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Tieks Review: 5 Years, 6 Pairs – Are Tieks Worth It? (2021)

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The number one barrier to buying a pair of Tieks ballet flats is the price. Trust me, I get it. If you’re reading this post or any other Tieks review, you’re probably curious if a simple ballet flat can really be worth all the hype – and the price. Tieks cost $175 per pair, after all! (Prints cost even more!) This isn’t pocket change for most of us and is a bit scary when it’s time to hit the ‘Checkout’ button.

I bought my first pair of Tieks in April 2016, and I was nervous too. I decided to take the risk and buy Tieks, and they were worth every penny. Despite being a big investment, my Tieks are potentially one of the most cost-savvy wardrobe pieces! In fact, I’ve since bought five more pairs.

Given how many years I’ve owned Tieks, I’m confident that my Tieks review is among the most comprehensive on the internet. In this post, I’ll cover:

  1. Tieks Designs and Styles – which ones I recommend and how to choose your first pair of Tieks
  2. Tieks Sizing – answering questions about how to choose the right size Tieks
  3. How to Care for your Tieks – to make sure they last as long as possible and look great longer
  4. Tieks Pricing, Sales, and Coupons – to help you get the best deal!
  5. Other Tieks FAQ (like will I buy another pair? Spoilers: YES!)

And if I don’t answer your questions in my Tieks review, I’m happy to answer your Tieks questions in the comments.

If you’re already pretty sure you want Tieks and just need help deciding ones to get, I created an easy, fun quiz to help you choose! Answer these questions and you’ll be taken to a specific style based on your answers:

Click here if the quiz is not showing up!

Update, March 2021: The quiz now includes every single style and color of Tieks! Enjoy trying to find your perfect pair!

This post was originally published in January 2017, and updated in March 2018, November 2019, and November 2020, and March 2021.

Tieks I’ve Purchased

Before we launch into my Tieks review, I think it’s important to share exactly which Tieks I’ve owned so you understand I’m speaking based on my own experience.

  • My first pair was Matte Black. These are the Tieks I wrote my first Tieks review about.
  • Next, I bought Pacific Green as my second pair. I liked these but didn’t love them because they fit differently than the Matte black version (more on that later).
  • For my third pair, I went back to Matte Black. Tried and true!
  • Then I bought Midnight Blue (the 2019 Black Friday style); I also wore these Tieks at my wedding. (It’s common for brides to switch to Tieks for the wedding reception because they’re so comfortable!)
  • In mid-2020, I invested in another pair of Matte Black – what can I say? I love this style!
  • Update! Even after just buying my 5th pair in September, I splurged on the Black Friday 2020 style, Tyrian Purple. I now have my sixth pair, and two pairs at once for the first time!

Tieks are by far the most comfortable flats I’ve ever worn. From soft leather uppers and non-elasticized heels to their rubber soles in eye-catching Tieks blue, Tieks just fit and feel great on my feet from the very first step.

Tieks Designs & Styles

Tieks come in four main styles:

  • Classics – Solid colored Tieks made with standard leather; this is the style I’ve always bought.
  • Prints – Tieks made with standard leather in a number of fun patterns like Leopard Print, Plaid, and metallics.
  • Patents – Solid colored Tieks made in patent leather.
  • Vegan – Tieks that are made entirely without animal products.

There are also Mini Tieks (for girls) and one design in suede (Rouge).

Once you decide you want to buy Tieks, the next decision is choosing which style and design you want. I have a separate blog post about how to choose the perfect color Tieks, or you can take this quiz I created.

Tieks Sizing

Once you’ve chosen the Tieks style and color/design you want, you need to pick the right size. While Tieks has great customer service (more on that below), it’s best to try and get the sizing right so you don’t have to deal with exchanges. In this section of my Tieks review, I’ll break down some of those issues so you can make the right purchase on your first try.

How Tieks Sizing Works

Tieks come in whole sizes only, in women’s size 5-13. Tieks do not come in half sizes.

