From the dirt to our plate; the trials and realities of first-time farm ownership

Tieks: The Shoes, The Mystery & All The Hype

Let’s just say I’ve read plenty of remarks about Tieks and 99.9% of the comments have been good ones. Never before had I recognized a product that women seem to love, no matter their size, income level or foot issue. So, when my toes started to become painful with a touch of osteoarthritis, I decided to pull the trigger and find out what all these women are going ga-ga over.

Here’s all the details!

The INVESTMENT

Having wanted to try them, I signed up for every single giveaway The Pioneer Woman – Ree Drumond, had for one of her favorite shoes. Needless to say, I never won but I knew one day I’d have to give in and try these shoes for myself.

I’m just going to put it out there in very blunt terms – these shoes are NOT cheap. At $175 for a less expensive pair, this would be the most I had ever spent on a pair of shoes that weren’t leather up to my mid-calf, insulated and waterproof – these were “just” flats.

To be fair, the Tieks I ordered were leather and a very high-quality leather at that. I wouldn’t even think of spending this much on a pair of “vegan leather” ballet flats. Their website even mentions some facts about taking 3 days and 150 steps to make each shoe! Durable, high-quality, stylish, comfortable – all things I would require when spending this much on a shoe – Tieks touts it!

Why did I decide to pull the trigger? Well, I was having a pretty rough summer. My body hurt, my feet hurt, I was stressed out and needed a little retail therapy. I have a bunion on my right big toe, the pain and stiffness was now beginning to spread across the base of neighboring toes. I didn’t want to think about the oncoming winter and having to stuff my feet into something that was a million times more confining than my current cushy flip flops. A decision was made. I’d splurge and yes, the other excuse was that my 45th birthday was right around the corner.

The SEARCH FOR A DEAL

Anyone who knows me also knows I search for the best deal. I look for coupons, free shipping and I read numerous reviews because I want the best quality for my hard earned money.

What I found with Tieks was pretty straight forward. The only reputable place I could find a new pair of Tieks was on their website. In fact, I didn’t even find them at any of the discount shoe sites I had shopped on in the past. If I did find them on another online location, they were used shoes that still sold for more than $100!

From what I’ve read, sales are few and far between. Coupon discounts are practically non-existent, which was a pretty big bummer. For most of my online purchases I’m used to finding 10, 20 or even 30 percent discount codes – but Tieks, nothing worked. Their website basically spells out the fact that they don’t issue or offer coupons because their product is a good one and they ALWAYS offer free shipping.

For me, the only “deal” I could take advantage of was buying a less expensive pair directly from their website. I chose a color that would go well with what I wear most frequently – jeans. California Navy would be the color of my first ever pair of Tieks.

The ORDER CONFIRMATION

I received a confirmation number right away. That part was not surprising but what followed was. Not only had someone read my feedback on how I learned about Tieks, but they took the time to write a letter in response! Caroline H., thanked me for my purchase and sharing my story on what lead me to my first pair of Tieks. She was thrilled to see this was my first order and was sure I was in for a real treat. WHAT!?!

Never…EVER…in the history of all my online purchases had I received a personalized email in response to a post-purchase questionnaire and before the product was even shipped.

The SHIPPING TIME

I executed my online order on Sunday, August the 5th. I received Caroline’s emailed letter AND a shipping confirmation on August 6th. Quick service for any online retailer if I do say so myself.

Checking my tracking information daily, it only took 3 business days for me to receive my Tieks. Considering the fact I live out in the middle of Nowhereville North Dakota, this was a great turn around time!

The UNWRAPPING

Opening the mailbox the day of delivery I was practically giddy! I had high hopes for these shoes because of all the rave reviews I had been reading. I won’t go so far as to say I was expecting perfection…but I was hoping for it.

