what to pack travel

Tieks Shoes – Are They Really The Perfect Travel Shoe?

The Only Tieks Review You Need

Updated February 2021

Welcome, friends! I’m sensing you want concrete evidence that Tieks are the fabulous, foldable, absolutely-ideal-for-travel shoes they claim to be.

Good news!

I tried Tieks shoes out so I could help answer just that question!

And take note, I first wrote this review several years ago and am now the proud owner of 7 pairs of Tieks. I wore them traveling around the world, to the White House and to my wedding, so yeah, I like them a lot!

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Tieks by Gavrieli

Fabulous, luxurious, foldable, Italian leather ballet flats

Tieks Shoe Review

“But Ange,” you must be saying as I did when I saw the price tag, “why would I want to pay $165+ for flats?!” 

First of all, Oprah does. And you know if Oprah is doing something, that means it’s more than good enough for the rest of us, am I right? (Put it out of your head that Oprah could literally afford to buy all the Tieks in existence and just stick with me for a second…)

Tieks Shoe Review

Savoring the moment

Opening my Tieks was an event!

I waited several days with the nondescript white box sitting on my desk so I could really savor the process of digging into my new luxury Tieks shoes. Before I even made it to the shoes, I was smitten by the adorable turquoise box – tell me what girl doesn’t get a little fluttery about a turquoise/blue box — wrapped with a cute flowery bow.

Not sure if it was designed to be a cat headband, but that’s the first thing I thought of…

Tieks Shoe Review

Don’t be fooled – she is a slave to fashion

More than just shoes. The Tieks aren’t the only thing you get in the blue box, y’all. They come with a handful of useful accessories like clips to pin up the ends of your pants for the walk home. I would’ve saved the backs of many a ruined pair of work pants in NYC if I’d only had these.

There’s also a bag to store the heels you’re inevitably going to shed after a couple of hours – dancing at a wedding, milling about at a cocktail party with Oprah – whatever. You just plop the villainous high heels in the bag, slide on your Tieks, and go on your merry Gangnam-style-dancing way.

Tieks Shoe Review

The hardest part of this whole process was choosing from one of dozens of available colors, so I phoned a fashion friend – my BFF La La La Lauren – to help me choose from the rainbow. I never in 100 million years would’ve chosen an animal print without assistance – I have a nagging fear of ever resembling a Jersey Shore cast member – so naturally I was leaning toward sophisticated, grown-up Obsidian Black Tieks or Metallic Pewter Tieks. That’s me, always living on the very edge of fashion risk-taking.

Under Lauren’s tutelage, I ultimately decided on the Giraffe Print Tieks(It’s faux giraffe, just in case you were wondering. And no, you can’t get them anymore. Sorry!)

 Tieks Shoe Review

Are Tieks Worth the Price?

Super duper high quality. Y’all know I’m a mega bargain hunter and DIY gal. I will spend hours, days even, searching for the best deal on a flight and I rarely pay full price for anything. That said, I am willing to fork over cash for comfort and durability, so the fact that my Tieks will last for many, many miles make it worth the price.

The other comfy (but not cute) flats I’ve been traveling the world with need to be replaced every 3-4 months while Tieks take three days and 150 steps to craft out of leather and possibly some sort of Elfin shoe magic. 

Tieks Shoe Review

Versatility. I have a strict 3-shoe rule when traveling long term: a pair of flip-flops, a pair of athletic shoes and a pair of close-toed flats. This means I have to select those three pairs very, very carefully. The comfortable flats have to be casual and comfy enough to wear on a walking tour but dressy enough to attend a dinner with the former South African president. (Yes, that happened! If only I’d had Tieks then, I wouldn’t have had to hide my shoes under the table all night!)

I love that I can wear my giraffe Tieks anytime or any place and they fit in.Tieks Shoe Review

Are Tieks Comfortable?

Comfort. The most important aspect of any shoe for me is comfort – regardless of price. Tieks have a split, non-skid rubber sole and are made of that soft, hand-stitched leather.  The turquoise split sole makes them easily foldable and flexible, molding to the shape of the foot.

