An Honest Tieks Review – Are they comfy? Do Tieks smell?


What are Tieks? They are a foldable leather pair of flats that you can take on the go with you. They also happen to come in the cutest packaging.


Whenever I peruse Pinterest, Tieks reviews are always popping up and they always have the same things in common:

a) The post is sponsored by Tieks themselves, OR

b) It’s the same cookie cutter blog post with practically the same review/comments.

When I was looking to purchase my own Tieks I did some Google searching and all the results were basically the same, making me question whether these shoes were really the answer to all my flat shoe prayers or if it was just too good to be true.  I feel there’s a need to provide you with an honest review from someone who isn’t going to sugar coat things.


I currently own 3 pairs of Tieks, but typically only wear one on a regular basis (Metallic Pewter). First thing to note, Tieks are pretty pricey with a price tag starting at $175. You need to make sure you’re ready to invest in something so pricey that may or may not work out for you. Flats are one of those items that are tricky to purchase, especially online and if you have narrow feet/ankles.

My ankles are pretty small so I’m used to giving up the fight with flats because they always slip off my ankles and make me feel like I’m wearing flip flops since they flop right off and flip right back up at me. My default is to just put on my trusty Target sandals. Skinny ankles aside, I’ve wanted to look more mature in the office and I felt flats were worth investing in (and investigating). Alas, I gave into the hype and purchased my first pair.

Initial reactions? The shoes were kind of uncomfortable, giving me blisters on my heels and the tight toe bed made my big toe on one foot noticeable through the leather. I even tried a size up thinking maybe I had the wrong size, but the larger size was too big and floppy. So, I took action and put on my fluffiest pair of socks and slipped on my Tieks to stretch them a bit, and I added stick on heel protectors inside of the shoes to cushion my heels and help with any potential blisters. This helped but it took several sock sessions and evenings out with my Tieks to make them feel comfortable.

Nowadays I am walking around in my already worn in pair of Tieks without the stick on heel protectors after several months of use, which gives me hope that Tieks can become a staple in my wardrobe. I’m still wearing only one of my pairs on a regular basis because breaking in the shoes is sometimes too exhausting when most of my commute involves walking. No one wants to commute in and out of Manhattan with blisters and the back of flats digging into your ankles.

Heavily worn Tieks

Now on to one TMI topic I must address: Smell. I don’t think I’m typically a sweaty foot kind of person but Tieks with their full leather construction make my feet heat up and get a bit sweaty, which leads to the leather (non-removable) insoles becoming worn and smelly. You don’t know how many Google searches I did to see if this was normal or if people had cleaning suggestions. Sadly, I always came up empty handed. Maybe I’m just special (weird), but I can’t be the only one with smelly Tieks! Sadly I don’t have a great suggestion to avoid them from getting smelly but I have found a couple products from Avon (Thanks Mom!) worth keeping on hand if you plan to do a lot of walking that have helped a bit.

Avon foot works – Deodorizing spray and foot powder help keep your Tieks smelling too much

Next up on my journey of fresh smelling Tieks I’ll be trying a new product, Foot Petals: Sock-Free Saviors, that are removable and machine washable insoles! They are supposed to help with odor and be a great tool for shoes you can’t wear socks with, or rather not wear socks with (thinking of Keds). I’ll be walking around with the Sock-Free Saviors over the next couple of weeks so stay tuned for a review here!

5 Takeaways on Tieks:

  1. Tieks aren’t life altering as some reviewers will make you think, but they are fashionable and are a great alternative to heels or sneakers.
  2. I don’t feel like I’m walking on clouds but I do feel a fair amount of cushioning thanks to the eye catching cushioned blue bottoms.
  3. For me at least, they required a great deal of breaking in – they weren’t super comfortable or enjoyable right out of the box but if you’re determined to keep your Tieks, keep at it with wearing socks with them within your home until you get them just right.
  4. As many other ladies have mentioned, Tieks should consider creating half sizes. Half sizes might help with those of us who have slight complaints about the initial fit, and found that going up a size didn’t resolve the initial tightness.
  5. The price is on the high side, but it’s worth paying the price for a well constructed pair of flats. I do a lot of walking in my Tieks to and from work and the shoes have held up and still look brand new on the outside.

Would I recommend them? Yes and no. If you have narrow ankles I would prepare for needing to do some extra breaking in. If you’re someone who typically wears new flats without issue, Tieks offer a great selection of colors with great cushioning. Happy walking!


