Vibram has built the most advanced shoes in history. This combination of abrasion resistant polyamide fabric, Hypalon straps, Chinese sweat shop labor, and antimicrobial microfiber has produced a shoe that feels like a bare foot. They're so sensitive that technical tree climbers can "tune into tree time" while wearing them.
Behold, the culmination of hundreds of years of rubber and textile technologies.
It's amazing. Vibram has managed to charge $85.00 for something that much of the world does out of necessity:
Look at how connected to nature that little barefoot starving kid is.
Sarcasm and the fact that the price of my pseudo-barefeet could probably feed that kid for a year aside, I dig these things. They're neat.
They don't really feel like bare feet. They feel more like a 2mm thick rubber sock. Because that's what they are.
I don't feel more connected to the Earth, nor do I feel all Zen-ey like I do when I "become one with my fixed gear bicycle", but I can feel sticks and rocks and other shit that I step on. I'm not sure why I want to feel all the little pointy things under my feet, but I do. I'll leave it at that.
They are very light and fun to hop around in. I wore them hiking for a few miles when the ground was melted, and they felt good. I tried to run in them a few days ago when the snow was still on the ground, and my feet went numb. So they didn't feel like anything.
Cool shoes. If you're not afraid of looking like a pretentious hippy douche bag, I highly recommend picking some up.