I wish I’d known about Tieks when I was living in NYC – they are absolutely the perfect commuter shoe.

Tieks Shoe Review

Who wears Tieks? Well, obviously Oprah and I have Tieks in common now, among so many other things — but also big city gals with public transit commutes, anyone who travels for business or pleasure and stylish ladies who put a lot of mileage on their tootsies.

Only one question remains… what color Tieks are you buying? 


No cats or giraffes were harmed in the making of this post. Thanks to Tieks for sending the shoes. I’m a fan! 


Tieks shoes - are they the perfect travel shoe?
Tieks shoes - are they the perfect travel shoe?
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  • September 23, 2012

    I’ve never even heard of Tieks before! They look super comfy (and cute!), though. I tend to just wear whatever shoes are my bulkiest (usually some sort of boots) for the trip I’m going on to save space in my suitcase.

    • September 23, 2012

      I do that, too – always wear the biggest ones like the tennis shoes or boots. But on the off chance I don’t have to bring either of those, I can see Tieks being a perfect shoe to wear when going through security – easy on and off!

      • June 16, 2020
        Virginia Dore

        If you EVER sell your giraffe size 9s please let me know because I’m dying to find them and I know they stopped making that kind.

        • June 18, 2020

          They’re so beat up, Virginia – you wouldn’t want them these days!

  • September 24, 2012

    I didn’t know about these, but now have been seeing that turquoise sole all over the place! Great variety, glad you went with the giraffe print. Super cute and neutral. I’m also a sucker for cute packaging. Love ’em! 🙂

    • September 24, 2012

      I know – I had no idea how widespread Tieks adoption had become! But I see so many gals I know wearing them.

  • September 27, 2012

    Those shoes are adorable! I have a four shoe rule but we’re basically in the same line of thought, haha. Do you think Tieks would get dirty or rip though?

    • September 27, 2012

      They definitely won’t rip – they’re so, so durable & sturdy! I do worry that the lighter colored ones could get dirty, so you won’t catch me wearing mine anywhere muddy or nasty!

      • March 17, 2014

        Actually, they do rip. I got mine (I got two pairs: black obsidian, and the gold) about a year and a few months ago, and about 8 months in, the sides, like a little ways closer to my ankle than my pinky toe (if that makes sense) had holes – in both pairs! The stitching also came loose in the inside of one of the gold ones after a couple months, so I have a string hanging out that I always need to tuck in. They definitely have their good sides – comfortable, convenient…but I won’t be spending the money again. I know you can find 1000 rave reviews and no negative ones that I’ve found, but my experience wasn’t that great. I loved them in the beginning, but within a few months of normal wear, they were like any other flats – stinky and not as cute as they once were.

        • May 19, 2015

          I know this is substantially later, but you should know that of the reviews I have read if anyone had quality problems like what you experienced with your Tieks they were often given a replacement pair free of charge.

          • October 17, 2015

            I just got a pair of Tieks—and was SO excited. Within two weeks of the purchase, the thread started to unravel. They had me send all kinds of pictures in and were going to “repair” my BRAND new shoes. After I pushed pretty hard, they issued me a new pair but made it VERY clear that they considered the defect my fault and that it wasn’t company policy to replace for situations like mine. ( I’ve had $20 shoes from TARGET that last longer than that!) Love the comfort factor, but am a bit jaded by my negative customer service experience. I guess I just took for granted that paying so much for shoes would also get me exceptional customer service. My mistake.

          • August 11, 2016

            Thank you for letting me know; as the stitching in my shoes are coming apart as well. I’ll contact customer service and see what they say.

        • October 09, 2015

          I got my pink and worn a few days now… honestly I don’t usually write review but I can’t just hold back.. it hurt my feet especially my big toe and at the end of the shoes the leather was tear off already and it’s only been 3 days. I walked in short distant and all day in the office not like I’m walking outside everyday. my big disappoint was after you worn them you can’t return or exchange. with these kind of expensive shoes I’m expected to be much better. I would refer purchase Tory Burch is better quality and you can return if you’re not satisfied. Tieks customer services wasn’t helpful at all. All they do was repeat after themselves about co policy and nothing they can do for you.

