Running without running shoes had been very popular not long ago however interest in it and the number of runners doing it have decreased substantially. It was a fad which went on for several years and was mostly influenced by social media discourse. This was a short lived trend towards barefoot running which began around 2009 with an increase of interest in running free of running shoes. It was stated in numerous books, websites and magazine content that barefoot running was more natural, that it was a more economical technique to run and that you got a lesser amount of injuries running barefoot. Many runners tried out barefoot running instead of using running shoes and fascination with it peaked about 2013. The sales of minimal or barefoot running shoes furthermore peaked about that time, achieving almost 10% of the running shoe market.
After that initial interest and peak interest in barefoot running and minimalist running shoes were gradually decreasing. Runners lost interest in running barefoot. The sales of the minimalist running shoes have been dropping steadily since about mid- to late 2013. The promoted advantages for it did not eventuate to most runners that tried barefoot running but, naturally, those who publicized barefoot running just are convinced that those runners were doing it incorrectly. When the scientific research was published, the benefits were not just there. All of the running injury epidemiology reports were showing that the risk of injury was the same had you been running in footwear versus running without running shoes and most of the running economy investigations were also demonstrating that generally there weren’t any systematic advantages.
While some runners, that are rather vocal, still do their running barefoot the big trend has now been towards maximalist running shoes with the Hoka One One running shoe being the innovator in that category of running shoes. It has now reached the stage where that brand now outsells the entire group of minimalist running shoes which provides a clear indication of the popularity of cushioned running shoes compared to running barefoot.