I've been wanting to try barefoot running shoes ever since I read "Born to Run" but I could never bring myself to wear the arguably hideous Vibram Finger's. Right after reading this article I went out and purchased Merrell's True Glove ($110 retail, 7.1 oz per manufacturer). I've been running and hiking in them for two and half months solid so I think it's time to give my thoughts on the matter.
The good: Very lightweight and comfortable, they actually fit like a glove. Not as ugly as the Cinqo Fingers. Large toe box, so no toe cramming on downhills. Forces midfoot strike due to lack of heel.
The not so good: Relatively expensive for what you get. The Vibram sole wears out quickly. The inner liner is tearing apart. I have severely bruised my feet from trail running on rocky trails. Runs on concrete surfaces are knee killers because there is absolutely no cushion.
I really enjoy using them to run on sandy trails and hike short distances. It gets ugly, however, when the trail turns rocky since these soles offer little to no protection. I believe these are a great training aid but I would never attempt a muti-week hike or marathon in them. Could I do it? Of course, and many people have. Here's the thing, some hardcore folks like to sleep without a pad or air mattress. I happen to like my Neo-Air. Could I go without it to save weight? Sure. Same goes with my hiking shoes. My regular shoes offer more protection, are fairly lightweight, last longer, I don't look silly in them, and they don't hurt my feet during endurance hikes/runs. Let face it, there's a small percentage of people that have sledgehammer feet and they will tell you that if they can do it, so can you. They believe that all humans can run like the Tarhumara Indians and the fact is that you probably can't. I've run 23 marathons and I don't kid myself that I can compete with the Ethiopians and Kenyans by doing anything similar to what they do.
Final thoughts: I believe the perfect trail shoe is both lightweight and offers good protection from whatever the trail throws at you. These shoes are not that. They are fine shoes for shorter activities, training, and wearing around the house, but not recommended for endurance activities. I know the cult-like believers of barefoot shoes will be enraged to hear this but it's my opinion, get over yourself.