I picked up an interesting book today. Born To Run says runners are more likely to get injured in expensive shoes than in less expensive shoes, and even less likely to get injured running barefoot. In other words, the author believes customers are spending money to hurt themselves.
Could it be that cheaper shoes force runners to run properly on the ball of the foot, and that this method of running prevents injuries? Chris McDougall thinks this running style is better for and is more efficient.
I personally still wear my Nike Free shoes in the gym, but I have switched to Vibram Five Fingers for running and rowing. I am also looking to the Five Fingers shoes to help correct my toe position, after years of being stuffed inside tight mountaineering boots my pinkie toe curves inwards too much.