Here’s what Tieks says if you typically wear a half-size:

Many women can comfortably size up or down in Tieks. We typically suggest going down unless you have a wide foot, or sometimes size up. Try your Tieks on at home and if they aren’t the perfect fit, we have an amazing exchange policy for pairs in their original condition!

I typically wear a size 8.5, so I sized down to 8 for my first pair – but they were really uncomfortable! I reached out to customer service and exchanged them for a size 9. Since then, I’ve been happy with size 9 in every Tieks color I’ve purchased.

Tieks Sizing Up or Down

So should you size down for Tieks? Or size up? Here’s what I suggest:

  • If you wear a half-size, consider which of your feet is larger. (For me, it’s my right foot.)
  • With another pair of shoes in your standard half-size, consider: does your larger foot feel spacious or cramped in the half size?
  • If your larger foot feels more cramped, size up for Tieks. Tieks do stretch (more below) but probably won’t stretch enough for your Tieks to feel as comfortable as they really should.
  • If your larger foot feels more spacious, try sizing down for Tieks. Tieks are made with elastic that will hold them on both feet.

After I exchanged and sized up my Tieks, I knew I had the right size immediately. From the moment I slipped them on, my Tieks were comfortable. That’s what you’re going for!

By sizing up, I also gave my feet room to fit more naturally in the shoe, reducing the chance of foot problems like bunions – which I know we women who love cute shoes are often willing to endure!

Do Tieks Stretch?

Tieks do stretch, but since Tieks are made with high-quality leather, they’re not going to stretch quickly. I have found that my Tieks generally stretch out in a small way over the course of 2-3 months and are noticeably stretched out after a year of wear.

If you’re hoping to stretch out your Tieks to make them fit better, I don’t recommend that. They’ll take too long. Instead, just try to get the right size! However, if you buy a pair and need to stretch them, you can do it with shoe stretchers and golf balls in the toes (these are the two top recommendations I’ve seen in the Tieks Anonymous group).

If you’re concerned that Tieks will stretch out quickly and fit poorly, I have not experienced this. Typically when my Tieks reach the end of their life, it’s because of wear and tear – not because of stretching.

Sizing & Fit for Different Tieks Styles

You may have heard that different styles of Tieks fit a bit differently. I have experienced this too. Here’s what I’ve found:

  • Matte Black Tieks (the ones I love) are the “baseline” Tieks. They’re made with standard, uncolored leather. (For me, they fit perfectly right away out of the box.)
  • Colored Classic Tieks are colored, which makes them less likely to stretch in the first few weeks/months of wear. I found they gave me a bit more rubbing as a result.
  • Patent Leather Tieks stretch even less than colored Classic Tieks, so you definitely have to get the sizing right for them to be comfortable! They might also require more breaking in for your feet to adjust.
  • Print Tieks vary: some are made of the same/same leather material as Colored Classic Tieks and Patent Tieks, and will thus stretch only a little. Others are made with other materials and may stretch more.
  • Vegan Tieks are made with a woven fabric material that will fit very differently than the leather Tieks and stretch out differently too.

Do Tieks Hurt?

Theoretically: no, Tieks do not hurt. They are designed to be comfortable – that’s why you see glowing Tieks reviews and they’re Oprah’s favorite flats.

If your Tieks hurt, you likely have the wrong size. It’s also possible that your foot shape doesn’t quite work for Tieks, though most people do fit comfortably into Tieks with minimal breaking in.

Owning & Caring for Your Tieks

Valerie wearing Tieks in Croatia

Once you receive your Tieks, you might have questions about how to make sure they stay as pretty and comfortable as possible – for as long as possible. In the next part of my Tieks review, I want to share tips and tricks I’ve learned over my five years and five pairs of Tieks.

Breaking In Your Tieks

Once you receive your Tieks, give yourself a few days to make sure your feet are used to them. While Tieks should feel pretty comfortable right away, there might be a few spots where your feet and Tieks need to get. to know one another. If you’re uncertain, remember: don’t wear your Tieks outside if you think you might need to exchange them.

