I am very pleased to review the Performa Jane, a women’s specific Mary Jane-style indoor shoe with amazing barefoot feel. These shoes are very similar to the Performas that were released last year but the upper is made of both suede and smooth kangaroo leather and there is a strap across the top of the foot designed to hold the shoe in place instead of the elastic cord sewn into the edge of the upper like in the Performas. These shoes both look and feel amazing and are stylish enough to wear for almost any casual or active indoor use.
The Performa Jane’s are phenomenally comfortable against the skin of your feet with luxuriously soft, smooth kangaroo leather. With the right fit, you can barely feel the shoes on your feet at all. They are extremely easy to slip on as the strap along the top is attached to the outside of the upper with a piece of Velcro and a very stretchy, short piece of elastic (the button on the top is just for decoration). Because of the design of the sole pods, you can’t really feel their edges under your feet. The only issue I have with these shoes is a small lump of material under the medial side of the heel pod where the edge of the strap, the bottom of the leather arch, and the heel pod all meet together. On occasion, it has felt like there’s a small lump under my foot in this spot. Other than that aspect of the construction design, I barely notice the shoes are on at all.
I was initially concerned with how well the back of the shoe would stay on my foot because there is no elastic sewn into the upper but once wearing them, this turned out to not be a problem at all. Because of where the strap is located on the top of my foot and the design of the quarter of the shoe, it stays on quite well and I have never felt it even slip down on my foot.
Each size W39 Performa Jane weighs 2 ¼ ounces or 62 grams. Even for a minimalist shoe, this is incredibly lightweight.
Flex / Sole
The sole is made up of 7 pieces of TC-1 rubber with bare suede kangaroo leather between the pods. The rubber is extremely thin and flexible in all directions.
Support / Insole
As there is just bare leather under the arch of the foot of the Performa Janes, they do not have any support in their design. There is no insole included with the shoe and the footbed is smooth kangaroo leather.
The barefoot feel of the Performa Janes is amazing. The extremely flexible rubber sole under the forefoot and heel is so thin that you can feel every small contour of the ground and the leather under the arch is thinner than most socks.
On every indoor surface that I have tried, including concrete, tile, linoleum, carpet, granite, and wood, the sole grips wonderfully. The sole is designed with fingerprint-like grooves that grip even the smoothest of textures.
Although kangaroo leather is incredibly breathable on its own as a material, the Performa Jane design has even better breathability because of countless small holes punched into the leather all around the upper. This design lends to a shoe that covers the foot, all be it minimally, with the best possible breathability.
Quality of Materials / Manufacturing
As with all VFF products that I’ve tested, the quality of both the materials and manufacturing are impeccable. The leather is definitely high-quality and the TC-1 rubber, although thin and flexible, will undoubtedly last a long time is used strictly for indoor use. Although I haven’t had them long, I’ve worn the Performa Janes under considerable load-bearing conditions and there are absolutely no signs of wear on them at all.
The Performa Jane fits the same as the VFF Performa, Sprint, and Classic. If you haven’t tried on any of these products, Vibram has instructions on how to measure your feet for the best fit. In terms of conventional sizes, I wear a size US 8 shoe and the size W39 fits me perfectly.
The Performa Jane is listed on the Vibram website at $110.00 USD. For a high-quality, comfortable, all-leather upper, indoor shoe with incredible versatility, this is an appropriate price.
The style of the Performa Jane is nothing short of a driving glove for your foot. I think the added details of the small holes punched through the leather upper, the decorative button, and the smooth-against-suede leather upper is incredibly attractive. They are offered on the Vibram website in all black as well as cerise (a purplish plum color) leather and black sole pods.
There is no break-in period required for these shoes. After wearing them quite often for six weeks under high-stress conditions, the leather has not stretched and they fit as comfortably now as when I first put them on.
The Performa Janes do not need to be treated with leather protector before wear but you could if you wanted to. If dirty, they can be machine washed and air dried. After six weeks of wearing these shoes to the gym, they smell exactly like they did when they came out of the box: like brand-new leather.
These shoes can be worn for practically any indoor activity and are stylish enough, in my opinion, to wear in an office setting. They are fantastic for any outfit or activity requiring a black flat.
Yet again, Vibram has produced a phenomenal product in the Performa Jane. They are a comfortable, high-quality, grippy, stylish leather flat with amazing barefoot feel. Although not recommended for outdoor use, they are the perfect black flat for just about any indoor activity.
To purchase these shoes, find a retailer on the Vibram FiveFingers website at https://www.vibramfivefingers.com or purchase them directly from the website.
Originally posted on LivingBarefoot.info