>>> "- If you are going to be on hard surfaces day-in-day-out, then I'd recommend either a GoLite shoe (note the associated problems above) or a lightweight trail runner or "day hiker" with a forefoot plate. Basically, your goal is to stay away from an EVA mid-sole, which is collapse-prone and after that your "cushioning" is gone. A growing number of people seem to be fans of minimalist shoes with no cushion, but I think this is impractical for hard-packed, cobblestone-laden trails while wearing a backpack -- your feet get eaten and eventually bruised. It might work for trails with soft surfaces, but at least in the Rockies you won't find many of those (or in the Northeast, or in the Southwest). Even so, I'm not sure it'd work day-after-day. The problem with "light hikers" is that they tend to want to control everything about your stride, which is where I have some agreement with theses barefoot advocates -- that will only lead to problems."
Pretty much everyone I talked to on the PCT had "bruised feet" after a month on the trail. The balls of your feet become tender to step on for the first 5 minutes after you first stand on them in the morning. After they warm up they are fine again. This issue gradually goes away after you've been off the trail for 2 to 4 (!) months.
I'm intrigued by the idea that "bruised feet" can be avoided, because we all pretty much accepted this as a fact of trail life.