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vibram five fingers sale for kids Alternatives to Nike Free shoes I have a pair of Vibrams and a pair of All Stars, and really, they're not very similar. The Vibrams are basically like an extension of your foot; the do actually provide padding, but no support they're basically molded to your feet. Imagine painting on a thick coat of plastic on the bottom of your bare foot and walking around: that's what it feels like. Some like it, some don't. Converse on the other hand are very flat and cover your feet like regular shoes. They're loose fitting and casual, and feel like a regular shoe in comparison to the Vibrams. As nitsuj says, the soles are completely different. Most shoes (All Stars, etc. included) have a flat sole and thus a flat interface with the ground. The transition from shaped (your foot) to flat (the sole) takes place in the shoes. With Five Fingers, on the other hand, the transition from shaped to flat takes place between the sole and the ground. Running, for example, in flat, thin soled shoes is not at all comparable to running in Five Fingers. posted by ssg at 11:10 AM on May 10, 2009 How different is something like a Vivo Barefoot shoe from a moccasin? posted by box at 11:17 AM on May 10, 2009 I should probably have not mentioned the Vibrams. The Vibrams, I hear, really are like walking barefoot. But alternatives to the Nike Frees are what I'm looking for. posted by Busoni at 11:19 AM on May 10, 2009 Sorry, the above comment was made with a wrong account. But the question still stands. posted by dicetumbler at 11:21 AM on May 10, 2009 This may not be exactly what you are looking for, but if you don't mind repurposing things for unconventional uses dive boots or dive socks might fill your needs. are basically neoprene socks (sometimes with a thin layer of silicone on the bottom of the foot to provide some grip). are more like standard shoes but some still have fairly thin souls, really just a thick layer of silicone or rubber. You can get either for around $20. posted by oddman at 11:54 AM on May 10, 2009 I should have added, I often walk around boats, beaches, etc. in dive socks. posted by oddman at 12:00 PM on May 10, 2009 The Nike Frees are vastly more flexible soled than Converse or whatnot to the point where when I tried to go back to my casual rubber soled Converse style sneaks, it felt like strapping 2x4s to my feet. posted by restless_nomad at 12:02 PM on May 10, 2009 All Stars have zero arch support and very little padding. They're probably absolutely terrible for your feet, but I wear them anyway. posted by Precision at 12:45 PM on May 10, 2009 Walking in Vibram five fingers is quite an experience. The Vibram sole protects your feet from nasties laying around, broken callouses and give you better traction. Converse All Stars are just crappy shoes. The glove like construction of the Vibram lets your feet conform back to their natural shape. You will actually have to learn how to walk correctly, in more matural gait. See pictures in this Tim Ferris article. This ny mag article is very informative as well. posted by yeara at 1:42 PM on May 10, 2009 Vivo Barefoot by Terra Plana is another option, I've had a pair for four years that I love wearing. Unfortunately, they run at about $150, although there was a place called Snooty Hideout that used to sell them for about $70 each. Try eBay. posted by furtive at 2:47 PM on May 10, 2009 Barefoot Runner has a lot of articles about different thin soled shoes. Maybe you can find something to interest you there.