Our story begins on the fateful day that I lost my black Tiek.
That's right. My black Tiek. My precious cinnamon roll of a shoe that I reviewed here several months ago before I decided to get full of myself and start an actual review blog. I was absolutely devastated for a few reasons. First of all, those shoes are dang expensive. Second, why did it have to be my black Tiek? Not that I want to lose any of them, but really?! Why couldn't it be the less practical green ones? And third, those shoes are dang expensive.
I was distraught and in need of a solution. I was bridesmaiding in December and needed black flats because if the bride's not wearing heels (I sold her on Tieks. Holla!) then I am CERTAINLY not wearing heels but my feet suck and I can't go back to wearing $5 Wal-Mart flats but I can't afford more Tieks so what the heck am I going to do?
I heard about Ja-vie because their marketing team is absolutely genius. I had posted my excessive number of Instagram posts about my shoes (sorry not sorry) and every time a Tieks-tagged photo was posted, Ja-vie would show up in my likes. I investigated very briefly before ultimately forgetting them until my moment of desperation. But when the clouds parted and I found their site again, I was intrigued and amazed by what I found.
The story of how Ja-vie started is adorable in and of itself and you can read the whole thing on their site. The summary goes like this- the shoes were created by high-school sweethearts after their first child was born. The delivery caused some issues with Natalie, one of the creators, walking and being in extreme pain. Because of this, she and her husband decided to create a shoe made from socks.
There are a few things about Ja-vie that initially sold me.
- The prints. Oh those prints. If you've been around me or stalked me on social media, you know that I'm a sucker for a good, fun print. I have a collection of dresses with everything from birds to bikes to eyeglasses printed on them and it's become my style staple. Ja-vie sells flats with flipping LOBSTERS on them (among other things). How have I survived in life without a pair of lobster flats?! I don't know, but I don't intend to do so for much longer.
- The insoles. The shoes are made with removable insoles that can be taken out and washed (a plus for those of us with smelly feet), as well as removed if they start to wear out (an excellent alternative to buying a whole new pair of shoes).
- The price. We've established that I'm willing to pay a pretty penny (crying all the way) for shoes that don't make my feet die, but I'd rather not drop $200 every time I need a new pair of shoes if I don't absolutely have to. The average price of a pair of Ja-vie flats comes in at $68, and some of their stuff does go on sale for even less (I spied some shoes for $39 earlier). While still pricey and more than I really like to pay for shoes, the fact of the matter is that I've passed the point in my life where I can go cheap on shoes, and $68 makes me a LOT happier than $175.
- The construction. I read a number of reviews before deciding to try them, and one of the reviewers described the system as "a bra for your foot". Hilarious mental picture aside, this really appealed to me. The goal of the shoe is to support not only the arch, but also the ball of the foot and the heel. Could it be that these shoes were even more supportive and conducive to walking than my beloved Tieks?
So I sent them an email asking them if I could review them and in the meantime, I bought a black pair on Amazon because Prime shipping and even if I didn't love them, black flats for the wedding.
Guys, I love them. I love them so much.
Let's talk about the drawbacks.
The shoes don't break in. They don't change shape because of the jelly shell, so when I put them on, for the first week or so my baby toe rubbed against the side of the shoe. However, the sock interior does move a bit and my feet adjusted so this isn't an issue anymore.
The thing that I liked about my Tieks is that they ended up molding to my foot shape and basically made me feel like I was barefoot most of the time. But Ja-vies are certainly more structured. They're not more or less comfortable; it's just a different feel. So for $100 savings, I can deal with that.
The Ja-vies are better for everyday use, whereas my Tieks will probably be reserved for special occasions. They don't wear out as easily and I've noticed very little damage to them, whereas the leather faded oon the tips of my toes on my Tieks with a lot of wear (like...Disney World level wear).
So here's the question: Do I love them more than my Tieks?
I'm not turned from the Tiek side. I love those shoes, but these are a better daily option and I'll certainly buy more of the Ja-vies for everyday wear. The patterns offered alone give me an incentive to buy. That's the biggest selling point that I can promote here. You're more than likely to find an option that fits your tastes. (Did I mention the lobsters?!)
If you're looking for a comfortable (and cute) shoe and don't mind spending a little, but don't want to invest hundreds of dollars in shoes, this is certainly a good alternative. I and my feet are a fan and I feel like you will be too.