          • April 25, 2017

            I’m so sad to hear that they wouldn’t help you. I just emailed them photos tonight of mine – I’ve also had them for three days and the heel is scuffed off! Fingers crossed I catch a kind customer service person in a really good mood…

        • February 17, 2017

          same thing! I just got mine two weeks ago and the inside stitching on both shoes is already coming apart. They are going to send me another pair though. It’s so odd that you can’t find any negative reviews though…

      • September 01, 2016

        Not true! The sole on my matte black tieks started to fall apart after my third wear! I wanted to love these but I am not impressed and they’re definitely not worth the $200!!

        • September 28, 2016

          I’ve had two pairs now for just over a month and had the rubber on the outside of the top part of the right shoe sole rip twice, while I was walking… like you could feel the tear. I want to love them, but I’m inching towards hate.

  • October 10, 2012

    These shoes seem like they would be really great for traveling. However, I just can’t imagine paying that much for a pair of flats.

    • October 10, 2012

      Although, I’m pretty cheap when it comes to shoes. I’ve only spent over $100 on shoes twice in my life, and both times it was on leather riding boots.

  • October 16, 2012

    Just got mine last week – I went with the grown up metallic pewter (though I had my heart set on Ruby Red) and absolutely love them as an around the town all event shoe. Planning to use them as dancing shoes at my wedding, so they’re being put to good use already!

    Reserving judgement on “best travel shoe ever” until I actually travel in them, but I wouldn’t mind a little more arch support if I’m going to be doing a ton of walking.

    • October 17, 2012


      I wondered about the arch support in the shoes. I have high arches, so I can’t imagine that they would work for me.

      • October 17, 2012

        I have very, very high arches and haven’t had a problem with the arch support at all. I supposed everyone’s different, but it hasn’t been an issue for me.

        • October 17, 2012

          I might just have to try them, but first I need to save up some money. 🙂

  • October 19, 2012

    Giraffe print?! How cute!

  • November 10, 2012

    I own tieks. They are very cute… But after wearing them for a couple of hours I had bad pain in my heels. I even ended up going to a doctor and had to wear sport shoes for three weeks. Next month I tried to wear tieks again and same thing happened. The soles are so thin than you can feel the payment. I’m surprised that people are not complaint about these shoes. They offer no arch support and are very light like a shell. If you feet feel good wearing them very likely later you going to develop feel ailments. Save some money and buy a good quality Italian shoe. It might cost you more but at least you will not end up wearing granny shoes till the rest of your life. Of course every person has different feet too. But you need to know the risks associated with wearing shoes like tieks.

    • March 17, 2014

      I just commented above regarding the quality, but this is another excellent point. I never had worse foot pain than after I wore these on a night out. It would kill me to walk down stairs the next day! I guess that’s true of any flat, but for $195 I expect more. In their defense, it does say right on their website that they offer no support, so at least they’re honest. I found some really cute Clarks since then that are kind of like ballet flats, except they have great support and are great for a night out where you’ll be on your feet all night. I can’t justify $195 for shoes that are only meant to be worn for an hour at the end of the night once a week or so.

    • August 17, 2014

      I love flats in fact I live in them everyday. Tieks seemed a really cute good option. Finally I got a pair in size 10 (I usually wear 9.5 or 10) but as Beachpotatoe said this flats are not really good for your feet, I had ankle pain for 2 days after wearing the Tieks for 3 hours, the stifness of the midsole along with the tighness of the leather creates a tension in the muscles of the top of my feet 🙁 unfortunately I wore my Tieks outdoors so I couldn’t return them, instead I sold them on internet and with the money that I got I purchased a pair of Michael Kors city ballets, more comfortable and without any pain on my feet, they feel more like slippers, I prefer to try flats at the store, get the right size and decide at the moment if they are comfortable or not. Other brand that works for me is Sam Edelman Felicia, really cute comfy flats that cost half the price of Tieks.I feel sad that this cute flats didn’t work for me.

