!! But they fit the best, and I have no problems or pain at all running in them. So the other question would be, are runners buying shoes that are properly fitted. Interestingly, the Brooks weigh 1.6 oz less (pair) than my Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra trail runners and the Brooks don't have breathable mesh.
Most running shoes last about 500 miles. I wonder if those who buy the high end shoes keep running in them after they are worn out, due to the high cost. Interesting.
Sometimes I run and hike in Cross Country flats. These are lightweight shoes made for racing. Mine weigh 6.5 oz each. They are super comfortable, and great for running and hiking. Never have a foot problem with these. Only issue is that they don't last long. Overall, the racing flats are the best shoes I own for comfort. Even on long runs or hikes, I feel better at the end of the day with these shoes.
The last point is that some people just have foot problems period. Perhaps it is inherited, perhaps not. I think one of the reasons I have never had a serious foot issue is that I pretty much was barfooted until adulthood. My first two years in high school I ran cross country and track barfooted, because I could not afford running shoes (running barefooted was allowed in the 60's). Today I never see kids playing barefooted.
I am planning a 50 or 60 mile trip in 5 weeks over some rough terrain, and am contemplating using my racing flats. Should I do this, I will let everyone know how it goes.