The shipping box was fairly nondescript, in a standard white cardboard box with affixed address label. Upon opening I did expect the trademark turquoise box but for some reason I had assumed the flower would match the shoe color. In my case, the flower topper was vibrant tangerine. If you know anything about the color wheel – then you would also know the color orange is the perfect accent for blue!

I was in a race to get to the shoe that set the ballet flat world on fire. But first, I actually took time to read the thank you letter and the informational insert that shared a bit more information about my pair of Tieks. Enclosed were care instructions and information on how to exchange or return them if need be.

Behold – the very first view of my Tieks as they looked up at their expectant mother! Ohhh, come to mama!

Not only did I receive the pair of Tieks I had ordered, a shoe storage bag was also included, along with a fold up tote to carry in my purse! At first touch, the shoes felt supple, substantial and sturdy. While it may take some time for the shoe to better unfold, I suspect wearing them for a day will loosen things up a bit. So far, so good!

The FIT

First feel on my feet – eh, ok – but, you have to remember I just went straight from my comfy, thick soled flip flops to a closed toe shoe. While I keep my toenails longer in the summer to show off a nice polish, I can see where shorter nails might make the shoe tip appear smoother.

After walking back and fourth for a couple minutes I could really appreciate the flexibility of the two-part sole. No other shoe I have worn has ever been so “natural” in it’s heel-to-toe movement.

Apart from the sole, I wanted to take into account the fit over my enlarged bunion area (on right). As you can see in the photo, the cut of the shoe essentially diverts the shoe around that area and does not rub. Ironically enough, I have more “rubbing” on that very area of the left big toe on my good foot! I’m guessing the triple stitching might be something my foot will just have to get used to. It’s definitely not enough to deter me from wearing them.

I ordered a size 8 which is what I would normally wear. My toes fit comfortably into the tips of the shoes and I did not notice any amount of slippage on the heel. I’d say Tieks are pretty accurate in their sizing.

If you have wide feet or a bunion such as mine, the stretch of the elastic should be adequate to contain your paws. Still uncertain about your size? Just as an FYI, Tieks do allow exchanges or returns on unworn pairs AND they cover shipping within the U.S. both ways!

The CONSENSUS

After wearing my Tieks for an entire day of walking, working, driving and errand running…I’m happy! My feet feel great and the minor rubbing I had on my good foot stopped rubbing once the elastic settled in.

What impressed me the most? The fact that there is literally no breaking-in period. The shoes are so flexible right off the bat, you don’t need to wait for the leather to soften up or the stiffness to wear out in order for them to be comfortable.

I do miss having a little arch support but for the most part I think missing it is all in my head. After all, many of my shoes, including my cherished flip flops lack this little detail too.

As far as Tieks being something one can just toss in their purse and go…well, let’s just say I’d need a much bigger purse. While they do fold up, the quality materials used can cause them to be a little bulky…they’d fit much better in a large over-the-shoulder tote.

My FUTURE TIEKS PLANS

For now, I’m just going to stick with the one pair (until I can swallow the cost comfortably). While I like them, I’m not exactly in love with them…YET…but give it time. If I could feel less guilty about the cost of Tieks…then maybe my brain and my feet could have appreciated them more.

Until next time…or a really good sale…my Tieks journey will likely not cause habitual purchases. Of course I’d love a pair in every color…because I am THAT girl who loves a colorful accent piece. I’d still suggest starting off with a pair of Tieks in a more versatile color. In the back of my mind I’m already eyeballing a pair of Taupe Tieks, maybe for Christmas?! But then there’s green, yellow, red, leopard print, metallics and soooo much more!

Click HERE to visit the Tieks website and find a pair you just might fall in love with!

#LifeOn25Acres

…and now for the small print. In no way was I compensated to write this blurb about Tieks and their product. I was not given a special discount, nor did I receive a free pair. <–I wish! Anyhow, this review was written out of my own curiosity for a product that seemed well received by those who purchase and wear this fabulous shoe. So, yes, this was my completely honest review and I’m happy to say…Tieks make me smile!

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