I’ve been seeing ads for Tieks brand ballet slippers everywhere and have to admit that their marketing has been working on me. A classic looking ballet flat that’s durable, slip-free, and comfortable? Count me in.
Pros: Comfortable, classic, no-slip grippy thing at the bottom, good customer service, free shipping and returns.
Cons: Toe-cleavage, expensive.
It took me a lot of internal debating to finally click “buy” on the Tieks website. Paying more than $50 on ballet slippers seems way too much. The fact that Tieks are more than $100 was really hard for me to overcome. But paired with a holiday discount code and a moment of, “Ugh, I’m so worn out, I need some retail therapy — I deserve this!” and I ended up buying the matte black classic Tieks. It was either those or the cardinal red, since I can’t seem to turn away from red shoes.
Shipping was free and incredibly fast. I ordered Tieks in the afternoon and I think they came the next day. I guess it helps that I live in the same county that the shoes were shipped from.
There are tons of unboxing videos and posts about Tieks, so I’ll spare you too many details about that. Packaging was nice, but I would have liked them to save a few dollars from packaging and pass it on to the consumer. I think they were capitalizing on the Tiffany blue color of jewelry boxes. I could have done without the sparkly flower headband, after putting it on Robin and having a few laughs.
I was a little worried that them being stuffed folded up in a box like that would have a lasting effect, but they seemed fine. When I slipped the shoes on, I was surprised at how comfortable they were. They almost felt pre-worn-in.
One thing I can’t stand in these type of shoes is toe-cleavage. I have longer than average toes, so it is a big issue for me. I don’t know why I don’t like looking at it. Unfortunately, these Tieks do give me toe cleavage, which was one reason I debated sending them back — which they make easy with free shipping and returns. It took me a week of thinking about returning them. I emailed Tieks support and get their opinion on whether I should order the next size up. Their FAQ said if you’re between sizes to go the closest full size down. I’m usually 8.5 in dress shoes, so I went with an 8. Their support suggested I wear them around the house with thick socks to stretch them out a little if I didn’t want to order a 9 to try out.
I did the socks thing and it seemed to help a little. I then wore them out for a full day with a lot of walking. That day gave me blisters but I attribute that to the 2+ mile walk on asphalt. No non-athletic shoe would have been 100% comfortable. Even now, the toebox still feels a bit snugger than I like and I’m guessing they won’t stretch out any further, but they’re not unwearable. I usually don’t notice the snugness unless I’ve had the shoe on all day. I think next time I’ll order a 9 and see what happens.
So are the shoes worth their $100+ price tag? For this pair of classic black shoes that I’ll probably wear to death, yes. I haven’t found any other ballet flats that are as comfortable. I probably won’t buy another pair for a long time because it’s a splurge. I thought the signature blue sole would annoy me but I’ve come to like the quirk. If you’re like me and want to just keep a handful of comfortable, high-quality shoes, then I’d say go ahead and get them. If you already have a closet full of this style of shoe, skippable.