You must have very thin feet to be comfy in a ballet slipper. I have found that a shoe or slipper that fits nice and feels nice when tried on doesn't always work when running or walking because as you step and roll the foot, the pressures all change. For me, my toes spread out and rub and get pinched against the sides of the shoe no matter how wide the shoe is or how fabulous it felt when putting it on. I've had my gait measured, my step measured, my foot/ankle/leg alignment measured while walking on a treadmill. Even after that and buying what we all agreed was the perfect shoe for me, I was still in pain. Drat!!
I agree about leather soles letting your feet breathe. I have some nice moccasins.
I read about the stink problem with VFF shoes. That dampened the attractiveness for me. But, like you, I really like to be able to feel the ground. But not to the point of getting hurt by a sharp rock or thorn--it's pretty rough around where I live.
Hospitals are terrific for traumatic care; for acute care. They do a really, really good job in saving lives when it’s a sudden bleeding emergency. But in terms of chronic care, they’re terrible; in terms of the illnesses that most people have, endure, that cost the most money, that last the longest and ultimately die from. -Dr. Andrew Saul