I just picked up a pair of vibram 5 fingers on sale at REI for $30. They are leather, I'm not sure of the model. After using minimalist shoes for several years, I have finally tried out them out. I always thought they were gimmicky and I still do, but so far I have been enjoying these.
walking them seems a little more natural and barefoot like
lighter than other minimalist shoes (even the leather ones are 6 oz each)
the top seals off well, like a sock, and debris gets in much less
You can't stick a warm wool sock in them. This will seriously limit them in colder weather. You can get the toe socks, but that's not much insulation against cold rain and snow. This limits their usefulness around camp during cold evenings.
There is a greater chance of smashing your toe. Having a closed toe box, even with a very flexible shoe, gives you a surprising amount of protection. I wouldn't want to use these in a sharp boulder field.
They can be a pain to pull on and get each toe right.
Things can get jammed in between your toes.
I went on a hike near Cache Creek today and the grasslands are filled with these green weeds that have spiky balls on them. The stalk of the weed would get in between the toes and when I lifted my foot, the spiky ball would break off and get caught right in between them. The shoes, while being leather, have a thin nylon fabric in between the toes for greater flexibility. The spikes stabbed my toes and were very tedious to remove. I like leather shoes because they are puncture proof and I'm really wishing they were all leather in the toes.
Fortunately this is an issue only related to specific plants.
Overall I think that closed toe shoes are a better option, but I do like the 5 fingers. I will probably only use them for warmer weather trips and use my vivobarefoot neo trails for winter when I might need to put wool, neoprene, or waterproof socks in them.
For those of you who are 5 finger fans, what is your opinion on this?