Many people are using minimalist footwear to run in. One popular item is a sandal patterned after the one the Huarache Indians in Mexico make. Ted McDonald in Seattle markets Huarache sandals starting at $50 a pair. He also posted on his website how you can make your own. I tried making some but didn't like how they worked. So I thought of making a half-sole design that might suit my purposes.
I realized that my only purpose in putting things on my feet to run in is to give some protection only to the balls of my feet. The rest of my feet never need any assistance. It was having the rest of the sandals on my feet that were contributing to most of my complaints about the original Huarache design. So by getting rid of most of the sole, I hoped to eliminate most of the problems!
Here is a photo of my "minimal-minimalist" design, or Half-Huaraches.
The straps across the base going up to the top are elastic. I used elastic to eliminate having to adjust and tie laces each time I put them on. The straps going across the tops are to help keep the tip of the sandals closer to my toes, so when I bend my toes up, the sandal follows them instead of staying open and catching the ground. When they don't bend with my feet, they act as scoops, grabbing gravel and sometimes folding under. I would have used elastic there, too, but I ran out of material. I might change it later on.
I'll give them a try on some mileage running and see how they do. I'll let you know later what I think!