This is an updated review for Tieks. I bought my first pair during Black Friday weekend 2016, and since June, I have worn them pretty much every single day as I head to clinical rotations. So are they worth the hype? Are they still as amazing as I once thought that they were?
Yes, they are expensive. And yes, they have flaws (what shoe doesn’t?). But I am completely in love with my shoes and the way my feet feel when I wear them — even on my chaotic, seeing patients for 10 hours days.
I started out with the special edition Champagne color that was released during Black Friday weekend of 2016. I had already been thinking about getting a pair, so when I saw this color, I fell head over heels in love. My cousin had been raving about these shoes for a year, and I couldn’t resist snagging my own pair. I thought that they would be the perfect pop of color but still professional enough that I would be able to wear them on a regular basis to clinic.
And it was the best decision I could have made.
Shortly after that, I put the Burgundy pair on my Christmas/Birthday wish-list and begged my mom to buy them for me. Then I ended up buying the Leopard Print pair during Spring Semester. My newest obsession (and hopefully next pair) is California Navy.
I know what you’re thinking, Tieks are all over Pinterest and the blogging world, and every review out there seems to be raving about them. There’s was no way that the hype is true, and that these flats are as good as everyone says. But they are.
Every time I wear these shoes, I get comments on them — either compliments or questions. And every time I respond that these shoes are absolutely worth the hype and the cost.
So here is my completely honest review of Tieks by Gavrieli.
These shoes are seriously the most comfortable kind of ballet flats I have ever owned or tried on. I have the most sensitive feet (and skin) in the world. Any new pair of shoes I get, or even just when I wear a pair that hasn’t gotten love for a while, I’ll get huge blisters and cuts wherever the shoe touches my skin. This has never been an issue with any of my pairs of Tieks. I’ve honestly never even gotten a red mark from them, much less a blister. The only discomfort I’ve ever experienced with my Tieks was when I got my first pair; I did have a little pain where my great toe was when I first started wearing them. But I ended up wearing my shoes around the house with a pair of thick socks and I haven’t had any problems since that.
The back is a nice raunched style back that moves with your foot as you walk, so you don’t have to worry about those heel blisters. They’re not sliding around on your feet, but they aren’t so tight as to cause Achilles tendon pain. I walk all over the place in them, running around DC as I do errands before or after clinic. There have been so many occasions when another pair of shoes would have given me a blister on the heel, and yet my Tieks never have. I feel confident that when I put these on, I can walk as much as I need to without a worry, and that’s just what I do. On an average day, I’m doing about 5 miles of walking in my Tieks, with no complaints.
With the design of the sole, there is actual cushion and support, unlike so many pairs of ballet flats that are just that – flat. The sole is a thick, truly good for your feet sole. I actually feel like I’m wearing a pair of shoes and not just a thin strip of plastic on my feet with no support. I’m wearing these shoes for at least 8 hours every day and I don’t have a desk job. I walk 11 blocks to clinic, and then I’m standing on my feet all day. Yet, I always come home feeling like I had been wearing a pair of tennis shoes. Plus, I just love that pop of Tieks’ blue color! The soles are also designed in a way that lets to shoe fold for storage, which is super convenient for going on trips or even just if you live in a tiny apartment.
These shoes are made of real leather. Real leather means real quaility, and that means these really will last! I’m wearing these shoes every day, all day, and mine still look amazing. Granted I try to rotate between my three pairs so that no one pair is getting too much love. And I also try to really take care of them, because if you’re wearing your shoes every day and not exactly treating them well, they’re obviously going to show wear faster. I store my shoes flat instead of folded, and I also clean and condition them once a month. I’ve seen some complaints from people about how expensive these shoes are and how they should “last forever”. Sure, that would be great, but realistically you’re getting out of them what you put in. Treat them well and they will treat you well.
Another bonus is that this company is dedicated to their customers. They’ll take back any unworn show, no matter how long ago they were bought or gifted, which is great for those of us who buy gifts way in advance. Shipping (both to you and return) is free of cost and hassle! This is also great if you’re worried about sizing, as you can easily exchange them without worry. Every Tieks comes with a handwritten note, and when you email their customer service, you get a prompt response from someone who will treat you with respect. Any time there is some sort of abnormal problem, they’re often very willing to either send a replacement pair, or offer a discount for a new pair of shoes. There’s tons of options for colors and styles. They have vegan shoes, patent leather, and classic style, as well as a bunch of print styles.
But perhaps my favorite part about these shoes (apart from them being the one of the most comfortable things I put on my feet), and the main reason I love them so much is because they are classy and versatile. I originally bought these shoes to use a professional option during clinical rotations. And yes, they look great with all of my business clothes, and are oh-so-comfortable when I’m running around the clinic all day. But I still have the option to wear them with a pair of jeans and a plain tee, and they look just as great. They’ve become my go-to shoes in my closet, even over sandals. Before, I would have never worn a ballet flat unless I absolutely had to.
Now for the downfalls.
Downside of them being real leather is that you shouldn’t wear them in the rain, and it’s possible to get scuffs. Honestly, this isn’t too much of a deal breaker for me. I can’t really wear any of my nice shoes in the rain, nor would I want to. Its why I have rain boots or chacos (yes, I am from the South, and yes, I wear my chacos with pride as much as possible). The Patent leather version is more resistant to rain, but even then I don’t know how worth wearing them in the rain would be. Same thing with the scuffs — this is possible with any pair of shoes. There are a bunch of lists out there on polishes to use to cover these up.
You can get damage from driving in them. Right now, this isn’t a big deal for me as I live in a very walkable city, but I can understand some irritation from it. Best bet is just to take the shoes off and drive barefoot — think of it like wearing a pair of heels or rain boots.
Part of me doesn’t like the way you can see the outline of my big toenail through the leather, I’m a little worried it will cause wear there and an eventual tear. But in all of my research, I didn’t find people complaining about this, and when I looked at other’s wearing the shoes, it was a common thing. You can also insert some moleskin in the top to help get rid of this bump and add in some extra support from rubbing.
Yes, these shoes are expensive (they start at $175), and yes, there are a ton of other beautiful ballet flats out there to try. But I would absolutely buy them again. And I will always continue to recommend them to people, whether they’re a healthcare provider or a busy mom running after toddlers or just your typically college student.
I hope you enjoyed my honest review of Tieks by Gavrieli – my favorite pair of flats and the only kind I actually enjoy wearing for long hours at clinic.
Comment your thoughts on these shoes below, because I would love to know what you think! Also feel free to follow me on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), or subscribe to the blog to get a better look into my daily life as I try to survive life with a stethoscope and some sparkle.