We’re going to come right out and say it: sometimes we hear a lot of hype about a particular product or service, and the sheer amount of buzz ends up being overwhelming—to the point where we’d rather seek out a lesser-known product or service. Such was the case with Tieks ballet flats, which started flying off the shelves and into mailboxes after Oprah was photographed sporting a pair, and then anointed them the Next Big Thing on her “O List” in 2011. Sure, they looked cute, and we loved the idea of a foldable, tote-able flat, but having been disappointed by “miracle shoes” in the past, we steered clear of this particular buzz train.
Well, here it is, four years later, and we’re officially hopping on the Tieks bandwagon. We may be a bit late to the party, but, as it turns out, it was worth the wait. Really.
Billed as “the ballet flat, reinvented,” Tieks are made with the modern—read: active, busy, constantly-on-the-move—woman in mind. They’re handcrafted from top-quality Italian leather and textiles, and made to be superflexible, durable, and comfortable for long days of wear and walking, while still looking cute and stylish. Tieks have unique, hand-stitched, foam-cushioned insoles and nonskid, split-rubber soles that act like shock absorbers, so you don’t wind up with lower-back pain or foot and ankle fatigue from a day on your feet. What’s better, they’ve been designed to fold into tight little pouches, so you can stash them in your handbag, briefcase, or carry-on for whenever you need a practical walking shoe.
Tieks—a family-owned company out of California—currently offers 50-plus styles in their online “Boutiek,” and the choices range from fall-friendly metallics to classic neutrals, pop-art neons, and even vegetarian and vegan versions made of wool or synthetic fibers. They come packaged with a personalized note, with the shoes tucked into sweet-as-a-cake turquoise boxes topped with a flower. Inside, you’ll find not just the flats and their carrying pouch, but also a collapsible nylon bag for storing your heels when it comes time to hit the bricks. Here’s what Annie’s recent delivery from Tieks looked like:
Having given our Tieks a workout on recent travel excursions, we know why they’ve become a favorite of fashion bloggers and off-duty models, and, yes, even Oprah. Since they stretch and mold to your foot over time, they feel like a custom-fit shoe after just a few wears. And when you’re darting from one appointment to the next across busy streets or winding cobblestone walkways, there’s nothing you want more than a comfortable, safe-feeling shoe that doesn’t break your stride—or your momentum.