I generally find that it takes 2-3 days for my feet to adjust to my new Tieks, and the same amount of time for my Tieks to adjust/start stretching and forming to my feet.

If after a few days of trying them you’re still not comfortable in your Tieks, reach out to the team to see if a size exchange is possible.

Tieks, Foot Sweat, and Odor

I’ve gotten a lot of questions over the years about Tieks and whether they cause your feet to sweat or get smelly after wearing them.

You might find that Patent Leather Tieks and some styles of Print Tieks offer less breathability because of the finish, but most Tieks designs generally shouldn’t make your feet sweat more than normal.

I am lucky: I don’t have sweaty feet. But, here are my tips for dealing with sweaty feet and stinky Tieks.

  • If you know you have sweaty feet, consider investing in a pair of no-show socks like Gekks to help absorb sweat. I haven’t tried them but I get served their ads a lot – probably because I’m always browsing Tieks!
  • If your Tieks start to smell, I recommend trying spray deodorant in your Tieks, or keeping dryer sheets in them when you are not wearing them.

Scuffing on Tieks

The number one issue most people experience with Tieks is scuffing, especially on the toes and heels. This is a normal part of wear and tear on most shoes, unfortunately!

To help protect your Tieks from scuffing, I recommend using shoe polish regularly to keep the leather soft and healthy.

If you do scuff your toes, you can use Tarrago Shoe Cream to try and repair the scuffs. (Here’s an incredible guide matching shoe polishes with Tieks colors.)

Cleaning Your Tieks

For regular care, I use a simple leather shoe polish on a sponge. I wipe it around the leather, taking extra care at where the shoe meets the sole and in the stitching at the top of the shoe.

Not all Tieks should be treated this way, but my Matte Black Tieks look almost brand new every time I do this – even 12 months later!

If you have a different style, I recommend spot-treating your Tieks with a damp washcloth. Tieks are not machine washable, so this is the best way to keep your Tieks looking good.

How Well Tieks Last

3 Days in Huntington Beach

If you’re going to spend as much on Tieks as they cost, it’s important to know how well they hold up. To help make my Tieks review ever more helpful, I’ve done the math to show you exactly how well my first pair of Tieks held up.

According to my Apple Health app in my first year of owning Tieks (2016-2017), I took an average of 6,677 steps per day. I’m just guessing, but I think I wore my Tieks roughly 60% of the time I was walking. Here’s the math:

6,677 steps 𝗑 365 days 𝗑 60% of days = 1,462,263 steps

Yes, you are reading that correctly. I took nearly 1.5 MILLION steps in my Tieks during the first year I had them!

Note, January 2019: I did end up throwing away my first pair of Tieks. They lasted three years before a hole developed in the toe of one shoe. That’s a good indicator of their quality, considering how much I wore them during those three years!

The only notes I can make about “wear and tear” on my Tieks after one million steps:

  • The fronts of my toes are quite scuffed up right along the edge where they meet the sole.
  • The back of the sole under my heel shows significant wear, probably because I drag my heels just a little when I walk. As a result, the sole is slowly coming detached now that I’ve worn through the sole and thread that keeps the sole stitched tight. This will probably be the most significant reason I stop wearing this pair.
  • I spilled something weird on them in Greece and there’s a small discoloration most people probably wouldn’t even notice.

Other than that, they are still in great shape. Seriously, though: 1.5 million steps.

Tieks Cost & Shipping

Now let’s dive into the most important part of this Tieks review: a breakdown of Tieks pricing, where you can buy Tieks, and more.

Where to Buy Tieks

Where can I buy Tieks?, you ask. The only place to buy Tieks is through their online store, the Boutiek. Get it?! Bou-Tiek!

You cannot buy Tieks at stores like Nordstroms or Bloomingdales, and you also can’t buy Tieks online through online retailers like Amazon or Zappos.

Sometimes, you can find Tieks on Poshmark and available in several great Facebook groups where you can buy, sell, and trade used or like-new Tieks to your heart’s content (search Facebook to find them).

