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Tieks by Gavrieli are not your average ballet flats. They are Oprah’s favourite ballet flats and have developed a cult following amongst thousands of women (and some men).
I’m not usually into designer shoes, but Tieks are special. I only own a few pairs of shoes, so it’s important that the ones I do have are comfortable, versatile, and durable.
I used to travel with cheap, flimsy flats that hurt my feet and fell apart quickly in the rugged conditions I wore them in.
Eight years ago I tried my first pair of Tieks shoes and they were a revelation. Not only did they look beautiful, but the cushioned rubber soles were supportive enough for a day’s sightseeing on cobbled streets in Rome or Paris.
They’re not perfect—no shoes are—so in this Tieks review I’ll be writing honestly about their pros and cons and ultimately whether they are worth the high price.
- Video: Tieks vs Rothy’s
- My Tieks
- Tieks Sizing
- Tieks Pros
- Tieks Cons
- Vegan Tieks vs Leather Tieks
- Tieks Common Questions
- Are Tieks Worth it?
- Where to Buy Tieks
- Other Shoe Reviews
Video: Tieks vs Rothy’s
Before I dive into the review here’s a quick overview of the four pairs of Tieks ballet flats I’ve owned in the last eight years.
I received my first pair of Tieks shoes in 2013—the matte leather Lilac Classics. They were sent to me free of charge by Tieks in exchange for writing about them.
I absolutely loved the bright purple colour, and they were the first pair of shoes I’d owned in years that received many compliments.
Brentwood Vegan Tieks
A year later I contacted Tieks—through their customer service team, not via my PR contact—about whether there was anything I could do about the scuffing on the toe of my Lilac Tieks. They offered to send me another pair free of charge—very impressive customer service! (Note: I don’t think Tieks replace shoes after they have been worn anymore).
This time I chose the beige Brentwood Vegan Tieks which are made from fabric rather than leather. They didn’t look quite as good as my purple ones, but they were lighter and cooler in hot weather and the neutral colour went with everything.
I travelled with my Brentwoods for two years and although the soles and uppers were still in good condition with no holes, the fabric was looking rather dirty and was difficult to clean.
They also didn’t feel quite as comfortable as they used to and I wondered if the soles had lost some of their springiness.
Silver Lake Vegan Tieks
It was time for a new pair and there was no way I was going back to regular ballet flats. This time I not only paid for them myself but forked out for the shipping and customs costs to get them sent to the UK.
It was worth it and my Silver Lake Vegan Tieks are my favourite pair so far—I love how they shimmer in the sun. I think they look more attractive than the Brentwoods but are neutral enough to go with everything.
My second pair of Silver Lake Tieks
I wore my Silver Lake Tieks solidly for 2.5 years before I replaced them with the same pair in December 2018 (again paying for them myself).
My old Tieks flats were still comfortable and the soles and uppers intact, but they had some cosmetic issues (see cons below). I loved getting the shimmer back with my new shoes and they were comfortable straight out of the box.
Over two years later and my latest Silver Lake Tieks still look great. I have worn them less than my previous pair, though, due to being in colder climates and wearing Allbirds Wool Runners and (more recently) Allbirds flats instead.
Tieks flats are available in women’s US size 5 – 13.
Tieks only come in whole sizes and are supposed to run true to size. I recommend going up a size if you are usually a half size.
I am a UK size 6, which is usually a US 8. My first pair of Tieks were a size 8, but they were a little tight and I’m more comfortable in a US 9.
If you have wide feet, Tieks recommends you go up a size.
Tieks has a great exchange policy (see below) so you can try a variety of sizes for free until you find the perfect fit (just don’t wear them outside).
OK, this is a trivial thing, but I have to give a shout out to the gorgeous packaging Tieks shoes arrive in along with a personalised note. It makes it feel like Christmas.
The shoes come with a pouch to store them in and a nylon tote bag designed to carry your heels in after swapping into your Tieks at the end of the night. I use the tote bag to store my running shoes in my backpack.
Quick to Break In
Tieks are the only flats that fit me right away with no blisters or cuts (until I tried Allbirds Tree Breezers that is).
In the past I had to endure a painful week-long breaking in period where the cheap flats rubbed my feet so much that they bled and I used dozens of plasters until they softened up.
Tieks have never made my feet bleed or blister. That said, each pair has been different to break in.
My first pair of leather Tieks was a bit tight for the first few days as the leather is designed to stretch and mould to fit your feet. So, if your Tieks feel a little tight at first, don’t panic, they will stretch out.
I decided to go up a size for my second pair as vegan Tieks don’t have the same stretching effect. My Brentwood Tieks fit perfectly right away with no issues at all.
Strangely, my Silver Lake Vegan Tieks took a little longer to wear in, even though they are the same design. The back of one shoe felt stiff and rubbed at first but after two days of walking around London, I had no more problems.
Even more strangely, I didn’t have the same issues with my second pair of Silver Lake Vegan Tieks and had no break-in period.
It really does depend on your feet and some people require a longer breaking in period. I recommend wearing them around the house at first (perhaps wearing socks to stretch them a little) so that you can swap sizes or styles if they aren’t working for you.
