“One question I’ve had strangers ask me on more than one occasion is, “Hey, are those Tieks? Are they worth it?”
It was way back in 2016 when I first started looking into Tieks. We were planning an epic two week Europe vacation to see the German countryside with our family and then jump on a Mediterranean cruise with our friends. It was sort of a big “last hurrah” before Jesse and I started thinking about trying to have kids. I needed some comfortable, versatile shoes to travel with and I stumbled across Tieks.
With their signature turquoise soles and small stripe up the back of the heel, these otherwise simple, understated leather ballet flats are fairly basic in appearance. So when I first saw that the price tag on a pair starts at $175, I nearly choked on my coffee.
But something about these flats intrigued me, so I read a bunch of reviews and tried to weigh the potential pros and cons, and dreamt about these stupid shoes for a couple of months before finally pulling the trigger on the checkout button.
I’ll be honest, I’ve never been real big into shoes. I keep it pretty basic and almost always go for comfort over fashion. I also try to live a fairly frugal lifestyle, as budgeting and paying off debt have been two of our biggest priorities over the past 10 years. We have made room in our budget for some splurges and fun (like the above-mentioned Euro-trip), but those things were all carefully planned and saved for so that we were not taking away from our primary financial goals.
My personal spending budget throughout this debt pay-down journey has been pretty limited. So spending nearly $200 on a pair of shoes was a BIG DEAL. Telling myself that “you get what you pay for”, I decided to give these pricey flats a shot.
After several years of wearing them, here is my honest Tieks review.
-The one downside to Tieks (ok, second to the dent that they put in your wallet) is that the sizing is tricky. You’ll notice that Tieks don’t come in half sizes. I originally ordered a size 6. I’m usually between a 5 and a 7, depending on the shoe. Trying the Tieks on for the first time, I felt like they were just a little too big because they were not tight on my toes.
A lot of the reviews I had read said that they will stretch out a bit, so I wondered if I needed to go on the smaller end and wear them in. Feeling like they weren’t quite the right size caused me a lot of stress because I would normally size down to a 5 1/2, which wasn’t an option. I certainly didn’t want to dump $175 down the drain on flats that weren’t going to fit right. I reached out to someone for advice, which brings me to my next point.
-Tieks come with great customer service and nice touches. They’re packaged in a nice box with a cute little flower and a handwritten note. Because I was unsure of size, I submitted a request to their customer service to ask for a size 5 to compare, before deciding which size was best. They were happy to oblige, and sent me the smaller pair with a prepaid return label.
One important thing to note is that they will take back “unworn Tieks in original condition”. What this means is that they don’t mind if you try them on and wear them around in the comfort of your home, but definitely do not take them for a spin outside if you’re considering a return or exchange.
Unfortunately, with both sizes to compare I was even more unsure – so I emailed customer service again, to let them know I was agonizing over trying to make the right decision on size. I got a friendly response with some helpful advice about how Tieks will stretch, but not in length. Because the smaller size felt tight on my toes, I kept the size 6 and never looked back.
-Tieks are insanely comfortable. I can wear my Tieks all day at work or walking around town, and they have honestly never hurt or rubbed my feet. My sister once tried them on out of curiosity, and (even though her feet are bigger than mine), her reaction was “oh my god”.
The biggest reminder for me of how comfortable Tieks really are, was to wear an old pair of ballet flats that I had kept from JCrew but hadn’t worn in a very long time. They were a synthetic patent leather with an elastic top. Within about 20 minutes of wearing these, they were digging into my heels so bad that I wasn’t sure why I would ever wear them again.
-Tieks are small and great for travel. I took my Tieks on our 2 week Europe trip in 2015. We had packed backpacks with pretty limited space. Tieks are great for wearing through airports because you can slip them off easily to go through security. They’re comfortable enough that I wore them through a full-day, roughly 10 mile walking tour of Barcelona with no problems. And of course, you can even fold them up (really small!) and tuck them away in your bag when you’re not wearing them.
-Tieks are high quality. Tieks are simple, yes, but extremely well made. The full-grain Italian leather is so soft and wears well. The rubber soles are sturdy, and don’t slip. They have a split sole design which is comfortable, flexible, and somehow supportive enough that you can walk in them all day. The stitching and any adhesives are solid and these shoes DO NOT fall apart. Which brings me to my next point.
-Tieks will last you a very long time. I have been wearing my Tieks for nearly FIVE YEARS, people. And they are still in good condition. The biggest wear spot is right on top of my big toes, where the leather coloring has worn off a bit. Maybe this would bother some people, but for me it’s not enough to retire them yet. They’re that good. If you calculated the cost as a “daily wear” fee, it would be pennies at this point.
-Tieks come in awesome colors. They currently have OVER 70 colors to choose from. This breaks down into Classic leathers, Patents, Prints, and their Vegan line (made from European textiles for those that prefer to go without animal products). Once in awhile, Tieks will come out with seasonal/limited time featured colors, like their new Peach Poppy. I’ve been thinking for awhile about getting a second pair, but there are so many beautiful options that I haven’t made up my mind!
So to sum up, yes Tieks are definitely an investment, but one that is absolutely worth making! I will also mention that this post was not sponsored in any way, so this is all my honest opinion!
I’m all about paying for a few high quality items that I know I won’t be tossing during my next closet purge. Tieks are classic, chic, and can be dressed up or down. They’re so comfortable that you might find yourself living in them. They’re versatile, compact, and great for travel. They are made extremely well and will last you forever. They have so many options that there is something for everyone’s style. I have not really found a downside to my Tieks in the five years I’ve been wearing from them. So take it from me, Tieks are worth every penny!