ASK A WARDROBE STYLIST: Tieks?

A client reached out a few days ago {we had to move the question to the top of the queue} about Tieks. We know about “flats to go” {which are essentially disposable. Tieks are a bit more durable from what we’re read and they’re tagline is “THE BALLET FLAT, REINVENTED. Designer flats you can fit in your purse and wear all day, every day.”

Tieks have been around for a bit, Oprah wears them (so now everyone does) and my client wanted to know if her wardrobe stylist had too.

No.

That being said, based on the massive thumbs up out there by oh… 399,983 likes on their Facebook page, this little flat is made of Italian leathers and designed to fold and fit in one’s purse.

The pricepoints  ($165-$295) are similar to Tory Burch Revas, average about $200 a pair. So, for some this is a bit of a stretch, but believe me as I have come from the land of Cheap Shoes and tell you invest in a pair you’ll wear everyday. No way around it. Your feet are something you need to take care of because, well, they carry you.

10/4/2013 UPDATE
We have had several fans comment over the year about their Tieks. The takeaway is that if you are a half-size, they are not the shoe for you. I have a friend who is a size 10.5 and her size 11 Tieks were just too big. They flopped off her feet and she has almost fallen, several times. So, if you love them, you are lucky. If you are half size, move on darling, move on.

Comments

  1. I own a pair and I have a serious love-hate relationship with them. They are comfortable enough for this type of minimal support shoe but they are not a “stand/work all day in them” sort of shoe without adding an insole (in which case, size up from your normal size.)

    First the fit: they don’t offer half sizes which blows my mind for a pair of shoes that’s so expensive. I’ll admit, I have a hard time finding flats to fit because of my narrow heels. These shoes do not flop off of my feet like many shoes without straps tend to do. They rub a little bit but I don’t get blisters on my heels however, because they run on the small side, by the end of the day my toes are sore. Since I couldn’t find these shoes in stores, I ordered online. The poor fit wasn’t noticeable until after I had worn them too much to return them. I also really don’t like that I can see the outline of my toes through the soft leather uppers. It makes me feel naked and exposed; like I went to work in a shirt that was too low cut but didn’t realize until half way through my morning meeting.

    Next the quality: I question how long the leather will hold up, as they are not really meant to be worn everyday like a good pair of investment shoes. The top leather is prone to stretching and I have scratches from the dog accosting me at the front door. The good news it, they are dyed all the way through, so even though they are scratched, there is no second color showing through. I have the sneaking suspicion the exposed soft leather on the bottom of the shoes (between the very cute blue treads) is going to shred as I traipse through the parking lot while going to lunch.

    Bottom line: I love the colors (a lot!) but the quality is just not that of a $200 pair of shoes. I have a very high tolerance for buying expensive shoes (much to my husband’s dismay) and I’m sad that these will not be joining my list of go-to brands. I would only buy another pair if I could get them at half price and even then they are a little pricey. I would only do it for the super cute colors.

    • Urban Darling says:

      Thank you Marsha for your opinion – this is what helps make educated decisions on buying – when we give our critical, but loving, feedback. We appreciate it!

    • I completely agree with this review, Marsha. I got my first pair today. I’m a 6.5 in heels, and step out of most standard widths because of my narrow feet. There are some flats though, where my toes are cramped if I don’t have a 7 for length. I decided to get a 7 in the Tieks, I’ve worn them all day and here are my impressions:

      1: I could do without all of that ridiculous packaging. Is that to make us feel like the shoes are worth the price? I’d prefer to go without the bows, boxes, and bags, and pay less for the shoe. Don’t get me wrong, the packaging is pretty. But now what? Do I toss it? Store it? Maybe that should be added as a gift wrapping option only.

      2: After wearing them most of the day today inside, my feet do not hurt.

      3: I am concerned with how long the leather across the top of the toes is going to hold out. My feet have a small profile and yet you can see the outline of my big toe when I wear the shoes. And there is a point from my toenail. :-O I wish the leather here was reinforced or something. I mean, $175, y’all.

      4: My heels do not come out of the shoe, but they do feel loose. However, in the toe area, they are a little snug. If I sized down to a 6 they’d be too tight in the toe, and there is no way I could size up to an 8 and keep them on. I might benefit by a half size option.