Each style has a different fit. I’ve heard that the patent and faux snakeskin designs are harder to break in than the softer classic leather or vegan Tieks.
If your Tieks feel uncomfortable right away it’s best to swap them for a larger size or different style—they shouldn’t be painful.
Recommended Reading: Recently I discovered Allbirds Tree Breezers which are just as comfortable as Tieks but more affordable and machine washable. They aren’t as stylish as Tieks but are well worth considering. See my Allbirds flats review for details.
The most important question for me – are Tieks comfortable?
Tieks are one of the most comfortable flats I’ve ever owned. The cushioned non-skid rubber soles (in their signature turquoise) are thicker than most ballet flat soles and feel bouncy.
The backs are cushioned rather than elasticised so they don’t feel too tight at the heel.
I can wear them all day long whether it’s a 10-mile walk on the cobbled streets of Rome or twelve hours at Disney (I’ve worn them at Disney in Florida, California, and Tokyo!). They are the shoes I wear most when I’m sightseeing in cities.
I tested Tieks at Tokyo Disneyland against another pair of popular flats, Rothy’s, and the Tieks won hands down. You can read more in my Rothy’s vs Tieks comparison.
They are still ballet flats, so I don’t wear them on real hikes and they aren’t quite as comfortable as my Teva Verra hiking sandals.
Everyone’s feet are different and if you need a lot of arch support they might not be the best option for you. I have heard that some people with feet issues like plantar fasciitis have found that Tieks are the only flats they can wear.
If you are looking for more of a sneaker that is good for short hikes, I love my Allbirds Wool Runners.
They are soft and cosy, can be worn without socks, and are lightweight enough to pack easily. It’s what I wear when it’s too cold for my Tieks. See my Allbirds review for more details.
I travel full-time with only carry-on luggage so portability is essential to me and is one of the reasons I love Tieks so much.
Tieks flats fold in half and are compressed into a compact pouch so they don’t take up much space in my bag. They aren’t heavy either—my vegan pair weighs 300g (10.5oz).
Attractive and Versatile
My Tieks are ideal when I want a smart pair of shoes. They are what I wear for evenings out, sightseeing in stylish cities, on winery visits, and when the weather turns too cool for sandals.
When you’re travelling, multi-purpose items are essential for packing light. Tieks can be dressed up or down and look just as great with jeans or a dress.
I even took them to a wedding to change into for the evening’s dancing (after borrowing my mum’s heels for the day).
The only time I don’t wear my Tieks is on the rare occasions we go somewhere with a temperature of below 10ºC (50ºF). Tieks, especially the vegan ones, are also not ideal for rainy weather.
I do often end up wearing them in the rain, though, and besides getting a bit dirty, they’ve been fine. They even survived walking through deep flooding in southern Italy when the cobbled streets couldn’t handle a sudden heavy downpour.
It’s also convenient to travel with a pair of slip-on shoes in places like Japan where you have to take your shoes on and off a lot at temples and restaurants.
I like wearing them on planes too, as they are easy to slip off when going through airport security.
My Tieks foldable flats have lasted very well despite being folded up constantly, stuffed in my bag, taken to dozens of countries, and worn in all kinds of situations.
I am tough on them and wear them in conditions they aren’t really designed for—on dirt and rocky paths and out in the rain.
The uppers and soles are remarkably durable and I’ve never had any holes in the structure, even after over two and a half years of constant wear.
This is important to me as I’m often in remote places where it’s not possible to find replacement shoes. In Mexico I once got holes in the soles of my cheap flats and had to tape them up with gaffa tape! I don’t have to worry about that with Tieks.
I wouldn’t go so far to say that my Tieks never smell but given that I wear them without socks in hot, sweaty weather, they are remarkably odour free.
They definitely don’t retain odour in the same way that my previous flats did. While they might smell a little at the end of a long day, the next day they’ll be fine.
Range of Designs
Oh my, Tieks come in a gorgeous range of over 75 colours and designs. Whether you want simple black or glamorous gold, there’s something for everyone—choose your favourite here.
Most Tieks are leather but they do have five styles in the vegan range. While I love my Silver Lakes, I do kind of wish I didn’t feel the need to avoid leather (as a vegetarian) as there are some seriously stunning leather designs like the shimmering iridescent Lovestruck and Moonstruck Tieks.
There’s even a Game of Thrones inspired pair called the Drago which are black with foiled scales in silver with hints of glacial blue. So unique!
Some more vegan styles would be welcome. The limited range of leather-free styles is one of the reasons I bought a pair of Rothy’s in their Point style. I wanted something to wear to a wedding and my vegan Tieks felt too casual. See my Tieks vs Rothy’s review for a detailed comparison.
They even make Tieks for young girls now.
Free Shipping and Exchange in the US
Shipping is free within the US. Unworn shoes can be exchanged or returned for free at any time and they cover shipping both ways.
Tieks uses USPS Priority Mail for their free shipping and shoes arrive in about 2–4 days. I even received them in two days when I shipped them to the UK (which isn’t free).
