There's a big movement underway for minimalist footwear and/or barefoot running. Articles and authors on the subject purport that modern runners have become injury prone due to over protective running shoes, which led to massive heal strike and related injuries.
I have come to believe that barefoot running and the Vibram Five-Fingers craze doesn't reduce injuries; instead, it provides "forced awareness." What ever way your foot is impacting the pavement, you'll know it in these low cushion contraptions. I'm a Brooks runner, have been for a long time, and enjoy all the protection I can muster.
So here's a test for you on your the next run. Be conscious of your footstrike. Don't change your gait or stride, simply feel where your foot connects with the ground. I'm a big proponent of chi running, which encourages a body position that brings the mass forward and weight off the heels. I have noted that in chi stance, my footstrike is mid-foot with a pronating (outside edge of foot) motion onto the toes.
I believe successful runners can combine an efficient body stance, low impact footstrike, and well-cushioned (for me, Brooks) shoes.
Check out www.chirunning.com and www.brooksrunning.com. Get the stance and buy the shoes.