The joy running brings to many of us is immeasurable and it forms an integral part of our lives, so when a debate of the magnitude of the barefoot / minimalist approach VS running with supportive footwear, reaches the general media there is often a lot of hype around it.
The shoe companies say one thing while the advocates of barefoot / minimalist running say the opposite. So who are we to listen too?
My advice, for what it is worth, is to take the good from both sides of the debate, and use them to your advantage.
We need running shoes to protect our feet for sure. We can however gain a lot of benefit from including some of our run training using parts of the minimalist approach.
For example, your longer runs might make use of your regular footwear. Your speed work on the track or treadmill might make use of a shoe with a small amount, perhaps even no, control mechanisms. Perhaps if you have the opportunity to go barefoot, do so. Going bare feet while warming up is an excellent way to transition into more minimalist running.
Each one of these modalities will provide you the opportunity to do what you love - run, and at the same time, will challenge your anatomy and biomechanics, leading to certain improvement in your running.
Remember, there are always 2 sides to story. Knowing each one will benefit you the most in the long term.