If you are unsure about the fit, you can request a different size and Tieks lets you keep both pairs while you decide which fits best, without charging you for the second pair.
Shop for Tieks ballet flats here.
The biggest downside is that Tieks are expensive. The vegan and classic leather Tieks cost $185, patents cost $195, and many of the metallic and snake print designs cost from $200 to $300. Yep, the price tag is painful.
If you are looking for more affordable but still comfortable flats, I recommend the Allbirds Tree Breezers which cost $100. They are made from knitted fabric and have a more casual look, though.
I loved my purple leather Tieks, but the toes and heel scuffed quite quickly and got worse over time.
This is probably the way that I walk (I really don’t treat them carefully), but it was disappointing for such an expensive pair of shoes. The patent Tieks are apparently less likely to scuff.
I have since discovered that it’s possible to touch up the scuffing using a coloured Tarrago shoe cream—here’s a list of polish matches for Tieks colours.
Cleaning Vegan Tieks
Scuffing isn’t a problem with the textile vegan Tieks, although there is a little unnoticeable wearing at the very tip of the toe and heel.
The main problem I’ve had is with discolouration as both my fabric Tieks have been light colours and they aren’t as easy to clean as leather. I try with soapy water and a sponge, but after a year or so of wear, they don’t look their best.
The Greystone vegan Tieks probably wouldn’t have this problem, but the dark colour and wool-like look aren’t ideal for summer wear.
Update: Insole peeling was an issue with earlier pairs of vegan Tieks, but my latest pair hasn’t had the same problem even after two years.
My biggest disappointment with my third pair of Tieks was after a month of use the surface of the insole started peeling off.
This was probably because I was walking a lot in Europe during a heatwave and my bare feet were sweating and sticking to the insole, but again, it’s still disappointing with an expensive pair of shoes.
After over two years of wear, there were quite large patches where the insole had worn away. This didn’t affect the comfort, but they did look a bit of a mess when I took them off.
I could have tried these insoles that were recommended by other Tieks users (they are leather though), but I ended up buying a new pair.
The insole problem primarily affects vegan Tieks as the insoles aren’t made from leather.
The insoles in my latest pair of vegan Tieks are different and it seems the issue has been resolved. After two years they look much better than my previous pair with just a tiny patch of wear in the heel.
Expensive Shipping Outside US
If you don’t live in the US, international shipping is expensive and you’ll also have to pay customs tax.
When I ordered a pair of Tieks to the UK they were sent by FedEx International Priority which cost $31.72 and came very quickly—I ordered on Friday and they arrived on Monday. A few weeks later I was sent an invoice for the customs fee which was an extra £24 (£12.44 VAT and £12 FedEx fee).
It’s also risky ordering them outside the US if you aren’t sure of your size as you’ll have to pay for the return shipping to send them back.
Vegan Tieks vs Leather Tieks
- A huge variety of colours and styles
- Dressier look
- The Italian leather is designed to mould to your feet for the perfect fit
- Kept my feet drier in rain
- Felt warmer in hot weather
- Easier to clean
- Prone to scuffing
- Cruelty free
- Made from fabric
- Five styles available
- More casual look
- Slightly looser fit
- My feet get soaked quickly in the rain
- Cooler and more breathable in hot weather
- Insoles prone to peeling (although it’s less of an issue in the latest versions)
See the vegan Tieks range here.
Tieks Common Questions
Do Tieks run true to size?
Although Tieks say they run true to size, in my experience it’s worth going up a size for more comfort. This is especially important if you have wide feet or are usually a half size.
Do Tieks stretch?
Yes, leather Tieks are designed to stretch. This is a good thing because they mould to your feet and become more comfortable over time.
It means they can take a while to break-in for some wearers. To speed the process up some people wear them with thick socks around the house first. Another idea is to leave a golf ball in the big toe area for a few days to stretch it out.
Vegan Tieks don’t stretch in the same way.
Do Tieks have arch support?
Like most flats, Tieks don’t have built-in arch support. That said, they definitely offer more support than the average ballet flat and are designed with a unique shape and padding for comfort.
Apparently, they can accommodate orthotics but you may need to go up a size.
Are Tieks slip resistant?
The rubber soles are designed to be non-skid with a slightly textured surface. They definitely are more slip resistant than flats with shiny soles and I’ve never had an issue with slipping.
Of course, they aren’t hiking shoes so aren’t designed for steep trails or anything like that.
Do you wear socks with Tieks?
I don’t wear socks with Tieks and find them very comfortable.
There’s no reason you can’t wear socks with them, though, and I have done this on the occasional cold day. Thin socks work best unless you’ve allowed for extra room when choosing your size.
If you want the sock-free look but want to reduce odour, try a low cut no-show liner sock.
Are Tieks washable?
Tieks are not machine washable. I wash mine when needed with a cloth or sponge and slightly soapy water.
Classic and patent leather Tieks are easier to clean than the lighter fabric vegan Tieks.
You need to be careful when cleaning the snake, metallic, sparkle, and other special prints. It’s best to spot clean only with a soft damp cloth.
Do Tieks get smelly?
