VIVOBAREFOOT has truly outdone themselves with this year’s spring/summer collection. This season’s offerings fill desperately needed niches in the minimalist market. The Jazz is one of those shoes. This is a high quality, comfortable, casual, every day, truly minimalist shoe for women with an esthetically pleasing style.
The Jazz is amazingly comfortable. Finally, there is a feminine, comfortable, casual, lace up minimalist shoe for everyday use for women. The upper is soft enough to wear with or without socks.
Before I put them on, I was initially considered about the stiffness of the piping along the collar of the shoe and along the edge of the tongue, but after wearing them, I realized that it was not a big issue. Upon putting them on, I did notice the stitching along the tongue on the top of my foot but I didn’t notice it after five minutes of wear. I never felt the piping along the top of the collar anywhere around my ankle.
This is a shoe that can be comfortably worn for many hours of walking without any fear of blisters or hot spots.
The Jazz is made for a variety of foot widths because of its convenient lace-up design. There is ample room in the toe box for appropriate metatarsal and toe splay. If you have an exceptionally narrow foot, you may find the collar a little loose but because the shoe features adjustable laces, there is no fear of the shoe falling off.
Sole / Flex
The sole is the VIVOBAREFOOT vulcanized sole which came out last year but is the first time I’ve seen it in a review model. It is made of latex rubber and TPU abrasion resistant material with a 4 mm thickness. It is amazingly flexible! It flexes easily in any direction including folded in half backwards. It is one of the most flexible soles I have ever seen but with the thinnest sole material.
The Jazz weighs 6 ¼ ounces (177 grams) with the insole and 5 ½ ounces (156 grams) with the insole. They feel incredibly light and balanced while wearing and are well within the boundaries of acceptable for a minimalist shoe.
Support / Insole
As with all VIVOBAREFOOT products, there is no arch support of any kind included in the design. There is a removable and washable recycled memory foam insole, which provides approximately 3 mm of added cushioning. Leaving it in slightly reduces ground feel and proprioception but adds a little extra comfort for those of us who are still working on our barefoot walking form. Removing it also gives a little extra room to the shoe for those with extra wide or tall feet.
The new vulcanized sole is amazingly flexible and provides exceptional ground feel. If you remove the insole, there is 4 mm of outsole material between your feet and the ground, which easily contours around even the slightest change in surface texture.
Although the outsole pattern doesn’t provide much grip in itself, the latex rubber gives adequate grip on any smooth man-made or natural surface due to its rubbery texture. I haven’t had any traction issues on any dry or wet surfaces to date.
The Jazz upper is made of eco nylon with a relatively close weave. Although you can feel a cool breeze on your feet through the material, sweat does not easily evaporate or escape this shoe. So although my feet have never felt hot while wearing them, they can feel wet if walking for a long time in warm weather.
Quality of Materials / Manufacturing
Like all the VIVOBAREFOOT products I’ve reviewed and seen, the quality of the materials is excellent and the manufacturing is impeccable. The materials are also eco-friendly as they are made out of as much recycled materials as possible with a minimum of toxins. There are no flaws in the review pair nor any of the other numerous pairs I’ve seen while recently visiting New York City.
The upper is made of an eco nylon with a relatively close weave. If it’s pouring rain outside or you step in a deep puddle, your feet are going to get wet. Light rain rolls right off, however.
The Jazz fits true to size in length and anywhere from a narrow to wide foot in width due to its adjustable laces. If you are familiar with VIVOBAREFOOT products, it fits similarly in length to the Kali and a size down from the Evo line.
At an online price of $100 USD, this may seem expensive for a minimalist casual shoe but the durability, quality, and styling make it an excellent value. This is a shoe with extreme casual versatility and will last a long time.
I love the simple design of the Jazz. It is the epitome of casual design and works with anything from slacks, skirts, or shorts. In addition to black, they also come in white, beige, and pink.
There is a warning on the VIVOBAREFOOT website regarding their break-in period:
Note: Great for narrow feet. Adjustable lacing. Trim of top part of shoe needs breaking in to prevent any blister issues. Please wear socks first to prevent any issues.
I admit that I was initially concerned with the trim on the top part of the shoe as it is somewhat stiffer than the nylon material of the upper. I did not, however, experience any blister issues wearing them without socks. I found that the trim of the black pair is a little stiffer than that of the white, beige, and pink colorways because it is made out of a slightly different material. In short, despite the black trim being the stiffest, I still did not experience any break-in period regarding the trim or any other part of the shoe.
I would not recommend putting these shoes through the washing machine but dirt can easily be wiped off with a damp cloth. If they were really dirty, you could wash them in the sink with the soft brush. The insole is removable and machine-washable.
You can definitely feel a cool breeze through the upper material, so if it’s cold outside, I would recommend wearing socks, which are easily accommodated with the fit of this shoe.
The Jazz is a comfortable, all-purpose, casual shoe. They’re great for long urban walks or just sitting around. The hard part will be picking which shoe color goes with the most outfits (or you can get more than one).
VIVOBAREFOOT has perfectly filled the previously empty niche of a comfortable, casual, all-purpose, stylish, lace-up, minimalist feminine shoe in the release of the Jazz. In terms of my criteria of the perfect minimalist shoe: it scores high marks for superior proprioception, appropriate shifts in the body’s centre of gravity with a zero drop and uniform sole thickness along its length and wide, as well as more than enough room and flexibility to accommodate natural movement of the foot. The only room for improvement would be in its heat dissipation: it does hold in foot sweat somewhat. Despite the one flaw, I love the Jazz and look forward to plenty of spring and summer wear this year. It is great that VIVOBAREFOOT listens to the needs of their customers, recognizes a gap in the market, and beautifully fills that gap with a superior product.
For more information, take a look at the VIVOBAREFOOT website. Make sure you sign up to receive the latest email updates from VIVOBAREFOOT to take advantage of end-of-season promotions and new product announcements.
As you read our reviews, please keep in mind that our reviewers review shoes in terms of their suitability for those looking to find the highest quality minimalist shoe products. All reviews are as factual as possible. In an effort to be transparent and ethical, we will point out any defects found, even if these do not affect the usability of the product. Not all defects will be present in final production shoes as we are sometimes offered “seconds” or pre-release products in an effort to provide you with reviews in a timely manor. In the event that serious issues are found with a review sample we will give every opportunity for the manufacturer to replace to explain the review samples before the final review is released. We never accept payments for reviews. We do not guarantee a good review for any products sent to us. We do not review products that do not claim to be minimalist or “barefoot like” unless we receive a significant number of requests from readers or listeners.
Should you have any questions about our review process or would like your product reviewed on our site, please do not hesitate to contact us using our contact page.
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