I was not sponsored or gifted to write this review and dropped some serious dough ($$$) on these shoes. There’s a huge buzz about them on the web and they aren’t cheap, so I thought I’d write a review with my personal experience to help people make their own informed decisions and have an idea of what to expect.
I first found out about Tieks after doing a Google search on what was the best brand of flats to buy. Women raved like crazy about them, but I wasn’t quite convinced mainly due to their most basic styles starting at $175. If you’re used to buying things for cheap or only buying things on sale, you’re probably thinking, “I could buy multiple shoes for that price!” I definitely felt that way.
I decided to take the plunge and splurge, mainly because I thought about all of the flats I’ve purchased and every single one either gave me extreme foot woes or had some kind of drawback at the end of a long day. Plus, Tieks has a great return policy if you don’t wear the shoes outside of the house.
Note: My camera made the colors look kind of green but they’re really more of a blue/teal color.
It was nowhere near any type of holiday or special occasion, but once I opened up my package, it sure felt like it! So cute, I love the tiny box and the cute flower on top.
The personalized, handwritten card is also super cute.
I love that it comes with a tote bag to hold your other shoes and a tiny bag to hold your Tieks when you’re on the go and want to switch out shoes. I can imagine this being useful for the commuter who’s on the go, or a gal who can’t stand it for too long in her high heels.
Sizing and comfort: I’m normally a size 5.5 and maybe a 6 (typically the 6 is with sneakers and shoes that have more leeway). I decided to size up and try the size 6. It was a good decision that left a thumb’s width of room at the top of my toes, which gives my toes plenty of comfortable wiggle room. The instant I put them on, they felt pretty great! I could feel a little pressure on my big toe, but other than that, no pain or discomfort at all. I was expecting more tightness, but since I sized up rather than down, I think that contributed to a comfortable fit right out of the box.
After wearing the flats inside of the house for the entire day (with minimal walking), I found three areas where they left my feet a bit swollen and red. These areas didn’t actually hurt and I wouldn’t have guessed where they were if I didn’t look at my feet, so they definitely looked worse than they felt. I have narrow feet, so I would imagine someone with wider feet will have more initial discomfort that I did. I think if they don’t already feel relatively comfortable the instant you put them on, you’re going to have a bad time with breaking them in and it may not be what you hoped for. It’s absolutely necessary to walk around the house in your Tieks for a while just to make sure they don’t cause any problems (you can still return them if they haven’t been worn outside).
The blue soles at the bottom of the shoes are nice and thick, so you don’t have to worry about feeling all of the pebbles underneath your shoe like you do with cheapy, thin flats. These feel very durable, and the non-skid rubber soles saved me from crashing into my kitchen floor when our fridge was leaking water all over and I slipped on it haha.
After wearing them for a few full days of long days in clinic, I found a slight pain in my big toe and the side of my feet near the big toe, where the elastic dug in. If you’re still breaking in your Tieks, I would be wary of wearing these shoes to drive home after a long day of walking (major big toe pain). Some sandals or a change of shoes in the car might be wise. After maybe 4-6 days of wearing my Tieks, I found the big toe pain decreasing and the elastic didn’t dig into my foot like it did initially. It does feel like the comfort will keep getting better and the Italian leather will continue to mold to my feet.
Squeaky Noises: I experienced a silly, squeaky, farty noise from the shoes. Yes, my flats were farting with every step I took. No, I didn’t have too many beans for lunch. Something about the way my feet rubbed against the inner sole was causing a squeaky noise. Definitely comedic and distracting if you were to walk in a quiet room. After a day, the noise decreased, but it didn’t disappear completely until after a few long days of wear. One solution would be no-show socks or a liner if you don’t find any improvement in the squeakiness. I could be wrong, but I think it’s just the new material rubbing against your feet causing that noise. Maybe getting it “dirty” and sweaty with extended wear was what made the squeaky noise go away for me.
Smell: Speaking of sweaty feet, mine definitely sweat in these flats if I’ve been wearing them all day, or if it’s particularly hot. I think that’s inevitable with any type of flats, but after a few weeks of wear, I still didn’t notice any offending smells from my feet or the shoes. Still just smells like leather. Personally, I think having smelly feet is yucky. It’s the worst when girls take off their flats in public to air out their feet and then BAM! You smell something super funky/ripe and the smell is unmistakably someone’s sweaty feet.
Personally, the Tieks had to grow on me first. The toe area is just some soft leather, so there is no rigid structure to that area. It leaves a toe indentation that doesn’t look that flattering, but it’s just something people don’t mind or learn to not care about anymore. For some people it can be a deal breaker. For me, I hated it at first and then I just grew to feel neutral about seeing my toe indentation. I do like the lowcut design though, and these ballet flats can really go with any outfit. Dressed up or dressed down. That’s part of the reason why I was willing to splurge on a pair of flats, since I knew I would be able to wear these with anything.
I chose black because surprisingly, I don’t actually own any black flats, and figured if I was going to splurge on an expensive flat, it might as well be a classic color I wouldn’t mind wearing every day if I wanted to. Tieks’ blue soles and the thin, blue stripe in the back are also interesting. I went from skeptical, to neutral, and then grew to like it. It’s pretty unique and it’s kind of fun spotting someone else who is also a Tieks wearer. It’s a pop of fun color. You would think the blue would clash with different colors, but I think it kind of works well with all of Tiek’s flats, despite the color. It’s also relatively subtle (being just a thin stripe in the back and mostly underneath your feet anyways), so it doesn’t bother me.
Overall…I found it interesting that at least in my experience, there was no discomfort right out of the box, but I did have discomfort for the first week of wearing them. I can safely say they’re the most comfortable pair of flats I’ve owned, where I can go through a 12 hour workday with lots of standing/walking and say that my feet felt fine at the end of the day. I wouldn’t say I have zero discomfort, but I have a good feeling I’ll get there eventually as I keep breaking in these shoes. I certainly would recommend trying Tieks out if you’ve never had any luck with flats like me and you’re willing to let this be an experimental process.
Do you own any Tieks? What is the most comfortable ballet flat you own and why?