Tieks can get smelly but not as much as previous flats I’ve owned. I find that even if they smell a little after a long hot day, the odour will dissipate by the next day.
How do you get the smell out of Tieks?
I find any odour in my Tieks disappears overnight. If you do have an issue with smelly flats, I’ve heard that putting a few unused tea bags into the shoes and leaving them for a few days with eliminate foot smell.
How do I clean the bottom of my Tieks?
I clean the soles of my Tieks with a sponge or cloth and soapy water. Wet wipes also work.
Do Tieks scuff easily?
The classic leather Tieks can scuff. My vegan Tieks don’t scuff and I’ve heard the patent leather Tieks are less likely to scuff too.
You can use a shoe cream to touch up any scuffs (see the Scuffing section above).
How do you polish Tieks?
Tarrago shoe cream is the best way to keep your classic leather Tieks looking fresh. They have so many colours it’s easy to find one that matches your shoe colour and it can be used to touch up any scuffs.
How long do Tieks last?
In my experience Tieks shoes last from two to three years which is when I usually replace them.
Although they can still be worn at this stage (I’ve never had any holes), my vegan Tieks end up looking rather grubby and the insoles begin to peel.
I wear my Tieks frequently, so if you only wear yours occasionally, they could last longer.
Do Tieks squeak?
I’ve never had an issue with Tieks squeaking, but some people do. A reader suggests, “Rubbing a dryer sheet on the insoles will help with the infamous “Tieksqueak”.”
Do Tieks create toe bumps?
Some Tieks wearers are bothered by the toe bump—the fact you can see the outline of the big toe through the shoe. This isn’t something that I have noticed or care about personally.
If you do want to avoid the toe bump, a reader suggested adding moleskin inside the shoe. This is a soft cotton fabric with an adhesive pad that is often used on skin to prevent blisters.
You can cut a half-circle of moleskin that fits inside the toe box and stick it inside the shoe. This will stop the toes from showing through and also prevent extra wear in this area and prolong the life of the shoes.
Are Tieks available in stores?
No, Tieks are not available in stores. They are sold online only at Tieks.com.
Does Tieks ever have a sale?
No, Tieks do not run sales, unfortunately.
What shoes are comparable to Tieks?
If you are looking for the most comfortable ballet flats that are also stylish and well-made, you might also consider:
These vegan flats made from recycled plastic bottles come in pointed and rounded styles in a huge range of constantly changing colours.
They are machine washable but aren’t foldable. They are cheaper than Tieks at $129 for round toe flats and $149 for the pointed toe version.
Although I love the look of my pointed toe Rothy’s, they are not as comfortable as my Tieks.
See my detailed Rothy’s vs Tieks comparison or check out the range on the Rothy’s website.
Allbirds Tree Breezers
My new favourite flats are the Allbirds Tree Breezers, which are made of knitted fabric from eucalyptus trees.
I am a big fan of their Allbirds Wool Runners (a cosy casual sneaker) and was impressed by how comfy they also made their flats.
They are much cheaper than Tieks at $100, even more comfortable, and machine washable.
They are vegetarian but not vegan (as they have merino wool insoles). Although they are not foldable, they are the lightest of all my shoes.
The main downsides are that they don’t come in as many colours as Tieks or Rothy’s and the style is more casual.
A big bonus is that you can try Allbirds for 30 days (even outside) and return them for free if they don’t work out. They are available in many more countries than Tieks with free shipping and returns.
See my Allbirds Tree Breezers review for more details including a comparison with Tieks.
Are Tieks Worth it?
Tieks ballet flats are the most expensive shoes I’ve ever bought, but for me, they are definitely worth it.
When you spend hours on your feet out exploring it’s vital to have a quality pair of shoes. Tieks are the ideal travel ballet flats—they are comfortable, portable, durable, versatile, and stylish.
Ultimately, I choose quality over quantity—I’d rather pay more for a few pairs of shoes that work perfectly for me.
Are Tieks worth it for you? If you can afford it, I recommend giving them a try.
They don’t work for everyone but take advantage of the excellent returns policy and try a few styles and sizes around the house. If you find the perfect fit, treat yourself—your feet will thank you.
Where to Buy Tieks
Tieks by Gavrieli are only available to buy online on Tieks.com. They can’t be bought in any physical stores or on other online retailers like Amazon.
Are you a Tieks fan or have you found another perfect travel ballet flat? Leave a comment below and let us know.
Other Shoe Reviews
- Tieks vs Rothy’s – The battle of the most comfortable ballet flats.
- Allbirds Tree Breezers – An affordable alternative to Tieks. These ballet flats are even more comfortable and machine washable.
- Allbirds Wool Runners – These cosy, eco-friendly sneakers are my favourite when the weather turns colder. The perfect shoes if you don’t like wearing shoes (they feel like slippers).
- Allbirds Tree Dashers – The running shoe version of the Allbirds.
- Allbirds Mizzles – Water-resistant Allbirds sneakers.
- Our Carry-On Packing List – See the other shoes and clothes I travel with.
