Neat story. And excellent point about tarmac/concrete.
Something that always bugged me about people who say running barefoot is good for you because it's natural also "must" take the extra step of running/walking on "natural" surfaces. That means no sidewalks, no paved roads, nothing man-made at all.
What did humans walk on 10,000 years ago? Dirt. Gravel. Beach sand. Swamps. Woods. Snow. Open fields. etc...
These surfaces "give", unlike solid man-made surfaces. I would imagine that the "perfect" shoe would probably mimic this experience, at least partially. That's probably why all shoes have some sort of cushioning built into them.
Shoe's are man-made technology designed to work in conjunction with other man-made technology, roads and artificial surfaces.