  • November 10, 2012

    Sorry about typos, as I was typing on my phone.

  • December 08, 2012

    I am assuming that these can’t be worn when the ground is wet? Big downfall for Minnesotans who deal with rain and the spring thaw … which is often perfect flat weather!

    • December 08, 2012

      I’ve worn them in wet conditions with no problem. You just need to care for them as you would any leather shoe…

  • February 20, 2013

    I am wondering how they are holding up. I am considering purchasing a pair, but worried about the durability. Have read many blog reviews about opening the pretty box and wearing them a week, but how about now? Any update?

    • February 20, 2013

      I’m wearing mine right now, actually! They’ve held up perfectly. I did get my giraffe ones quite dirty in Morocco but wiped them clean no problem once I got home. Now I’m the proud owner of a red pair, too. Can’t complain…

    • February 21, 2013

      I wore my metallic pewters Saturday for a quick jaunt to the mall. When I got back outside, we’d had a freak snowstorm and I had about 1.5 inches of heavy wet snow to slog through to get back to my car. Most flats would dissolve in that scenario, or at least get spotty/ruined. My tieks were completely unaffected (and luckily I had a pair of show boots in my car so that I could clear the snow off the car). This made me love my Tieks even more!

    • February 21, 2013

      Thanks very much! Ordered my first pair today.

  • March 27, 2013

    What do you use to protect the giraffe leather? And any recommendations on cleaning product or technique? Mine are getting a bit gray…

    • March 28, 2013

      I just wipe mine with a damp cloth. Mine got a bit gray in Morocco but the cloth did the trick!

      haven’t done anything to protect them, though I don’t wear them in super wet conditions if I can help it!

  • April 05, 2013
    Carrie Harvey

    I am planning a 2 week trip in Italy where I will be walking all day. Do you think these would be a good choice for a lot of walking? Thanks for the advice.

    • April 06, 2013

      I wouldn’t hesitate to wear mine, though if I were you I’d buy them and wear them around a bit before deciding. Every foot is different!

  • April 29, 2013

    Hi I’m from singapore and I’m interested to have a pair of teiks but I don’t know where to get it from here. Anybody have any idea where can I get it here near singapore or order from the us? Big thanks.

    • May 10, 2013

      You can only get them from http://www.tieks.com. I have 8 pairs now and I love them.
      BTW, if you need more arch support or any more padding, there is room for a foot pad or an orthotic arch support.

      • June 08, 2013

        The arch support was what I was interested in! thanks for mentioning that,?not sure if I want to pay that much for no support? how should I do sizing if I have to put in an arch support? also, dont like not trying on before purchase, as I go tween 8-81/2 ?

    • May 11, 2013

      Hi Pamela, You can only get them directly from Tieks, and they can ship internationally. At least that’s what their website says.

  • June 08, 2013

    Hi, I’m going to order a pair for a trip to Peru. I normally wear an 81/2. Should I go up or down in size?


  • June 08, 2013

    Angie, I am also going on a 3 month long trip where I will be walking constantly and I have flat feet so my Toms and plain flats just won’t cut it. Do you think these have any support? Do your feet hurt at the end of the day?

  • August 07, 2013

    Ouch.Sigh. I knew it was too good to be true at any price. I know i’ve only had them for one day and I will try to wear them for a few more days but not sure they will stretch. NO ARCH SUPPORT IS A BIG DEAL. TIEKS 2, at a lower price should definitely have them.sizing needs to be changed. i’m usually a 7.5 and the 8 is snug. Good for Oprah but I don’t have this kind of money. Kind of disappointed.

    • September 03, 2013

      If you are looking for a stylish and sophisticated foldable flat, take a look at FlipSlips on Kickstarter. These shoes fold sole-to-sole, which makes them compressible and clean. Just wondering if you ladies have an opinion about design principles for a compact shoe that goes in a purse—shouldn’t it address the problem of compactness and hygiene?