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I had heard about Tieks and purchased my first pair which were shipped March 10, 2023. Unfortunately, by March 31, the tip of my shoe tore off at the stitching. I am currently fighting with customer service as I want a replacement as I feel my shoes were defective and the only response I keep getting is that they can’t replace “worn” shoes but they are not addressing “defective” shoes. They say they will repair them but I as it is so early on, I want them replaced as it wasn’t a month that I have had them. So at this point those will be my first and last pair.
Great post! After reading lots of hype about Tieks, I finally bought a pair of black patents – and they weren’t just uncomfortable, they seriously hurt my feet! Disappointed, I reached out to customer service to return them, but ended up taking their suggestion of trying the next size up instead. When the new pair arrived and I slipped them on my feet, the heavens opened and the angels started singing :) Two years and 10 more pairs later, they are now the only shoes I wear. (All my other shoes are packed up in a box in the back of my closet). Tieks are far and away the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn, I don’t wear socks and have no issue with smell, and with the exception of the insoles being a bit discolored, they all still look great. I also find them to be super stylish and versatile compared to Rothy’sand other brands I’ve tried. My first pair were black obsidian (patent), and I subsequently bought 3 more pairs of patents (tortoiseshell. razzleberry, and aquarella), 2 vegan pairs (greystone and sunset stripe), 1 suede pair (rouge), and 3 matte pairs (navy, rose, and burgundy). I definitely wear the black patent pair the most, but love love love them all.
I’m glad they worked out for you in the end! Sizing up really is key!
I’ve owned 5 pairs of Tieks over the past 8 years. I love them so much! I was sent a pair straight from the factory that was extremely tight across the toes. I emailed Tieks and had them changed out and never had a problem with the new ones. They were patents and although the leather will stretch, the threading around the opening of the shoe will not. My pinky toe somehow cuts right through the leather if I don’t keep mole skin in the toe box. The only other issue I had is after 2-3 years the threading that holds the soles on came undone but I had tons of wear out of them as I normally wore them 4-5 days a week. I have high arches and never had to use any type of arch support.
I’m glad Tieks have worked out for you, Tamara! Good tip about the moleskin – it does seem some people have that issue.
So helpful in my shopping process! I bought a pair in classic red for my sister’s graduation and received so many compliments! Thank you for the thorough review
I love these flats! I had always worn heels until a medical condition made it necessary for me to wear flats. I love the lower cut toe cap.. very stylish. They were comfortable right out of the box .. love the box by the way. I have 2 pairs..so far. Casual or dressy affair they add to any outfit. I have received many compliments. Just last night my mother asked me to order her some to try.. she ended up ordering 3 pairs! Thanks so much.
I have three pair of Tieks. I bought my first pair, black matte leather, for a family vacation in Europe in 2016. I bought size 9 though my usual size is 9.5. Hands down, most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn. I wore them every day for 2 weeks in London & Paris. I was so impressed that when we got home I immediately bought classic red and California navy. Now they’re a bit scuffed but I love them & wear them constantly. (Since I live in Southern California, weather isn’t an issue.)
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND Tieks ballet flats.
Glad they’ve worked so well for you, Laura!
After reading your review I bought Tieks for my vacation in Paris. They were so pretty, However, my feet were a swollen mess after walking all day in them. I am not sure if they are best for touring shoes. I was able to navigate through language barriers for a pair of Converse to complete my trip. I continued to wear my Tieks for normal wear on my return and ended up with my toe popping a hole in the top.
I’m sorry you had such a bad experience, Melissa. It sounds like you might have a size too small.
I recently bought some because of the cute packaging and teal tote bag. They were not comfortable for my short toes. I think they are designed for narrow long toes. The left shoe cut in painfully on my heel and sides of my pinky and big toes. I currently have them stuffed with golf balls and socks to try to stretch them out. I wear 5.5 in heels and 6 or 6.5 in athletic shoes and I bought a size 6 that felt tight. Toe outline through the leather upper was very visible and shoes made a farting noise when I walked on them. My review is not worth the expensive price because the comfort is not awesome if you have short toes.
Sorry they aren’t working out for you, Anastasia. If they feel tight it sounds like you need to go up a size.
My matron of honor brought me a pair for my wedding to wear at my reception since she had heard such amazing things about them. She got me a blue pair for my something blue. They were the single most uncomfortable shoes I have ever worn in my life. Not only were they extremely tight with a small toe box (if you have wider feet definitely not for you), BUT they turned my feet BLUE!!!! The dye came off the shoes on to my feet on the inside of the shoe! I would tell anyone not to buy these shoes.
It sounds like you needed a bigger size, Kerri. The dye coming off is strange – I’ve never heard of that before. Sorry they didn’t work out for you.
I need a return label for my Teiks! I love them and I didn’t want to return them but I have to.
The shoes are lovely and I wore them around my living room the day they came. However when I wore them for my sons wedding, they made my leg muscles cramp and pain! I am no longer young, and I need a shoe with an arch support. I will return these shoes ASAP, when I get the return label.
Unfortunately, I don’t think you’ll be able to return your Tieks if you have already worn them outside the house.
