I now see running as a fun skill to master, and a great form of play and/or transportation. However, I see it as an inefficient form of exercise, and highly unnecessary for most people. (Unless, of course, they enjoy it, which I really do.)
For helping reverse bunions, or hammertoes, one might consider working with me or someone else towards wearing foot friendly shoes and read this article
These are a few of my other favorite shoe brands and websites:
Fae Moon Wolf Designs has great etsy shop for hand made moccasins for kids and adults: (Adult options start at a very reasonable $70!) I am still quite happy with my pair of moccasins after a year of use.
www.softstarshoes.com These folks make moccasin- like shoes and sandals for any size or shape of foot, including kids (and even super-wide hobbit paws like mine). These are what I wore for over 4 years while working at a local spa... Comfortably... ON STONE FLOORS! Did I mention that technique is more important than technology?
Amazon has some inexpensive DIY kits for a basic leather moccasin. For about $20-$30 you can make your own shoes. These are pretty flimsy leather, but offer excellent ground feel and are a fun little project.
Astral footwear loyak is a good minimalist option with a reasonably wide toe box. This Asheville based company makes quality stuff! Sadly, the Loyak is currently the only shoe I can recommend for healthy biomechanics. (EDIT: Another good loking option! -Soon to be released! They now offer the HIYAK) With enough demand (ask for it, and they might make it!) I am hoping they will offer more minimalist options in the future.
Altra running offers a wide variety of "Zero drop" running shoes. Unfortunately, most are far too squishy for my liking, but they do have some "kinda" minimal options, and all of their shoes offer a wide toe box and no heel elevation. If you are already a runner, and not ready to run truly barefoot or in very minimal shoes, you can probably find something from Altra that offers padding similar to your current shoe without the tiny narrow toe box and elevated heel.
Carson Footwear is a small 100% USA made company that offers a line of shoes built specifically for trail running. They are light weight, minimal, and have no heel elevation. The toe box also appears to allow normal toe splay. At 10mm thick, the sole is more than I typically like in a shoe, but offers enough padding that someone who is used to "normal" shoes can still allow more natural use of their feet while still maintaining some degree of cushioning. Again, I must stress that technique is MORE important than equipment when running.
www.xeroshoes.com offers an ever growing list of options including some sandals that DONT go between your toes. (I know for some folks, the "toe wedgie" is a deal breaker... You might consider the "Z-trek" or "Z-trail" option) Their "DIY kit" is by far the cheapest, most durable "barefoot shoe" option on the market. These (along with soft stars and merrell barefoot shoes)are one of the few options available for kids that meet my personal criteria for healthy footwear.
If you need serious cold weather winter boots that still allow natural foot function, look here: http://www.manitobah.ca/
Chronology Men's dress shoes (Formerly known as "The Primal Professional") While there are some good dress shoe options out there, for men who must wear a suit to work, these seem to be the ONLY top-tier shoe I can recommend. Though I have yet to see a pair in person, I've read nothing but glowing reviews from numerous sources.
Japanese Jika-tabi are an option for zero drop "boots". I have the Soukaido i-98 spike. They are not great for daily wear, but I have found them useful for running a weed eater, and for serious wintertime usage.
If you're a GOLFER, or need waterproof shoes (or just want some semi- normal looking zero-drop shoes)... Check out TRUE linkswear. I must admit, I've never seen a pair of these in person, and the toe box looks a little tight to me.
ZEM footwear seems to have lots of options. I have never seen their stuff in person, but the kid shoes look great!
Primal Evo is a small Polish shoe company that seems totally in line with how I like a shoe to "function". I've yet to see a pair, or even hear from someone who has, but they are certainly worthy of consideration.
For anyone who wants a military-style boot, I think the Belleville Mini-mil is their best option to exist so far. I've yet to see a pair in person, but they look very well made, and Belleville is a highly reputable company.
If you're willing to cough up the dough for a seriously well made, one of a kind custom set of boots, look into elf mountain boots. I have seen several pairs of these in person, and they are very nice!
www.birthdayshoes.com (reviews of almost every minimalist shoe made)
All this, and we haven't even started to discuss the effects of grounding (also known as "earthing") yet! Grounding (being connected to the ground, like that third prong on an electrical outlet) sounded like "lunatic fringe" wacky stuff at first... I'm beginning to think there could be something there.
OK... Now go outside and play! Much love, Mo the human.