There are nine pairs of ballet flats in my closet. Nine pairs and each one of them ails my feet in one way or another: Too tight on my toes, rubs the back of my heels, no arch support, makes my feet sweat, etc. For someone who practically lives in ballet flats, I was in desperate need of a great "go to" pair.
I came across Tieks by Gavrieli on Pinterest several years ago. A cute, versatile shoe that advertised to be "The Ballet Flat, Reinvented." Then, I clicked the link, saw they were almost two hundred dollars and I died laughing and closed the web page. Two hundred dollars for ballet flats? How dumb did they think I was? But over the years, I kept coming back to these darn shoes. I kept reading reviews that promised me that not only were they amazing, but every single blog I read and every single person I spoke to told me this: They're worth it.
Last week, I finally broke down and (crying a little as I clicked order) bought my first pair of Tieks in Matte Black. Some initial things you should know if you have never heard of these shoes: Each pair of Tieks takes three days to make. They are hand-stitched and made with 100% Italian leather. The split-sole is Tiek blue and designed to fold in half. These shoes are equipped with a cushioned back to support your Achilles tendon. Oh, and they come in about a jillion different colors and patterns, ranging in sizes 5-13.
My Tieks shipped from Beverly Hills the morning after I ordered them and arrived at my house in Charlotte in less than two days. Somewhere during that time, I decided that I should have ordered a size up. I wear a strict size 8.5. Tieks only come in full sizes so I decided to size down to an 8, figuring that, being made of leather, they would stretch over time. After the shoes had already shipped, I began to rethink my decision and emailed Tieks customer service asking to for a size up. They were punctual with their response and after submitting an exchange form, a size 9 was on the way the next morning. This was all free of charge with a prepaid shipping label to send back the ill-fitting size. The size 9 fit perfectly, so I would definitely recommend sizing up if you're in between.
I wasn't convinced from the moment I put the Tieks on my feet for the first time that they were the most amazing shoe to ever exist. Immediately, I could tell they had a surprising amount of support and had potential to be great. But I think a lot of people like to pretend that Tieks don't have a break-in time. They are not these magical slippers that are automatically formed to your foot. It took 4 or 5 days of wear to fully break them in. I was getting worried that I had just thrown a ton of money out the window on shoes that weren't any better than the nine pairs I already have in my closet. By Day 5, I wore my Tieks for upwards of 10 hours and I can really tell that the leather is starting to mold to fit my foot. I have zero pain, zero discomfort. My toes have plenty of room, my heels don't have blisters and angry red marks, the bottoms of my feet don't ache and - this is the best part to me - my feet don't sweat in my Tieks, usually my biggest complaint about wearing ballet flats.
Needless to say, I'm hooked. I'm already planning to buy a pair in Ballerina Pink to wear to my wedding next fall. The Tiek blue sole will be my "Something Blue" and I will have happy, stylish, and comfortable feet on the day we say, "I Do!" It has only been five days, and I think I can confidently answer the question I'm sure you've all read this far to hear: They. Are. Worth it.