I’m glad you have had a positive experience. @Tieks bullied me after being a victim of fraud. @Tieks threatened and blackmailed me with not allowing me to ever buy from them again all because I purchased shoes from EBay to save some money from a scammer who used a stolen credit card. I made my decision to buy @Tieks after I read your great review. Thank you! Their customer service is horrible. I was hung up on from senior leadership. I am a frontline worker and was treated horrible by Tieks!
There is no such thing as a front line worker! Shame on you! I can guarantee you have never treated nor have seen one legitimate case!
What in the world are you even talking about???? Of course there are front line workers. (FYI You do know this is a review for ballet flats, right?)
I put moleskin inside my toe box to prevent the toe prints, I also lined the entire shoe with moleskin lol. An early fix from amazon for a few bucks. I also recently invested in Gekks- the ballet flat version of their sock- great if you don’t want to wear socks but don’t want to stand on leather all day either, they also help with foot odor. Took two days to break in my fuschia tieks and I love them!
Thanks for the tip and glad your Tieks worked out for you!
Hey Erin, thanks for your detailed review! I really want to buy my first pair, but I’m also outside of the US (the Netherlands) and a bit worried about what size to order. I’m an EU-size 38,5, which would be a size 8, but I’m not sure if it would be better to get a size 9. When you exchanged your pair, did you have to pay the shipping and customs fees twice? Because that would add like 100 euro to the original price and that is making me hesitate.
Thanks in advance!
I haven’t actually exchanged a pair. I went up a size on my second (and subsequent) pairs. I think in Europe you would end up having to pay shipping and customs fees twice, so it definitely is a risk. You might want to double check with Tieks directly though as maybe there’s some way of avoiding this.
In general I think going up a size is more comfortable with ballet flats. Good luck!
Love Tieks! I have 6 pairs and debating which I’m buying next since Tieks gave nurses (verified with valid nursing license number) a $100 gift card. I had NO idea shoe polish existed for fixing scuffs! My first pair is over 7 years old and needs a touch up (Ballerina Pink) so thanks so much for that!!
Yay to the gift card! Enjoy the fun of trying to decide which pair to buy!
I hope the shoe polish works for you too!
I enjoy my Tieks-I have a cardinal red and two vegans (greystone and echo park). My two cons-I tend to wear them without socks and I found that my leather red ones squeak (enough that my family calls them my “clown shoes”!). I’ve tried little socks but I find they slip. The other con relates to my upturned big toes-I wear holes in most of my shoes and use little doughnut-shaped corn pads to help take pressure off the inside of the toe box.
The pros-great for travel! I use a microfibre cloth to scrub the soles before packing. Durability! Mine have held out well. Thanks for the suggestion regarding the scuffed toes-they can give my reds a little longer life!
Thanks for the feedback, Monique and glad you like your Tieks too!
Rubbing a dryer sheet on the insoles will help with the infamous “Tieksqueak”
Great tip, thanks Jamie!
Love the shoes, love them for travel and long days on my feet. But the quality and the customer service is awful. They don’t stand by their product and suggested I take it to a cobbler after my toe rubbed a hole in the top of the shoe. I feel a product is only as good as the customer service and I will not be buying these again. There are plenty alternatives at half the price for good leather flats on line.
What style did you have? My vegan Tieks last so well for years that I’m surprised you got a hole.
Do they have any arch support at all? I have plantar fasciitis and really need something in the arch. I love Earth shoes brand for hiking type sandals but haven’t found a flat I love. It may be that flats are just not a good choice, period. I’m willing to try them but if there isn’t anything but a cushioned heel I fear that won’t be enough.
Tieks don’t have built-in arch support but they are more padded than most flats. I’ve heard some people with plantar fascitis find them comfortable.
I wish they came in a women’s US12. It is so hard to find comfortable and quality shoes in my size.
That is annoying! I also love Allbirds – perhaps you could try the men’s version as they are basically the same as the women’s. Here’s my review: https://www.neverendingvoyage.com/allbirds-review/
They go up to women’s size 13.
I just ordered the emerald green patent ones and they had US women’s size 12 and 13. So hard to find larger sizes!
I’ve been wearing Tieks for almost 2 years and I have 20 pairs in my currently collection. My entire collection is fun vibrant colors but I’m about to finally buy myself a practical color of the obsidian black patents. I am truly hooked on these flats
I’m impressed and rather jealous of your collection! Glad you love them too!
I am planning another trip to London September 2020 and have been eyeballing Tieks for years. The price seems so painful, but when I lean over and look at my shoe bins with countless pairs of ballet flats, it makes me wonder if Tieks are the correct answer or just another pair for the bins… *sigh*
I didn’t realize how expensive it was to order Tieks in the UK! Wow!
I definitely haven’t regretted the change from cheap ballet flats to Tieks. I don’t think they are bad value considering they last me two years as my only pair of shoes (plus running shoes/sandals). The cost to ship to the UK is a pain though.
I am probably the only person that feels that Tieks just were a waste of money. The fit is way too small. I pull them out every now and then and try to see if things are different. Anyone buying them should go up a size.
Sorry they haven’t worked for you, but it sounds like you should have sized up. Tieks offers free exchanges before you wear them outside and you can even keep the original pair and try them side by side to help you decide.