Tieks Costs

Tieks start from $175 per pair, but the price can increase up to $345 depending on the style and design. Here’s a breakdown:

  • All Vegan Tieks and most Classic Tieks cost $175, as do some Print Tieks styles.
  • The remaining Classic Tieks and all Patent Tieks all cost $195, as do some Print Tieks styles.
  • Remaining Print styles range typically cost $235, $265, or $295.
  • The most expensive Tieks are $345 (Arabian Night, Aquarella, & Toscani).
  • All Mini Tieks cost $135.

Yes, I really have considered splurging on those Arabian Night Tieks!

Tieks Shipping

Tieks offers free shipping in the U.S.! That’s a nice benefit given how much the shoes cost on their own. If you live outside the U.S., shipping does add an extra arm and leg, unfortunately (it varies by country). I’ve never tried it, but you could look into a service like Grabr to have someone bring you Tieks on their own travels!

First Trip to Central Asia - Almaty

Tieks Sales

Next question: do Tieks ever go on sale? Unfortunately (for my wallet!), Tieks doesn’t ever offer sales. Instead of offering discounts for Black Friday or other occasions, Tieks usually offers a special design you can only get for a limited time. (I’ve got a list of all of those special edition colors on my Tieks color-picking post.)

Tieks Black Friday & Other Holidays

While Tieks doesn’t do sales, one of the few things you can count on is their Black Friday special release – and other holidays throughout the year (usually 1 other holiday per year). Every year, Tieks releases a brand new design or color that is only available for the Black Friday weekend or until they sell out – whichever comes first. Needless to say, there usually aren’t any left by Cyber Monday!

For example, for the Tieks Black Friday style in 2019, they offered a pair in gorgeous Midnight Blue – I bought them as my third pair of Tieks. For Black Friday in 2020, they released Tyrian Purple … which I also bought!

Back to the point though, if you want new Tieks, you really do need to shell out the $175+ for a pair. I think they’re worth it, but it’s up to you to decide if that will work in your finances!

Tieks Coupons

Similar to their no-sale policy, Tieks also doesn’t offer coupons. While they did have a special campaign in Summer 2020 for frontline workers (Tieks for Heroes) that offered a special discount, there are no other Tieks coupons or discount codes.

If you really need to save on Tieks, try checking sites like Poshmark and Facebook, which I mentioned above. For example, I’ve many new or barely-worn Tieks for $100-$125 on Facebook; Facebook groups are a great way to save on Tieks.

Tieks Returns & Exchanges

Tieks has a generous return/exchange policy if you know it in advance and follow it!

Here’s the policy: “Unworn Tieks can be exchanged or returned for a full refund at any time. We’ll even pay the shipping both ways anywhere in the U.S.!”

When you receive your Tieks, try them on at home and walk around indoors on clean floors, to see if you have the right size. Do not wear your Tieks outdoors until you’re sure you have the right size!

Tieks Customer Service

Lastly, in the event that something isn’t quite right or you need to return/exchange your Tieks, rest assured: Tieks has an excellent customer service team.

Since I’ve been a Tieks owner for almost five years, I’ve interacted with their team regularly and am always impressed. I’ve had no problem making exchanges when I needed to; they even helped put me on a custom waitlist for a different size last year for Black Friday.

They also send a nice hand-written note with every pair of Tieks, which is a lovely touch!

Other FAQ About Tieks

Before wrapping up my Tieks review, here are a few more questions. I receive a lot and my answers to them.

Where are Tieks Made?

On their website, Tieks says that their ballet flats are made from ‘premium, soft Italian leather,’ but does that mean they’re made of Italian leather – or made in Italy? Tieks are handcrafted in Arzignano, Italy using Italian leather (so the answer is both!). It takes over 150 steps to make a pair of Tieks (again according to their website) so you know they’re really as nice as we all say they are!