      5: This is nit-picky, but I’m not a huge fan of the teal stripe down the back of my matte black Tieks. From the front and side I really feel like these shoes could be easily dressed up, but from behind the look is cheapened. I’d rather have a great pair of beautiful shoes that no one knew how much I paid for, than in your face branding. But I’m not the kind to buy anything for the label. On the upside, I was concerned that the teal soles would show, and they are fairly discreet.

      6: The jury is still out on whether I will buy more pairs. I’m afraid they aren’t worth the money. But, they are not uncomfortable, and they have so many beautiful colors– and that counts for something! We’ll see how long these hold up to wear. If they are long lasting, and I cannot find any other flats that compare in comfort and style, I’ll be ordering another pair. Perhaps in shiny red. :)

  2. Ok, so these look a lot like my Corso Comos (http://www.zappos.com/corso-como-prince-lead-napa), but they’re three times as expensive. I wear my CCs around all day sometimes & they’re fine. No support, of course, but functional, and yes, I can slip them in their carrying pouch and toss them in a tote when I need a back-up pair for heels. Not sure why I’d spend 3x the price though.

  3. I always say you get what you pay for, and Tieks are def worth every cent. I’ve had mine for over a year and they STILL look and feel like new, not to mention they’re the cutest and most comfortable flats I own.

  4. I just got a pair of Tieks a few days ago and have a blister on the top of my foot from where the edge of the shoe rubs. I am really disappointed and hope it stretches out. Everything else seems great….I dont know anyone else who has an issue with these shoes but I can’t keep them if they cause blisters. Especially at that price point.

    • Urban Darling says:

      Thank you for the honest feedback Jessica! What a bummer too. Contact Tieks and get some feedback from them, it might help!

    • I got blisters too; you’re not alone! I love my Tieks… everything about them except for the fact they gave me blisters right on the joint section of my big toe. I bought mine in a size 8 but think if I would have gotten them in a size 9 I wouldn’t have gotten blisters. I typically am a size 8/ 8.5 and have a wide foot, but much to my disliking, Tieks are only sold online in whole sizes.

      I thinking about email Tieks customer service and seeing if they will swap out my pair for a size up because of the blisters. There customer service seems to be pretty good with offering free shipping even on returns.

    • Jessica, try the flat socks. you can’t even tell they’re there but they will help with the blister problem

  5. My sister told me about Tieks, and I thought no no no, too expensive for me. She bought me a pair of the classic black tieks and I absolutely love them. I have problem feet. I would normally wear a size 8d or 8e. But the size 9 tieks fit me well despite me abnormally wide feet. I work in retail and am on my feet for 8-10 hours at a time, and I do wear my tieks all day pain free. The first time I wore them my bunion was sore, but that is with every single shoe I’ve ever had, and it was only on day one I felt any discomfort. After wearing them all day for two months now, my tieks still look and feel new. Now after trying them and falling in love with them I am willing to splurge on a well made comfy flat, but they are out of stock in my size in all the colors I’d want. But I’ll keep checking and get more eventually because they are worth it in my opinion.

    • carol, thanks so much for your input on these shoes. I have looked for YEARS for a comfortable pair of ballet flats and because I have wide feet with massive bunions, I can never find a pair that are remotely comfy, so I’ve never actually owned a pair. Your review has given me the info I need to go ahead & take the plunge. I’m going to order a pair. Based on your review, I feel like they will work out and be my very first pair of ballet flats.

  6. i’m obsessed with my tieks, most comfortable flats ever. i ordered mine a few weeks ago. i’m a true 8.5 and very rarely ever wear a 9. i called them and the girl i spoke to in customer service was super nice and suggested i go up to a 9 since they don’t offer half sizes. me, being the stubbornista that i am, didn’t take her advice and i ordered the 8. when i received them they were pretty tight so i called again and told them. they offered to send me a 9 with a return label so i could try both pairs on side by side at home to see which was the better fit. i’ve never seen a company offer this service before. so sure enough, i received the 9s and they were perfect. great customer service, i haven’t stopped wearing them, and i just ordered a pair for my mom.

