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Pretty in Pink Performa Janes

by Emily Gindle » on Oct 17, 2010 8

When I was a teenager I had a pair of lime green Converses that I wore into the sole-flapping, rand disintegrating ground; I loved them so much my mother had to throw them out while I was sleeping to get me into a new pair of shoes.

I think my magenta Performa Janes are stepping up to the favorite-shoe task. They’re thin little toed moccasins of soft leather in a shade of pink that is so assertive it magically goes with everything. They don’t have a full sole; it’s on the ball of the foot, the heel, and each toe, but it skips out on the arch and the hinges between toes and foot, making it even more flexible and minimal than the standard rubber sole. Vibram recommends them for indoor use only (yoga, tai chi, pilates, dance) but I’ve been wearing them around town, on sidewalks, riding my bike, and I’ve yet to see the leather get ripped up. They stretch and mold to your foot, and you can machine wash them, although I just periodically wash them in the sink. You’re not supposed to let them dry in the sun, but I’m between sizes and mine are a tad big so I like to leave them in the sun so they shrink up a bit.

And they’re so cute! I’ve become used to answering questions and weird looks and sometimes getting derided a bit for my KSOs, but I always get compliments on my Performa Janes. Everyone says they look like driving gloves.

The best thing is that they’re incredibly soft and comfortable, and in them I’m stylish and ready for anything at the same time. I love to use them for travel, because when you have to sit around on a plane it’s so much nicer to wiggle your toes, and you can do some yoga on your layover. On my last trip I was heading out to a wedding and had to catch a little regional plane out of O’Hare in Chicago. They changed the gate (and terminal!) but didn’t announce it. I found out at the last minute as the plane was supposed to be boarding and I had to run down two flights of stairs, across the excruciatingly long tunnel to the next terminal, up two flights of stairs, down a long hall and down another flight of stairs; I’ve done a decent amount of distance training and I believe I can accurately say it was three quarters of a mile in total. It’s the fastest I have ever run. There were actually some people moseying through the airport that cheered me on as I zipped by. Even though I was terrified of missing my flight, the run felt light and amazing–an experience I can attribute to the fitted Performa Janes and the quality roller blade wheels on my suitcase. I made it to the gate in a little under five minutes and made it on the plane. It took more than five minutes for my breathing to calm back down.

I wear them every day at work, and at lunch I ride my bike to a park and sometimes do yoga. Bike pedals used to feel funny in such a slim shoe, but now I’m so used to different textures underfoot that it’s normal. The shoes feel really natural, even more so than any other Fivefingers model. I adore them. And now as an adult there’s absolutely no one who will throw them out when it’s time; I may just wear them forever.


8 Comments

  1. Kristen

    October 17th, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    Do you think these could be pulled off as semi-dressy shoes for work? I’ve just started wearing VFFs for walking/running and on weekends, but my current pair are KSO treks, and while not as conspicuous as most of the styles, they still seem too casual for me to wear to work. (I’m a college professor and tend to wear slacks and blouses/sweaters.) I’ve been thinking of getting a black pair of the Janes with birthday money next month, but am curious to hear from someone who actually has a pair an informed opinon on if they could be pulled off as footwear for the business-casual attire I tend to wear on workdays.

    Reply

    • Emily

      October 17th, 2010 at 11:05 pm

      The Performa Janes are definitely the most dressed-up of all the models, and most non-Fivefingers people I talk to think they’re cute rather than weird. While I love the pink ones because they’re so audacious, the black ones are definitely more professional-looking and I think you could totally pull it off! I will say, the adjustment to wearing them all the time took a little while because they’re even thinner than the KSOs, and definitely more so than the KSO Treks; my feet were sore for a while after wearing them all day, but just like breaking in other pairs you learn to give your feet a little more variety (flexing toes, walking softly) and they strengthen up for the task. Go for it and let me know what you think!

      Reply

      • Melanie

        February 05th, 2011 at 10:21 pm

        Thanks so much for posting this!!! I got a pair of KSO Treks in black, and the next day sent my boyfriend to get a pair of the Performa Jane’s in black because I thought they would be the perfect shoe to wear in clinic (I am a chiropractic student intern). I wore them for the first time tonight and they are the BEST! I don’t know that I’d wear any other shoes after these… seriously! I would only use the other pair for sports and really cold days and leave these for everything else. WOW! I’m going to test them out tomorrow at church. Thanks for the post! If all goes well, I’m going to try the pink one day.

        Reply

        • Emily

          February 05th, 2011 at 10:33 pm

          Awesome! I’m so glad you’re happy with them. I wore them to my cousin’s wedding this summer and no one seemed to mind–a wonderful alternative to heels! And now that I’ve had them for quite a while I can say that they’re much more durable than I would have thought going into it: Vibram only recommends these for indoor use, but I wear them everywhere (except for hiking) and they’re holding up fine. Hope the folks at church like them, too!

          Reply

        • Kristen

          February 06th, 2011 at 10:21 pm

          I did end up getting a pair a few weeks ago myself. So far so good. My most recent post on my own blog (the link you go to if you click my name) gives more details on the experience, but in short, my feet are pleased and my students are entertained.

          I wore mine to church today, too, but I also wear the KSOs there. (We’re pretty casual.) I’ve seen two other people wearing VFFs there before.

          Reply

          • Emily

            February 06th, 2011 at 11:00 pm

            Performa Janes are the new business casual shoe! I love it.

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  3. Viveca Tallgren

    July 07th, 2014 at 1:39 am

    Where can I buy the Vibram Five Fingers Performa Jane shoes?

    Reply

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