Soft Star Minimalist Shoes
Our ancestors went barefoot or wore minimalist shoes such as moccasins for millions of years. Other than for protection from dangerous surfaces, playing some sports, staying warm in cold weather, etc., why do we need shoes? We don't. We were not born needing arch support, cushioning and high tech structure. I personally go barefoot inside, at home, but not outside. I normally wear minimalist shoes when I go out.
Many Paleo/Primal/ancestral followers wear Vibram Five Finger shoes. I don't. I think they look silly. You may have read that Vibram settled a lawsuit that argued they had no scientific support for their claims that their shoes could reduce foot injuries and improve the strength of foot musculature. In fact, that is true. They don't have much scientific proof. And wearing their shoes can hurt your feet if you don't follow the correct procedure. More from Mark. But worn properly, I think they can be great for your feet.
For several years, I have worn lightweight Converse tennies as minimalist shoes. I know they are not perfectly minimalist. I like them and they have been cool for nearly 100 years.
Softstar Shoes is a great company in Oregon. The shoes are handmade in the U.S., in an environmentally responsible building, by happy "elf" workers. You can get the shoes made exactly for your foot. You can even make a custom design.
I have huge feet, 13 EEEE. My first Soft Star shoes were RunAmocs. They didn't work. I got the thin soles. Being that big, with thin soles, they flapped like duck feet. Also, they collected sand and rocks.
Now I have Ramblers, which I love. And I just got some Rogues, which I think are going to be great too. I do Victorian Era reenactment. The Rogues are close enough to some of the shoes of that era.