If you’ve ever lived in (or visited) San Francisco, you know that the hills here can wreak havoc on feet.
Combine that with the fact that it’s nearly impossible to find a comfortable pair of walking shoes that doesn’t look orthopedic, and it’s no wonder we’re known here for our yoga-pants-wearing ways (i.e. an attempt to dress up while clinging to sneakers for dear life).
Well, the folks at Tieks have proposed a solution: Their Italian leather flats offer the comfort of a slipper and the support of an athletic shoe, all wrapped up in a fashionable, ballet-flat package.
They’re good enough for Oprah, but I wanted to see how they’d hold up during my massive walks around the city – running errands, between workouts, shopping with friends, etc. – so I ordered a pair to put to the test.
Now these puppies aren’t cheap; they range from $165-$295 a pop, but from their buttery Italian leather and hand-stitched craftsmanship to the attention to detail in their packaging and accessories, you do really get what you pay for.
I bought a pair of the Fuchsia flats, and they arrived in a sturdy blue box with a flower on top. Inside were the shoes, folded up in their little carrying pouch. There was also a larger reusable tote (for your purse when you want to swap out heels – how smart!), plus a hand-written thank-you note, which was a nice touch.
The purpose of the foldable, split-sole design is to keep Tieks compact and lightweight. I was concerned it might make for a flimsy shoe, but it’s quite the opposite, in fact.
Between the foam cushioning in the sole and the non-skid rubber soles (in the signature Tiek blue, of course), they feel more substantial than any other ballet flat I’ve worn.
But the real test was wearing them out and about on my usual city escapades – topped off with a date I made for happy hour that was a two-mile walk away.
Aside from a little rubbing on the balls of my feet (I got a nine, but next time I think I’ll order a size down), I was really pleased with the results.
Not only did my feet benefit (didn’t feel as tired as they get in other flats), but my ego did, as well (received a few compliments)! One girl even stopped to ask me how I liked my Tieks, so I was all too happy to take one off and give her the rundown.
But the real verdict? Well, despite the price tag, I’m saving up for another pair down the road. My only dilemma is which color to go with next…
If you’re a city-dweller or just a walk-everywhere fiend like me, definitely check ’em out. After all, ladies, it’s about time we save our poor soles!
For more information, take a peek at the Tieks website at Tieks.com.