Vibram Five Fingers Performa [Barefoot] Toe Shoes

he Vibram Five Fingers Performa for women (See the Moc for the men's version) further blurs the line between shoes and socks (Jump to posts on the Performa below!). The Performa lacks a single-form sole and instead utilizes the leather sheath of the shoe and seven strategically located "pods" of Vibram rubber (One at heel and forefoot and one for each toe).

Like a driving glove for your foot, the Performa, is sold for indoor-use only. The Performa features an open-topped design and is secured to the foot via a bungee cord that runs the circumference of the opening and can be cinched behind the heel. Given it's limited indoor-only use, the Performa is slated to be used for fitness (like Pilates or Yoga), casual wear, or possibly even for the work environment.

Like all Vibram Five Fingers models, the Performa has five separated toe compartments that allow the foot to splay on contact with the ground. The Five Fingers Performa has no arch support and no cushioning or padding — indeed it is little more than a leather glove for your foot with thin rubber "pods" at the major contact points of the foot.

The standout features of the Performa include:

  • It's all kangaroo-leather and just a tiny bit of Vibram rubber. It lacks no real "sole" and could arguably be considered more like a high-end toe sock than a shoe.
  • It's extreme minimalist construction lends it the most ground feel of all Vibram Five Fingers models; unfortunately, this extra feel makes the Performa less functional — Vibram advises buyers that is is for "indoor use only."

Sizing and fit

If you've never sized your foot for Vibram Five Fingers, you need to consult the Vibram Five Fingers sizing chart (image) and measure the length of your feet as presecribed. Vibram sizing does not correspond to standard shoe sizes!

If you've sized in Vibrams before, note that the Performas size slightly smaller than the same size in the KSO (and other closed-top models). So a 37 Performa will fit smaller than a 37 KSO. For this reason, Vibram prescribes you size up in the Performa compared to the KSO.

Generally, it is better to size up if you're in between sizes — you don't want your toes bending out of lack of room! Also, the Performa's open top design makes it easier to fit "high feet" (as compared to closed-top Vibrams like the KSOs, Flows, Treks, or Bikilas).

Read (and see!) more about the Five Fingers Performa via these reviews:

Okay, I want some Performas. How much are they? Where can I get them?

The Performa retails for around $110 and can almsot always be purchased with free shipping from online retailers. Find the Vibram Five Fingers Performa in stock via the Store or subscribe by email to inventory alerts.

Looking for something else? Try one of these other Vibram Five Fingers models:



Of course, there are other barefoot shoes worth checking out!

More Vibram Five Fingers Performa posts below —

Tags: performa