Does the price of Softstars or VFFs put you off? Have you thought about making your own? It isn't that hard.
http://www.simpleshoemaking.com/index.htm is one good introduction. But there are other resources on the web.
I made a pair a few years ago. I didn't get them quite right. But I'm getting started on making another pair.
You can get Vibram from http://www.barefootted.com and other places. Leather and other stuff is available from Tandy and other merchants. Vibram sheets are about $25 plus shipping. You can also use lots of other material for the soles. And you can probably get scraps of leather from Tandy fairly reasonably. You might also cannibalize old leather products.
You could make shoes that are artistic, functional or more "primal" looking. You might feel more primal making your own shoes.
Many Vietnamese wore shoes (sandals) made from tire tread. Very comfortable. Google has pages of references, maybe some will have directions
The problem with tire treads is the steel belts. One good source of soles is old (or new for that matter) yoga mats. Also have heard of using anti-fatigue floor mats. You might also cannibalize flat flipflops. I have ordered a sheet of Vibram despite it being pricey.
Started PB late 2008, lost 50 lbs by late 2009. Have been plateaued, but that thing may just be biting the dust: more on that later.
This is fantastic. I have a multiple old yoga mats, and I am happy to make some sweet invisible shoes using one of them w/ this method!! How awesome! I think I'll try doing this tomorrow... Thank you for sharing!!!!