I originally wrote this Tieks ballet flats review in 2012 after Tieks sent me a free pair to try. I’m updating this as a Tieks travel review as I have been wearing them for 6 years. I’ve been fortunate enough that they’ve sent me two more pairs, but I’ve also bought two pairs on my own.
Here’s why Tieks ballet flats are perfect for travel.
When it comes to travel clothing I’m a minimalist. I prefer to travel in dresses, not because I’m formal but choosing one dress is easier than matching a top and bottom. I travel with less and I’m never underdressed.
Many times I also only travel with one pair of shoes and those are Tieks. They need to be comfortable enough to trudge through the cobblestone streets of Cusco while also looking fashionable enough for nights out in Rome.
I haven’t always been this way. I wrote about post called Pack This, Not That, explaining what to pack for South America based on my mistakes. I wrote ugly zip off pants a few times and hideous Chacos throughout Central America until I was robbed in Nicaragua.
After two years of traveling non-stop I was tired of looking like a slobby backpacker, or worse, a gringo. When Tieks reached out in 2012 I was ready.
I’ve updated this post because I wanted to keep all of the comments people have written over the years. No shoe is perfect for everyone and some people have valid criticism.
So six years, five pairs and four continents later let me tell give you the skinny.
The Honest Tieks Ballet Flats Review
High quality Italian leather shoes. The thick teal base makes them great for walking on streets all day. I haven’t found any other ballet flats that can withstand long hours on cobblestone streets.
Can I mention again they have great soles. When I showed up for a cave tour in a sundress and ballet flats the Cuban tour company thought I was crazy. But I didn’t slip once, unlike other participants in sandals.
Diversity of colours. I tend to choose neutral golds because they go with everything. I’ve had two pairs of Starstruck and most recently wild Copper but I’ve also worn ruby red.
Avoiding leather? There are vegan options. I’ve never worn them but I’ve heard good things.
They really do last. These are my go-to shoes when I travel. The soles are thick and don’t wear out. I’ve only tossed them after I wore them so often for two years that the leather separated from the base. I could have taken them to be fixed but I was hankering for new shiny ones.
You don’t have to take them off for airport security. Minor point here but I like that they don’t set off the detector.
The Not So Good
Tieks ballet flats are not cheap shoes. They range from $165 to $295. The Starstruck fall in the middle at $265. I walk a lot so $200-300/year for comfortable shoes that I wear daily is worth it.
Previously in Rome, I have the painful memory of coming home with ridiculously sore feet because the cobblestone streets crushed my previous cheap flats. I cannot go back to sore feet because I don’t want to spend the money for quality.
Durability. The Starstruck have a rough sandpaper like exterior that masks a lot of wear.
In January I opted for the more subtle Wild Copper which have a snakeskin like exterior. I’ve noticed more wear and tear on them after 6 months of daily wear.
I’ll probably get a year’s wear with them and need to buy another pair.
Some readers commented below that they were tough to break in. I did not notice that at all with my Starstruck Tieks but the Wild Copper did give a few blisters the first two weeks. But I consider this normal while breaking in any kind of leather shoe.
Do Tieks Ever Go on Sale?
It’s very rare but a Tieks sale has happened in the past. Sometimes you can find a discount code although I haven’t seen one in years. When I originally wrote this post I offered a 20% off code for the holidays so never say never!
But I’ve paid full price without regret, I really do love them.
I hope you enjoyed my honest Tieks ballet flats review. If you have a pair of these ballet flats I’d love to hear your thoughts or if you have a favourite travel shoe let me know in the comments below.