Most uncomfortable shoes I have ever worn and I have a few pairs that hurt. After stretching them out, my toes no longer hurt but my heels on the other hand cry with each step. If you are accustom to support and sneakers, do not buy. I limp each time I take them off or when I take a moment to sit down.
I’m sorry you had that experience. Unfortunately everyone’s feet are so different. I (and many others) find them very comfortable but they don’t work for everyone. I do wonder if maybe you had a size too small.
I have 2 pair, the matte black and cardinal red. Both held up well with hours of walking at Walt Disney world. My feet were tired, but not sore.
They are my go-to Disney shoes too – it’s amazing how comfortable they are as we walk a ridiculous amount in the parks!
Very comprehensive review. Where are they made? Thanks.
I’m afraid I don’t know.
I’m not sure; they ship from California, so maybe there?
Classics, patent, vegan. . . I guess these are the different description of the shoe materials. So which one(ones) have the least complaint in terms of durability, i.e, easily scuffs, stitches undone, etc? I am going to buy a pair, but would like to know which one to buy that I will use for travel. . . walking cobbled stones, uneven sidewalks, and looong hours of walking.
This will be the most expensive shoes I will ever buy, but with all the positive reviews, I am excited try them. So, help me decide which one to purchase.
I have had no real complaints with my vegan Tieks other than them getting dirty. The fabric doesn’t scuff and stitches haven’t come undone. But many people have had very positive experiences with their leather Tieks, so I would go with whatever design you like the most. Apparently the patents scuff less than the classic leather ones.
I bought a pair and within a month the front of the sole ripped. Within two months they had stretched so much they fell off my foot, causing me to fall while hurrying to an escalator. I contacted customer support and they told me to buy insoles to make them tighter!
So much for these ‘wonderful shoes’
I’m sorry to hear that Lauren. It’s really strange that you had that problem as I’m on my fourth pair of Tieks with no issues at all even after years of heavy use. I was worried their quality control had gone downhill, but I bought my latest pair four months ago and they are just as good as previous pairs.
Thank you so much for your amazing review! I just have a couple questions and maybe I missed it in your review but I am curious about the patents? I own a pair but am afraid to wear them in the rain and melting snow of WI. Have you done this and have you pre treated them prior to this? How did they hold up after? Any discoloration or stretching or smelling? Thank you so much for your review and time to answer!
God Bless you in your travels.
I’ve never owned a pair of patents but I do wear my vegan Tieks and previously the matte leather ones in the rain. I didn’t treat them and they held up just fine.
Best flats ever! Money well spent. Your review is spot on in every which way!
If you haven’t bought these flats yet… just
Go for it- you have nothing to lose!❤️❤️❤️❤️
I’m so glad you love them too Karen!
I love your review, despite being a young man I love to wear ballet flats. I discovered Tieks last year by a co-worker and I could tell you that I own 15 pairs now and I wear them as my everyday shoes, I love how comfty are and that they are really easy to match. I only own classics and 1 pair of patent. Classics tend to scuff easily at the heel or tip of the shoe but Tarrago cream helps a lot. My feet is small so I can wear ladies shoe size 10 and they fit me great. Thanks a lot for your helpful review.
I’m so glad you like Tieks too Ivan! I am quite jealous of how many pairs you have. Unfortunately in my backpack I only have space for one.
Your mention of Tieks years ago was one of the reasons I bought a pair. Thank you for the update and comparison of the vegan to leather. Just this week I contacted Tieks about how to give new life to the insole. I’ve been traveling with a patterned leather pair for 4+ years and they still look great. But the insoles need some help. Their customer service team promptly sent a link to an insert that other women have recommended. I love that they didn’t try to sell me a new pair and sent a very personal reply.
Their customer service team is great. I’d love to know which insole insert they recommended! I need to sort mine out.
This is what they recommended: http://amzn.to/2z3fl9n I’m awaiting for mine to arrive, fingers crossed they do the trick!
Thanks! I hope they work for you.
TIEKS DO NOT ACCEPT RETURNS OF WORN SHOES.
Thanks for your review, however the shoes cannot be returned after being worn, so not an excellent return policy at all.
For this kind of money shoes should be comfortable right at the beginning, and should not require getting used to.
200$ for a pair of simple ballet shoes that scuff so easily with simple soles, no padding, is outrageous and it seems like Tieks is just riding on a trend.
Tieks did accept my scuffed shoes so I think it really depends on the circumstances. Not all styles scuff either—I’ve had my vegan Tieks for years and they are still going strong.
Of course, I understand not everyone wants to pay that much for shoes but for me (and many others) they are worth it. They are by far the most comfortable ballet flats I’ve ever worn.
