I just received three pairs of Vivobarefoot Jing Jings. I ordered them on my continual quest for an appropriate option for when I go to court (for work, not personal pleasure, ha) OR for things like weddings, etc. I can get by with VFF's and such in the office, but not so much in front of a judge
So far the best I have tried was Merrell Wonder Gloves and Konvine's but the Merrell's are bit more casual than I would like when wearing with a suit due to the Mary Jane styling and the Vibram rubber sole (and the sparkly Konvine's are a bit TOO dressy for court though I love them!). Well, I have to say I think I can finally stop looking (and spending money on my quest!) as these fit the bill. I wish they had come out with them much sooner! Would have saved me a lot of time and money on shoes and shipping and returns!
They retail for $75.00 and in addition to the black, brown, and taupe below, they also so far come in a gray, a salmon-pink, and a mustardy-yellow. I am sure more colours await in the future. They are not real leather, but that keeps their price down as well so one can have a few pairs
. The are available directly from VB, but I have also seen them on Amazon, at Planet Shoes, REI, Zappos, etc.
I was surprised by the large box for each pair (meaning an even larger box for all three), knowing they are just little ballet slippers, but the boxes were the drawer style and each pair of shoes came in its own pouch. This would be handy if you were slipping these shoes in a handbag or something if you are wearing winter boots to work (or for those ladies who DO still wear heels, whoever you are, to slip on when your feet get sore and tired!). The size of the box is less handy for shipping back if sizing is incorrect and due to a mixup I actually have ANOTHER 3 identical pairs of shoes coming that I will need to incur shipping charges and such to send back across the border, but I will have to say Vivobarefoot really showed excellent customer service in this regard and I am very happy with how things turned out there despite the hassle.
Here is what it looks like when the box is opened!
For sizing, these are all a Vivo Size 39. I take 39's in their Vienna Boot and their Off Road Hi. I am generally a Women's US Size 8, and in Vibram's I am a 39 in Jaya LR's, Komodosports, and a 38 in Signa's, KSO, etc. The Vibram size guide says the 39 in the Jing Jings is for a women's 8.5 and in my experience their shoes can fit a bit smaller. I would not have wanted to go to a 38 (7.5) in these.
These do fit fairly wide and I have a narrower foot so I get a bit of a gap around the inside side in my midfoot area, but I will not complain about the toe room and because they have a bit of elastic around the top they do not fall off my feet. The toe is rounded very nicely with lots of room in the toe box to wiggle my toes up and down, and to spread them side to side. Toe wiggle room is probably the thing I have the MOST difficult time finding and these are perfect in that respect. They feel a little longer than necessary when sitting, but when standing I have tons of room for my foot to move without pressure on my toe tips (unlike what I get with my Merrells).
There is no removable insole unlike with most of their options, but from what I can tell the insole is an INCREDIBLY thin piece of fabric right over the sole. The soles on these babies are THIN. Ground feel is truly fantastic. There is no cushioning or anything of that nature except maybe 1mm or so in the midsole (this is a guess though based on my own feel) and barely enough to notice unless I actually touch it. Only my Konvine's have these bit for ground feel (and those are not as durable in the long run). My Merrell Wonder Gloves seem like workboots compared to these (the Merrell's are overall more "shoe" though). The interior is also very smooth. No seam rubs. The only place there are "seams" is the back heel cup and the fabric is very soft, kind of like a microfibre, so no rub.
Here is the sole:
The sole and the interior:
The usual roll-up photo:
Like I said, not genuine leather so they do have that "Made in China" smell on first opening, but that went away after a little airing. Since the top is open (and I get some ventilation down the side due to slight gap) I do not find my feet get too hot, but that is obviously a personal thing. The upper is very thin and easy to clean.
I am VERY excited about these shoes. They aren't "exciting" or very "interesting" to look at. Just a very basic ballet slipper, but they look clean, professional, and can work just as well for casual wear as in the office with a pantsuit or with a dress. Unlike some other minimalist options, they don't look like house slippers. They are also a nicer option to those Fast Flats, etc many women wear and that only last a few wears. For only 2x the price, these should last a LOT longer with a lot more wear.
Here are a few more pictures
Brown, Black and Taupe (for some reason the taupe looks like of yellowish here but in reality it is more like the other pictures posted of it in here):
Wearing the Taupe (you can see the gap on my inside foot):
Wearing the Black (again, you can see the gaps):
Anyway, highly recommended for anyone looking for a flat option with great groundfeel, easy wearability and that can be worn to run errands just as easily as in a more professional work environment.