A Detailed Tieks Review After Four Years of Travel
The One Bag Traveler recommends Gear, Destinations and Adventures. 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. I’m not usually into designer shoes, but Tieks are special. I only own three pairs of shoes—running shoes, hiking sandals, and
The One Bag Traveler recommends Gear, Destinations and Adventures.
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.
I’m not usually into designer shoes, but Tieks are special. I only own three pairs of shoes—running shoes, hiking sandals, and ballet flats—so it’s important that the ones I do have are comfortable, versatile, and durable.
I used to travel with cheap, flimsy ballet flats that hurt my feet and fell apart quickly in the rugged conditions I wore them in. Fours years ago I tried my first pair of Tieks 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. They’ve been my primary shoes ever since.
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.
Before I dive into the review here’s a quick overview of the three pairs of Tieks ballet flats I’ve owned in the last four years.
I received my first pair of Tieks 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!
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.
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 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 recommend 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.
OK, this is a trivial thing, but I have to give a shout out to the gorgeous packaging Tieks arrive in along with a personalised note. It makes it feel like Christmas.
My Lilac Tieks and the pretty box they arrived in.
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. 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 were 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 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.
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…