Can You Wear Tieks With…

  • High Arches? By design, Tieks are naturally flat, so they don’t offer built-in support for high arches. If you find that unsupported flats cause you a lot of discomfort, you might try these 3D Sponge Insoles that come in several colors to match your Tieks.
  • Flat Feet? If you have the opposite problem and have flat feet, Tieks also might be less comfortable for you. You also might want to opt for those insoles to get extra support for your feet.
  • Wide Feet? If your feet are wide, Tieks recommend going up one size to accommodate that.
  • Bunions? If you have bunions (I have one!), I recommend going up one size to ensure your toes have enough room and aren’t cramped to make the issue worse.
  • Plantar Fasciitis? If it’s your heel that causes pain through Plantar Fasciitis, the hand-sewn insole of Tieks might not provide enough cushion for you. The insoles I just recommended will help provide extra cushioning to help with that.
  • My Wedding Dress? Can you wear Tieks with your wedding dress? Absolutely! I wore my Midnight Blue Tieks at my wedding once my heels got too uncomfortable.

Do Tieks Run Small?

On their website, Tieks claim that they run true to size, and I’ve generally found this to be true; Tieks do not run small.

Tieks do stretch to varying degrees based on the style (which I mentioned in the “Sizing & Fit for Different Tieks Styles” section). Keep in mind that some styles (Patent, some Prints) won’t stretch as much as others and you may want to size up instead of down as a result.

Can/Do You Wear Tieks with Socks? Tights?

Absolutely, you can wear Tieks with socks or tights. Tieks work really well with tights, even opaque ones. You can also wear Tieks with socks, though thick socks might make your Tieks feel less comfortable if you have them sized correctly.

The Best Socks to Wear with Tieks

If you want to wear socks with your Tieks to cut down on foot odor/sweat or just to be more comfortable, there are a couple of companies that specialize in ultra-thin socks to wear with your Tieks ballet flats. I recently tried a brand that made me (and my feet) truly happy: Sheec.

Sheec’s No Show Socks for Ballet Flats are perfect to wear with Tieks. They have several areas with silicone grips on each sock that hold them in place on your foot and in the shoes. Their Ultra Low Cut Sheec socks are also completely invisible once you slip on your Tieks – no one will know you’re wearing them to be more comfortable!

Are Tieks the Perfect Travel Flat?

I first wrote this Tieks review because everyone was talking about how Tieks are great for travel and I wanted to share my thoughts.

When Mr. V and I packed up our lives and hit the road in late April 2016, I took two pairs of shoes with me: running shoes and my Tieks. Since Tieks are foldable ballet flats and fit into a small bag (which they come with!), I was able to tuck them in with all of my clothes and work gear – and set out to explore the world.

I wore my Tieks all over the world, from Jordan to Seattle, and from London to New York City. When the rains came over Bavaria in October, while visiting churches in Montenegro, and standing on the Prime Meridian in Greenwich – I wore my Tieks!

Tieks are incredibly versatile shoes, capable of handling whatever adventure you choose to have. Whether it’s chasing toddlers or exploring the Louvre, your Tieks will be comfortable. To me, yes, that makes Tieks the best travel flats.

Are Tieks Worth the Price?

Valerie wearing Tieks in Ohio

It’s $175 for a pair of Tieks. That’s a lot! Is all this really worth it? Are Tieks really worth the price?

If you can’t tell yet based on my Tieks review, in my opinion, yes, Tieks are worth the price. I wear them almost every day, and I’ve worn them all over the world. I’ve pushed my Tieks harder and farther than any other shoe I’ve ever owned, and I still love them.

For each pair I’ve owned, the stains and scuffs are endearing to me, and the well-worn spots where my feet slip right into place are worth more than any money. Tieks are an investment, but they’re a worthwhile one.

Why are Tieks So Expensive?

Tieks are expensive for a number of reasons:

  • Tieks are made from high quality materials
  • They’re hand crafted in Italy
  • They are durable and last
  • People love them

Together, these factors have allowed Tieks to create a company that sells a premium ballet flat that people are willing to pay for. The way I’d reframe it is: if they weren’t really that good, would so many women (and some men) be obsessed with them?

Are Tieks Worth the Hype?

