Barefoot running fans often discuss on forums how close minimal shoes (like VivoBarefoot) are to actually being barefoot. The most accurate answer is to try them both and feel it for yourself. However, if you don’t have access to a pair this is not very helpful and so as a second best answer I have made the following video:
Both images are force plate scans that were recorded back around 2004/2005 using the VivoBarefoot Avalon which was at the time my tennis shoe. The above video was a personal breakthrough for me when it was recorded as it was a quick way of illustrating how the VivoBarefoot works – something that normally was very long winded and hard to explain. These scans were taken when barefoot shoes were unheard of and the barefoot running movement was very thin on the ground (pardon the pun). Now that barefoot running has become much more popular, the conversation has shifted from “What on earth is a barefoot shoe?” to “How close are barefoot shoes to being barefoot?”. Either way these scans shed some light on the matter.