I found these to be a slight departure from the original five finger concept of "near barefoot running." The tread has become quite aggressive and there is almost what could be considered arch support. Additionally, because of two hot spots created by the internal stitching, I have to wear socks, which creates even more padding and road isolation than found in models like the original KSO and Sprint. The one saving feature that keeps me using them is that there is still no heel cushioning which means I still have to focus on barefoot running technique. They are pretty good for winter running though as long as conditions are dry. The material is warmer than my Sprints (which are my favorite model by far).