i've worn out "topyed" soles after 3 - 5 wearings. no issues after i replaced them with leather.
Have to agree with Nick. I put vibram on all my shoes, and after many years, have never seen it wear out that fast. Once, I did encounter peeling, probably because the glue was insufficient, but my cobbler quickly fixed it without charge. But given your experience, I can understand why you'd be opposed. On my favorite shoes, I have to replace the vibram about once a year, but only because I wear out the toe area at a ridiculous rate, otherwise, the wear is barely noticeable.
With respect to the other negative comments, I've carefully tried shoes for an extended period both with and without the vibram soles, and I really haven't noticed a difference. I can't speak for topy soles, but in my experience with vibram:
- it does not feel like a rubber soled shoe;
- the shoe sounds about the same as a leather soled shoe (but I'm a heavy heel striker so you can hear me coming anyway);
- there is much less slippage than a new leather sole and in the rain, but under normal walking conditions (after the leather sole gets sufficiently scuffed) they feel about the same;
- I have not noticed any extra odor;
- I have not noticed any extra flex or stiffness;
- it does not look like a rubber soled shoe from the side, and I think the vibram actually looks better than worn leather, especially over time.
Here's a couple pictures from a year old pair of shoes, which had vibram applied as soon as I got them. I probably wear them a couple times a month.