  • September 26, 2013

    I am looking to purchase my first pair of Tieks; I love pretty flats and we travel a lot, so it makes sense. My dilemma is what size to order? Almost everyone describes them as too tight, seemingly by a half to a full size. I wear a true 8… if I order the 8 will they be too small; or will a 9 be too loose? Why in the world couldn’t they just make half-sizes…..
    Suggestions, please.

    • September 26, 2013

      Get the ones you think will work… if they don’t fit, it’s super easy to return them and get the next size up if you need it. That’s what I did the first time and it was so simple.

    • May 15, 2016

      I normally wear an 8 to an 8 1/2 and went with the size 8. My toe on the left foot, which is slightly longer, was at the very end. While I liked the snug fit, I didn’t like my toe at the very end. In the past, I ended up not wearing the shoes that fit like that. What Tieks told me is that they may stretch but they won’t get longer. I exchanged for a size 9 (8.5 would have been perfect) and while slightly big on the right foot, the left feels better. I also noticed in the comparison that the 8 actually looked small.

  • October 28, 2013

    Any idea how these would do on wide feet? I’ve had several foot surgeries that have changed the shape of my foot leading me to have trouble with shoes being too narrow at the mid foot and towards the toe (in the place where most women’s feet narrows). I have read great reviews about Tieks, but since they don’t offer wides I was wondering how they were in this area. Wondering if you or any commenters here can help…thanks

    • March 17, 2014

      I know I am very late on this as I just found this page, but I also have wide feet, and they really aren’t good for us. I believe my wide feet are why mine shredded and wore away on the outside edges – because the leather is rubbing against the sidewalk if your foot is a little wider than the plastic part on the bottom of the shoe.

  • November 17, 2013

    I’m sorry, but after having received my pair of Tieks…there’s not much I can say other than that the leather appears to be good. There is no support…..not much padding either. I don’t find them comfortable. They are def not worth the money. Having said that, the company is great and with free shipping, so try them for yourself. IMHO they are waaaay overpriced.

  • November 20, 2013

    Yes, they do rip and tear. I have two pair (blue and black). One has done fine, the other, stuck in a rainstorm, rip to shreds in the back leather part and the bottom leather teal rubber pads unstitched from the shoe. I contacted Tieks and they said they cannot repair them. My blue ones are fine, the black ones I cannot even wear anymore.

  • September 07, 2014

    I just received my Tieks yesterday in size 8. I wore them for 4 hours yesterday and my big toes were throbbing. I normally wear a size 81/2. Should I have ordered a 9?

    • September 08, 2014

      That might help – I ordered 9s and I usually wear 8 1/2.

  • November 12, 2014

    Yaaaaas. You might be my spirit animal. I know this post is hella old but I’m crazy about my Tieks. My well-to-do financial professional sister-in-aw gifted me with a pair three years ago. They’re STILL in perfect condition and my go-to flats on the road. I’m obsessed. Hoping to squirrel away enough pennies for a second pair someday.

  • November 25, 2015

    I jave had 2 pairs of Tieks that ripped within months of wearing them. The 2nd pair they replaced but made it clear that this would be the only time. They are very cute and comfy but after spending $175 and having the sole rip within 5 months (on 2 pairs), I won’t be purchasing again.

    • November 25, 2015

      Wow, that’s crazy! I’m on my 6th or 7th pair and haven’t had a similar issue, though the oldest pairs are starting to look pretty beat up after traveling around the world!

  • March 06, 2016
    Ilana Glickman

    I found them to be totally uncomfortable from the get-go. No support, tight it in the toe box. When I called customer service to complain, the rep said just give them a few more days to stretch out. The $60. “Me Too” ballet flats I have from DSW are way more comfortable. A lot of hype and cost for nothing. Very disappointed.

    • March 06, 2016

      Oh I hate to hear that! I’m on my 6th or 7th pair now and they work great for me, though I will say that some materials are more comfortable than others. Patent ones tend to be less comfy in the toes for me. Every foot is different – hopefully they’ll let you return yours!