  7. I agree with Carol, I don’t know what I would do without my Tieks! They’re super comfy and durable – I live in the city and my daily commute involves a LOT of walking, and my Tieks have definitely lived up to their reputation. I can walk for miles with no blisters or sore feet, and they’re so soft and they’re so cute I don’t even need to bring my heels to change into at work :) You get what you pay for, ladies!

  8. I don’t have a pair of Tieks (yet, anyway), but a few friends do, and I can tell you they live in them. I’m holding out for pastel line they’re coming out with before I buy my first pair, and I’ll be sure to update y’all once I finally do try them. I can’t wait! And thanks for all the sizing suggestions, that’s a great help.

  9. I just purchased a gold pair because they were so cute. I do agree that for what it is, it’s overpriced. But the gimmick was adorable – cute flats that fold in half to store in your purse for when you want to take off heels!! I’ve only been wearing them for a day, and already have a blister at the back of my left heel. I really want to love them, but I’m thinking I now regret my impulse buy.

  10. I wear a 7 1/2 in a dress shoe and a size 8 in a sneaker. I’ve been walking around the house all day with socks on so I could stretch the 8. My poor toes are so sore and the back of my heel hurts. Tieks sent me a size 9 to try and they are way too big. An 8 1/2 would probably be perfect, but half-sizes are not available. Maybe the 8 was mismarked? Unless the 8 stretches out within the next few hours, both pairs are going back. What a shame because I do like the construction.

    • Carole, this was my problem, too. Only I wore the smaller size outside (on a trip where I actually had to swap from the flats to more comfortable heels!) and am now stuck with a very painful and expensive pair of shoes. Why not offer half sizes in such an expensive shoe? I’m a 7.5, so started with an 8 that rubbed poorly on my left big toe (otherwise fine). So they sent a 7 to try side by side. Unfortunately, they sent me a size 7 in the wrong color and they were like a dream, soft and buttery and comfy. Then they sent the correct color, which I assumed would fit just like the other size 7 (my bad for not wearing them around the house for hours first). They did not. Ouch! Once you wear them outside they absolutely cannot be returned. Really too bad, as they are gorgeous shoes.

  11. I love the looks of the shoes..but sizing was a problem for me too. I have a narrow foot and wear a 7 in a shoe and 7.5 in a sneaker.. never take an 8. I got the 7 as per the size chart and since my foot is narrow thought they would fit. They felt short in the toe area and hurt the top of right foot near big toe. I called customer service and they told me to wear them with sox to loosen them up. The body of the shoe is perfect now but they still feel short and my big toes hurt after wearing them for a while. They sent me an 8 to compare. The length is good but the body not as snug as the 7 on my narrow foot. decided to send 7 back and keep the 8…although . I am a little concerned that after wearing them for a while they will stretch and look sloppy. If this happens I will add an insole for more support and hopefully a snug fit…if all else fails I will pass them along to my daughter who wears an 8! I really wish they came in 1/2 sizes…as a 7.5 would be perfect. Can’t say that I would buy another pair for the price and size problems…although I love the colors!

  12. Hi Ladies, I wanted to post a comment to get feedback, but first fully disclose that I myself launched a foldable shoe company at FlipSlip.com. Would like to get your opinion on a design concern — do you use your Tieks to put into your purse as a backup pair, or are they just meant as a high-end comfy flat? The Tieks design is not something new, although they claim a “Slew of patents” – simply check out Coco Rose, City Slips and FootzyRolls, which all launched before.. FlipSlips are the only shoes that fold sole-to-sole and therefore address two issues: 1) Compactness 2) Hygiene. Would like to know if the ladies that purchased the Tieks agree or disagree with the design … who got it right or did Tieks get it wrong? Thanks and look forward to hearing back.

  13. 6.5 here – same thing happened to me – it’s October 2013 – bought the starstruck for $265 – received the 7 (too big) – they sent the 6 and I sent the 7 back. Wore them outside – can’t return. But, I love them – and I keep wearing them and they are giving bit by bit. I still can’t decide which size I should get in the black flat. Ladies who wear half sizes -keep wearing them with thick socks in the house – they stretch and are darn worth every penny.

