I've tried on a pair of the Starbury 1's awhile ago at Steve and Barrys, they felt cheap, and a little stiff on the toes. The cushioning in them felt so thin to me but I guess they are better than Shaq shoes or anything at Payless. I have never tried on Proteges so I cant compare them but for 15 bucks you are paying for what you get.
I use Starburys as outdoor shoes. The traction tends to wear out after a couple of months in my case. I could not get through the summer with one pair of Starburys last year. With that said, $15 for a new pair was not too shabby. Are Starburys still being produced and sold?
I have a pair of the starbury 2, and I put some of the old gel pads I had for some shoes that had lost the padding, and they were actually pretty nice. I mostly just used them for everyday stuff, but I used them for BBall a couple times.
I had 2 pairs of Starbury shoes and even though they are insanely cheap, I would not buy them again. They hurt my feet for hoops and could only wear them a few times, and the cross trainers have lasted fairly well but I wouldn't do any serious training in them.