Has anyone else had trouble with the soles wearing out, e.g. the stitching comes undone and the soles start to peel up/flap around? I have owned five pairs of Tieks and this has happened to all of them except for one (which I wear far less because of the color). It happens on the front and the back of the shoes. Because of the unusual (and very pretty) style of the soles, a cobbler cannot fix them so once the sole starts to flap around, the shoe is not as wearable even though the rest may look fine. I love my Tieks and keep buying them despite this (and I’ve shared this feedback with the company as I think they should offer a service to resole the shoes at a cost – it is far more sustainable than buying new shoes that one doesn’t need) but it is very frustrating. This often happens within a year of owning them (I wear them a lot, on NYC streets and on other travel) which I think is bad given the high price point. Also, I have had several pairs where the internal stitching comes undone, and I have had the scuffing issue. These shoes look and feel great, but the company should work to improve some of their defects.
That’s strange that keeps happening to you as I haven’t had any problems with the soles at all. And I wear mine a lot and in all kinds of conditions including rain (not very practical) and unpaved streets. I’ve had my current vegan Tieks for over two years now and the only issue is the peeling insole (possibly only an issue with the vegan version) but that’s more cosmetic that anything. That is frustrating for you though.
Yes. All but one of my four pairs has done this, and like you said, it’s the pair I don’t wear as frequently. I wore one of the other pairs pretty much every day and between the two and three year mark, the soles started to come unstitched as they wore through at the heel. I do walk a lot to and from public transit and to run errands near my place. They are still the most comfortable flats I’ve worn, especially around the heel, but for the price, I wish the soles were double stitched and made with tougher material.
I had the WORST experience with Tieks and will not buy again. Sure, they’re pretty and versatile, but you’d better pray to the shoe Gods that you never have an issue. I had a pair for 3 weeks (worn 5 or 6 times total) and some stitching came undone to no fault of my own- a defect. I contacted customer service and sent the shoes back in per their request. They came back with crazy glue on the area and down the side. I contacted customer service again and asked they replace the defective shoes and was told no, because they were worn and that it had to be something I did. I had the email chain, the photos, everything. This company is terrible. Check them out with BBB and don’t waste your hard earned money on this product. The company has no concept of customer service. All I wanted was the shoes I paid for in a condition that was normal. Too much to ask for over $200. SMH.
I’m sorry to hear that Brooke. It’s quite strange as I and everyone I know has had such a positive experience with Tieks – both the quality of shoes and the customer service. I’ve been wearing my Tieks for two years now in rather rough conditions and they are still going strong.
Great review. I love travelling in my Tieks as well. I was wondering about the peeling on your vegan Tieks… I wonder if that is because the insloes are not leather? I would not expect leather to do that.
That could be the reason as I don’t remember it happening to my leather Tieks.
Thanks for sharing! I’ll have to buy some next time I need a new travel shoe!
Thanks, Erin! I’ve been looking for an honest review of Tieks, as I’m trying to decide if they are worth it for travel. I’d love to be able to pack a nice looking foldable pair of shoes. That said, I have long, narrow feet and am a little cautious about spending that kind of money. Yours was the best review I’ve found so far! ~ Lynn
Thanks Lynn, I’m glad it helped. Everyone’s feet are so different but I hope they work for you. If you are in the US you can always send them back after trying them around the house.
I am also a huge fan of Tieks! So far I only have a few pair from the classic line and a pair from the patent line. They have been such a comfy fit and the color choices are amazing. I am hoping to add a vegan pair next!
I’m glad you love them too Sarah! There are so many gorgeous colours in the leather line! The vegan ones are great for something more casual and summery.
I keep hearing about these and thinking about getting a pair, but I think this is the best, most thorough review I’ve read. I’m glad you were able to compare the leather ones to the vegan ones. I wear walking/hiking shoes which, let’s face it, are basically sneakers, all the time because just about anything else hurts my feet too easily. But I’d like to have something a little nicer for a few occasions, especially when traveling, so I think I might have to give these a try. Especially if I can have them shipped to my in-laws and have them bring the shoes next time they come to Europe!
Thanks Ali! It’s definitely nice to have something a bit smarter, especially in Europe. Getting someone to bring them over from the US is a great idea, and I don’t think there’s a time limit on when you return them so if they don’t fit you can get them to take them back.
Based upon yours and other reviews, I bought a pair of Tiek Greystones for my 10-month carry on adventure in Europe over ’16-’17 to use as my colder weather shoe with both jeans and skirts. I loved how they looked, but they were weirdly both super comfortable and the shoes from hell at the same time. The padded sole makes them very comfortable to walk for hours and hours and hours, especially on European cobblestone. I think my record was walking more than 30KM in one day with them in Sarajevo or Belgrade. But no matter how much I wore them, they made my big toe hurt, even when I had the nail trimmed down. There are lots of other reports of Tieks doing that. I ended up switching to a heavy walking shoe and kept them as “treat” to slip into for going out in the evenings and I also liked them as slippers in my house in Bulgaria that had stone floors. I was disappointed because they really do take up so little space (I actually packed them flat as that seemed to take up much less room) and look so good. Tiek says that I might have better luck with the leather version, since they stretch more, but at their price I doubt I’ll be buying another pair.
I’m sorry to hear that Rae. I’ve never had any problems with my big toe. I wonder if you needed to go up a size? I found my normal size was a bit too tight and preferred one size up. I’ve also heard some people cut out a piece of moleskin and stick that in the shoe where your toe hits. It might be worth trying as they work so well for you otherwise.