For a while now, I’ve been meaning to spill some ink (of the digital variety) to talk about my Tieks shoes, because I get asked about them a lot—by friends, by strangers, on instagram, in random blog comments.
The short answer: I love my Tieks.
But the emphasis on that sentence should be on the I part, not just on the shoe part. There are specific reasons I love them, and I don’t want you running out and buying expensive shoes just because they work for me.
The #1 reason I love Tieks is because they fit.
my first pair, in tangerine
Shoes are hard for me because I have really long, really wide feet. (I try to find size 11E, but that is nearly impossible.) I can never be a woman with a serious shoe problem—the kind that requires custom-made shelves to hold 100 pairs, or 600 if we’re talking about those crazy reality shoes. Very few brands actually fit my big feet. That’s why shoes are something I splurge on: I’ve given myself permission to spend more money on the areas that give me trouble.
On to the next: I hate to shop. Especially for shoes; it’s demoralizing. But Tieks fit, and are versatile enough I can wear them nearly everywhere. When I’ve been traveling for a week at a time, I’ve taken only two pairs of shoes, both Tieks, on numerous occasions. (I really only needed one, but they don’t take up much suitcase space.)
They’re also super comfortable. I’ve walked 13 miles a day in NYC in them, played ball with my kids in them, and walked the dog in them.
A few months ago Will and I attended a fancy black tie event. I always wait to put on uncomfortable heels until the last minute. This time, I forgot to put them on at all. I realized when we arrived at the venue that my shoes were back at home, sitting right where I’d left them, by the front door.
It was fine. I was wearing my gold Tieks (starstruck, to be precise) and got compliments on my shoes all night.
on the High Line
Not a decision-making point, but fun all the same: Tieks are conversation starters. I consistently have good conversations with strangers because of my shoes. They’re not flashy but the turquoise heel makes them distinctive; usually people have seen them on the internet and want to know if I actually like wearing them.
Usually it’s the stranger striking up the conversation, but I was at a professional event this month and spotted a woman wearing what I thought were taupe Tieks, which is a color I was thinking about ordering—but I wanted to see them in person, and not on the internet.
So I asked her … and fifteen minutes later she’d told me all about her three book clubs, and I’d gotten her email address so she could be a guest on What Should I Read Next. Coming soon to a podcast near you.
Ruby Red patent Tieks: my happiest shoes
A few things I’ve learned about Tieks:
1. Different styles have different comfort levels. My starstruck, lovestruck, and tangerine Tieks have all fit and felt fantastic from the start. My ruby red patent Tieks took a while to break in. I wasn’t expecting this, but customer service assured me (as I struggled to wear them for more than a few hours at a time) that this is normal. (I’ve had excellent experience with customer service.)
Several months in, they feel great. But word to the wise: be prepared for a less-than-amazing fit on your first wear. Do not wear them to Costco for the first time. And wearing them around the house with socks help you get that great fit faster.
2. The styles fit me slightly differently.
Something to keep in mind when you order: the original leather feel different from the patent, which feel different from the more unique styles like the Brentwood. (Tieks customer service says if comfort is your #1 priority, go with the original leather. I would lump my stardust and lovestruck Tieks in with this bunch as far as comfort is concerned.)
I have a very wide foot, so I size up to a 12, and I never wear a 12. My friends with narrow feet sometimes size down. If you are a true half size with a normal-width foot, stick to the original leather and size down. If you need arch support, Tieks may not be for you—at least not without fancy inserts.
3. Returns are free and easy.
Free and easy returns make online shopping so much easier. When I’m not sure which size or color to get, I order several pairs and return what doesn’t work.
pictured: the feather grey (on the right), during the one day and zero-wear time period they were in my house
4. Skin tone matters.
Tieks come in dozens of great colors. Would I like one of each? Yes please. At least that’s what I thought until I ordered some feather grey Tieks to replace a busted pair. (That happens; hang tight.)
I loved the way they looked in the pictures, and thought they would be a chic and versatile shoe for my winter wardrobe, which is largely black, navy, and grey. It turns out, the cool grey made my warm skin look like I was ill. Even though we’re talking about my feet and not my face! In short, they have tons of amazing colors; make sure you pick one that works for you. Check out all the options here.
5. Tieks are not invincible.
After about 14 months with my starstruck pair, I discovered I’d worn a tiny hole in the toe. Which soon became a not-so-tiny hole. I had worn them more days than not for 14 months, but still! Tieks are too expensive to just last a little more than a year.
I contacted customer service, which took good care of me, replacing my starstruck Tieks with a lovestruck pair. (At my request—I was ready for a tiny change.)
I also changed the way I wear my shoes. Tieks are durable, but they aren’t invincible, and I started showing them a little more respect. Do I still walk 13 miles a day in them in NYC, and 10 miles a day in them on a busy day about town? YES. But I no longer play ball with the kids, do yard work, or crush aluminum cans in my Tieks. (Was I truly doing all those things? Yes, I was—she says, hanging her head.)
that time I wrote a post about ThredUP and it looked like a Tieks ad
I hope this answers YOUR Tieks questions. Did I forget anything? Hit me up in comments. And this post isn’t sponsored or perked, although these are my affiliate links. I’m just a fan who’s happy to share.
Tieks on Modern Mrs Darcy:
7 things I’m choosing to splurge on right now. (In which I make the case to splurge on shoes.) – link to Spend to your weakness.
9 things I learned in April. (In which I ordered my first pair of Tieks ordered.)
6 things I learned in March. (I learned patent Tieks take forever to break in.)
What worked for me in 2015. (My Tieks really worked for me in 2015!)
My early fall uniform. (Tieks are a prominent accessory in my fall uniform.)
StitchFix lately. (It’s nearly impossible for me to find shoes that fit. Tieks are a lifesaver.)