If you can’t tell already from my Tieks review, I totally drink the Tieks Kool-Aid. But, I drink the Kool-Aid because I think it’s delicious.

My Tieks are the best flats I own, based on their quality and how well they hold up over years of wearing them. I am sad every time the weather is too cold or rainy to wear them outside (sometimes I wear them anyway!).

Lots of women rave about Tieks being the most comfortable and versatile flats in their wardrobe, and I am one of them. I am a skeptical consumer too, but there’s a hype about Tieks because they are actually worthy of the hype.

Are there Tieks Knock Offs?

I’ve seen Tieks knock-offs floating around the internet, so yes: there are Tieks knock offs out there. But like everything that you can find as a knock off, they’ll be both cheaper and much lower quality. I know it’s a lot to think about committing this much money, especially for your first pair. However if you choose to buy Tieks knock-offs instead of the real deal, I’m confident you’ll quickly discover that they’re not as comfortable, stylish, or durable as the real deal.

Have You Ever Tried Other Flats?

Since I bought my first pair of Tieks, there are a number of other flats available now, like Rothy’s and Allbirds. I would like to try them both, but I keep spending my annual shoe budget on Tieks! While I haven’t tried these two companies yet, I have tried other flats like Toms. I used to love their Julie flat, but once I started wearing Tieks, I was hooked.

Would I Buy Another Pair of Tieks?

When I first wrote this Tieks review, I added this section to ensure that I shared my enthusiasm for Tieks beyond just buying one pair.

Now that I’m in the market for my seventh pair, my only question is… which color Tieks do I choose? Here are some of the other popular colors I’m considering: Ballerina Pink, Leopard Print, Emerald, Ruby Red patent, and Tieks blue.

How Can I Afford Tieks?

How do I afford to keep buying Tieks? As you now know, I usually buy one pair of Tieks at a time and wear them until they wear out. (This is the first time I’ve ever had more than one pair at a time now that I have both Matte Black and Tyrian Purple at the same time.) I save up each time to buy my next pair; it can take a month or two of not spending on other everyday indulgences, but it’s possible if you are willing to do that.

I justify the cost of buying Tieks because I now know that they will last and more than make up for the initially higher upfront cost – plus they save my feet the pain and discomfort of cheaper flats. (Comfort is priceless to me!)

What are the Best Selling Tieks Colors?

There are a lot of different ways to decide what the best selling Tieks colors are. As I don’t have access to their sales data, here are the two ways I come up with what I consider the list of most popular Tieks colors:

Based on my quiz and the sales I drive for Tieks, the best selling Tieks colors are:

  • California Navy
  • Ballerina Pink
  • Matte Black
  • Leopard
  • Rouge

Based on Google search interest (how many people search), the best selling Tieks colors are:

  • Poppy
  • Lovestruck
  • Taupe
  • Leopard
  • Chestnut

As Leopard is on both lists, we can safely assume that’s probably among the best selling Tieks colors for sure!

What is the Most Versatile Tieks Color?

Based on the list of popular Tieks colors above, the most versatile Tieks colors are the neutrals: California Navy, Ballerina Pink, Matte Black, Taupe, and Chestnut.

If you want to find your own perfect versatile style, that’s the first question I ask on my Tieks quiz to give you a personalized color recommendation:

Where are the Tieks Negative Reviews?

If you’ve made it this far into my Tieks review (4,500 words and counting…) and you’re still looking for the other shoe to drop (no pun intended), let me explain why you don’t see many negative Tieks reviews.

  1. For most people, Tieks are really that great and they are happy with their purchase(s).
  2. In most cases, Tieks excellent customer service is able to resolve issues so that people don’t feel the need to leave a negative Tieks review.
  3. Many bloggers are part of a Tieks affiliate program, including me. When you buy a pair of Tieks after reading this Tieks review, you help support my business – and I’m recommending something I love, which hopefully makes it an easy sell!

And there you go – I’ve tried to give you all the info you need to make a decision and hopefully an investment in Tieks that you’re happy with! Do you have other questions about Tieks or my Tieks review? Let me know in the comments!

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