I don’t often do product reviews but I’ve been hearing so many women rave about tieks for travel that I had to try them myself. At $175 per pair the cost is prohibitive for many travelers. I’d count myself in the group that finds this price point nearing the ludicrous, but I go through shoes so quickly that one good pair of durable, long-lasting shoes might be worth the money I’d have otherwise spend on 3-5 pairs of cheap shoes. A bought a pair of nice, everyday boots at Target only to have them fall apart two months later. Shoes aren’t meant to be disposable, people!
My tieks arrived this morning in lovely packaging. I’d agree with other reviews that the packaging is handsome but if it is contributing to the higher cost than not entirely worth it. One nice touch was a hand-written note with my name. Very rare and, I’ll admit, it kind of won me over a bit. I’m a sucker for old-school flare and this family-run company is pretty neat. If you don’t know much about the company, check out their website.
The shoes come with a little carry pouch and a larger tieks- blue bag. I’m not sure what the intention of the bag is, or how it relates to the shoes but hey, who scoffs at free stuff? I will say that if you’re sensitive at all to smells, the bag has a post-production chemical reek to it. Mine is currently airing out in the great outdoors. The packaging also had a nice pink flower on an elastic loop. I guess in a pinch you could wear this as some kind of middle-school headdress.
I slipped the shoes on and noticed some pain and pinching right away. I’m a 7.5 so I read the instructions online carefully before ordering a size 7 (tieks don’t come in mid sizes). The 7s are a bit painful around my heel and the toe joint (is that a term? toe joint?). Anyways, I will do as instructed on the tieks website and wear them with wool socks around the house for a while to see if they will stretch out. In the meantime, I took them off to write as the pain was a bit distracting. I spent a lot of money on these tiny shoes so if they don’t comfy-up really fast I’ll be on the phone to tieks pretty quick.
I’ll also point out that the mini toe buttcrack is showing, which seems somehow trashy. Am I over-thinking it or should shoes cover more of my toes? You’ll also notice int he picture below that you can see the outline of my toes near the front of the shoe. I’ve read other reviews that said they wore through quickly where the nails rubbed. I’m worried about this already and the shoes are 11 minutes old. So, I’ll keep an eye on the durability factor and let you know if my toes pop through or the visible toe crack is distracting to more than just me and my overly-taxed brain.
For a traveler, I’m not sure tieks would be a great fit simply because they can’t get wet. I bought mine for everyday wear, but other reviewers have said that even a few sprinkles on their leather tops and the color was damaged. I’m going to try to preserve these by adding a waterproofing agent designed for leather. I’ll let you know if that works. In the meantime, have any of you ever had a day of travel where water didn’t come into play at least once? I’ve had a whole toilet explode on me in a bus station. I’ve slipped on god-knows-what and landed in a ditch full of waste. I’ve been out in the wild under the premise of good weather only to be stranded by Biblical thunderstorms and showers. Any one of those days would have seen these tieks ruined. And I wouldn’t trade those days for a pair of shoes. So, if you’re planning on traveling like a (ahem) traveler, then maybe stick to boots. If you plan on traveling in a first-world city where sewage is moved about politely underground than perhaps these are for you. Especially since they can be dressed up or down and seem very versatile for a pleasant, Parisian-like wardrobe.
UPDATE: Returning my Tieks
After wearing them around the house in wool socks for an afternoon there was no improvement. They are still pinching my feet, hurting my heels and my toes are threatening to pop through the leather. I will be returning my tieks with a somewhat heavy heart. I contacted customer service. They immediately sent a return shipping label and I was able to return them with ZERO hassle. Awaiting refund now.
I really wanted to love them. I’ve been looking for high-quality shoes that I could dress up or down and wear everyday. I was hoping tieks would be it. If you’re a half size, you might want to consider ordering two pairs and then keeping the one that fits. Just an idea. I don’t know that I’ll try again, but if I do you’ll be the first to know.