I'm a beginning runner and have only done a 5K, but I probably run about 3-4 times per week. I'm have pretty seriously flat feet and wear orthopedics in my shoes that were fitted by a foot doc. I started wearing them after a lengthy backpacking trip that resulted in my not being able to walk. We had to cut the trip short due to knee pain. It turns out the doc said something to the effect of my tendons were not tracking properly over my knees and I developed tendinitis in both knees. Also, I could rarely stand barefoot for any length of time without heel pain.
All this said, I've read here about the Five Fingers shoes and the benefits of running barefoot, or nearly barefoot. Is this something that I should attempt? Some have said that despite flat feet they saw huge improvement in foot strength which led to less feet problems. I read another that said running in FF's with flat feet caused some terrible ankle pain.
How can I determine what is right for me prior to investing in new shoes? Also, I'm not even sure what it means to run with the "proper" form since I find it strange that we're now supposed to be running on the balls of our feet? As a kid I was always told that was bad form. Interesting. I only know that I can currently run without any pain but the idea of strengthening appeals to me since that would mean less reliance on the shoe inserts. Thanks much!