UPDATE (2/16/2019): Check out my latest “shoe” blog where I talk about Tieks vs Rothys.

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  1. Hi Katie,

    I really loved your review about your new Tieks flats. I hope you don’t mind but I am young man and I love to wear ballet flats as my everyday shoes as I consider them beautiful, comfortable and easy to slip on & off. I also have 3 pairs of Tieks one in metallic gold, one in cobalt blue and the other in navy blue.

    I love them but they took me at least 3 or 4 weeks to break them in, wearing them with socks and applying heat with a hair dryer where the shoes pinched on my feet.

    I am a ladies size 9.5 and sometimes 10 so I size up as you said.The insoles of 2 of my Tieks are completely dark as I wear very often one of them they smell a little bit and the other not at all, I don’t know why, but most of my flats have some foot odor as I wear almost as everyday shoes barefoot. Have you ever consider to put green tea bags inside your Tieks that have some smell or Dr Scholl spray inside them? Bothe methods work well for some of my worn flats.

    I love the cute full range of colors that Tieks has but they are really expensive that I ask my family and friend to give Tieks gift cards as a present(well it’s only a suggestion lol), maybe next pair would be chesnut color or the leopard ones, hard to decide which would be the next color.

    Personally I think there is not a perfect ballet flat and most of them need a break in period, the few ones that I found comfty right out the box are Frye Carson flats and Camper Nina right mary janes, maybe you would like to try them at the shoe store.

    Thanks for your honest review and have a nice day


    1. Thanks Ivan! I’ll have to check out your recommendations 🙂

      I’m also glad to hear I’m not the only one out there who found a lot of breaking in was needed to make Tieks more comfortable. Funny enough, I’m actually wearing a pair today! I’ve been using a fabfeet blisstick anti-friction stick lately to help keep things feely comfy too, and it’s worked out great so far.


      p.s go for the leopard!

  2. I love that your review was honest. You can’t find an honest review about Tieks ANYWHERE and you’re unable to leave a review yourself. I figured I’d throw in my opinion here. To begin, I HATE my Tieks. HATE HATE HATE. I tried so hard to love them, but it’s not in the cards for me.

    I’ve had mine for 3 months and they still give me blisters. I have stuffed them with socks, walked around for days in heavy socks, used bandaids – nothing, but they don’t hurt the bottom of my heels like other flats which is a big deal for me.

    My Tieks smell AWFUL. Like you, I normally don’t have this problem. I cannot figure out how to get rid of it.

    My biggest concern is that I’ve had them for 3 months and it looks like I’ve had them for 3 years. The leather on the outside is wearing off terribly and the insides are ripping apart. It also looks as though my big toe is ripping through the leather in the front. I contacted Tieks and they told me to send them back and they would trim the insides and polish up the leather. Thanks, but I can do that myself.

    In the end, would I ever buy Tieks again, or recommend them to a friend? For the steep price of $175, HECK. NO. I regret ever spending the money on them. My $17 Target flats are in better condition and I’ve had them for 3 years.

    1. Thanks for sharing! I was surprised to hear that Tieks was willing to take the flats back and perform trimming and polishing.

      Sorry they didn’t work out for you! I do love Target, but I worry their flats will slip off my narrow heels, but I might have to try them out!

  3. Thank you for your honest review. I have three pairs of Tieks. I didn’t have any issues breaking them in, but OMG, the smell! Andy I’m really rough on shoes so they are getting scuffed up pretty well. That being said, these are the most comfortable pair of flatsI’ve ever owned, so I plan on polishing them up and using Gekks inserts to combat the smell. For the price, I guess it’s worth it to rehab them a bit.

    1. I hope the Gekks work for you! They just updated them and they seem to work much better (sticking in place and being removable). So far, no smell issues!

  4. I am late to the party, however I will mention two things. Coconut oil to moisturize your feet also remove ALL smell from your feet. You can use it everywhere on your body to moisturize and you will be scent free. I have used it in lieu of deodorant (but I do not sweat heavily, so there’s that). Also, put a thin insole inside the shoe. Dollar Tree has them. Then you can remove and discard as needed.

  5. I just found this site. Tieks are horrible. No arch support whatsoever. If that isn’t an issue then fine but really, these are bad shoes.

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