  14. I used mine, rather than as a backup, as a main pair of flats to wear to work, walk around, go out at night, etc. They were clearly not meant for that. I had terrible foot and leg pain due to no support, more than I had with other flats for some reason. I laid off them for a while and went back because they LOOK so good with any outfit (I had two pairs – gold and black (the shiny black, not the matte one). No blisters or anything.

    After less than a year, there were holes in the leather on the side, maybe because I have wide feet but still really disappointing considering the price. Too bad, I really love the look of these, but I will be looking for a cheaper option.

  15. I purchased a pair of the Vegan Tieks in size 6 and immediately fell in love. They were everything I had read about and more. They are even more comfortable than my favorite pair of running shoes,which is quite a bold statement.

    So for my birthday, it was a no-brainer to ask for another pair and my husband bought me the beautiful leather ones in Chestnut. I ordered size 6 again and they were much too big (sliding off my heel), so I exchanged them for a size 5, which fit very snugly, but, since I heard they would stretch, I kept them and wore them outside to break them in. BIG MISTAKE. Make sure you are 100% sure that they fit before you wear them outside, as they won’t let you return after this. Mine, even after professional stretching, wearing them all day for 10 days AND doing the thick sock/hair dryer trick are barely stretched. My feet still go numb at the end of the day and I cannot wait to take them off. Such a disappointment since I feel like the website is very misleading when it says they were stretch. Keeping my fingers crossed that over time they will give a bit more…

    Bottom line:

    1. Not all Tieks are created equal. Vegans fit differently than the original leather. And I’ve heard that sizes even vary in different colors.
    2. If one size is too big and the size down is too small, DO NOT take the chance of stretching out the too small ones. In my case this did not work. (Tieks – please offer half sizes!)
    3. Do not wear them outside until you are 100% sure that they fit properly. Tieks will not let you return.
    4. Customer service is great and will let you compare the sizes side by side if you ask them. They will send you both sizes with free shipping and you keep one.
    5. I’m still a fan, just hoping they get the sizing worked out and offer 1/2 sizes.

  16. I have had my Tieks for almost a year now. I have a love-hate relationship with them.

    When I first got them, I loved them. The leather is soft. The convenience of fitting into any bag – especially on work trips when space is at a premium – is so appealing. All natural materials that breathe are great for ballet flats I’d like to often wear.

    Now, however, I’m finding that they don’t really stay on my right heel very well and I do worry it’s making me walk in an odd manner to attempt to keep the shoe on my heel.

    The lack of a half size option likely is the issue – I typically wear a 6.5 and in the Tieks, I was advised to go with a 6.

  17. I waited months before purchasing my first pair of Tieks and was super excitd when they arrived. They look lovely. I am a true 8.5 with a wide-ish foot. Not wide enough to require W shoes, though. Naturally I ordered the 9. Well, my right foot, which is a teeny bit bigger than my left was a bit uncomfortable. Particularly the joint on my big toe. It wasn’t immediate, but was noticeable after about an hour of just watching TV. So of course I decide a simple stretching would work. So for a few days I traipsed around w them in my house with a sock on. Voila! It seemed to have worked. Well, I wore them to work (I sit at a desk all day) and by the time I got home, guess what, that area on my big toe hurt. It is not a bunyun or anything, but the seams of some flats that are too narrow for me will irritate that spot. Anyway, obviously they couldn’t be returned. Now I’m going to order a 10 and see if that works. I’m hoping it want be too big for my smaller foot, though! And for the record, I have NEVER worn any shoe larger than a 9.

    • Angela, I am interested to know how the size 10 works out for you. My feet sound very much like yours – true 8.5, wide-ish foot, and I too ordered the size 8. It was small, tight and very uncomfortable. I contacted Tieks customer service and they are extremely helpful; suggesting ways to stretch the shoe, etc. After reading numerous online reviews, experiences, etc. i decided to exchange for a size 9. I read that Tieks will send replacement shoe before you return the first pair, so you can do a comparison. That is only the case for US customers. I am in Canada. So, I have to return shoes, at my expense. When Tieks receives them, they will then send out the exchange, at my expense. So my Tieks will end up costing me $295!!! ($175. for the shoes, $42 original shipping, $35 return shipping, $42 re-shipping). So the size 9′s better fit fantastic! If they don’t, I am not sure if I will even bother with a refund (more shipping!) or just try to sell them online.

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