The main on my boat is loose footed and poses no problem.
Edit: These are some excerpts from a Q & A on the North Sail site. I recalled having seen it.
Question from reader: What are -
Advantage/disadvantage to slides on boom verses loose footed main. Advantage/disadvantage to regular battons verses 4 full or 2 full battons.
Response from North:
28 Jul 2009 01:41 AM Hi,
The advantages of a loose footed main are ease of handling when taking the sail on or off the boom for storage
and better control of shape in the lower part of the sail. Because the sail is not restricted with attachment to the boom with rope
or slides, it may be possible to make the sail deeper with the outhaul
control compared to a sail that is attached to the boom with slides.
One advantage of full battens is that the sail will be more durable with no hinge points at the front of shorter leech battens, but having all full battens will increase the weight of the sail. So, if you’re racing
in primarily light air, I would suggest a combination of full and short battens as you have mentioned, 1 or 2 full length and 2 or 3 shorter leech battens.