There is a ton of helpful advice in this thread. The best advice is to go to your local running store and have them fit you for your running style/foot type.
I'm still trying to grasp this whole running thing. I don't enjoy it where I go "Hey let's go running for giggles.." but more so "I'm running to get in shape and become a better me."
I understand there isn't a large selection of running shoe stores near you, but go to your nearest one whenever it is convenient.
Have them fit you, make mental note of what felt the most comfortable, thank them for their time, and then leave.
If that isn't an option by any means, try the one calculator/chart that was posted earlier or use this chart by roadrunner. Shoe Categories
I do own a pair of vibrams, they are super comfy to run in, but I only use them for trails/grass compared to the road. The pair that I own are called KSO. The amount of padding/cushioning is pretty much non-existent. It's great for running on the road, but after 7 miles or so, I tend to chaff a bit on the inside of my one toe.
So if you're going gravel or harder surfaces, IMO it would be best to go to the models that have more padding. My pair is currently about 2 years old and still in pretty fantastic shape. With sweat, they stay put pretty well. In water, that's another story
My current pair
The pair that I want to get for trails and gravel
One last thing about vibrams,
***GO TO A STORE AND PHYSICALLY SIZE THEM TO YOUR FOOT!!!***
Just guessing on the size will be an issue because you want them to be spot on.
My favorite pair of shoes and there is about 60+ miles on them (1 half marathon, 2 5ks, and runs around the block)
Now to my second point, I have to somewhat agree with CJ, the barefoot running thing is a bit of a fad. Running in vibrams isn't for everyone. Everyone has different styles of running, personal preference, and so on. I don't use vibrams for everything I do. So while I may not be a "barefooter" like some, I am a proponent of the low drop/midstrike, and dabble into the minimalist realm.
So here are some recommendations from things that I personally use, but then again, this is my body mechanics and not yours.
Saucony ProGrid Kinvara 2 $69ish Buy Mens Saucony ProGrid Kinvara 2 Running Shoe at Road Runner Sports
-cushioning in all the right places
Brooks Pureflows $80ish (got them on sale for $50)
-cushioning feels right to me
For working out:
Nike Zoom Elite ($50 at a running expo)
ASICS GEL-Kanbarra 5 ($40ish on sale, usually around $70)
So at the end of it all, here's my advice.
-Make the drive to the nearest running store and see what you like/fits well
-Buy a low drop shoe to get you started in running, and to adjust into the vibram/minimalist shoes
-Decide if running is something that you want to commit to, decide if vibrams are something you want to try/invest in, and then grab a pair.
-Get in shape.