Tieks Ballet Flats?

So, Tieks Ballet Flats... Am I falling victim to hype? Has anyone tried them? I ordered Borns flats, and Clarks flats to no avail... They're not comfy on my feet. I tried ecco's, hush puppies, jambu, sketchers, toms... Nope. I got my feet analyzed today at The Walking Store - (very high arches, wide toe frame, weight falls in heels) - they didn't have anything there that works (and that's the only real shoe store where I live).
I did buy an ortho insert today I will try over the next few days with sneakers, in case I get stuck with a not-so-ideal shoe. I leave in two weeks (Yay!) for 3 weeks in Italy and still don't have shoes... Just my tenni's. I really want a fully closed shoe (no dirty city feet!) that I can go casual, all day walking, and to dinner. I've dedicated more time to finding the right shoe than I dedicated to forming whole trip itinerary - Man!!... I'm over it! I need shoes!! haha. *Edit - I'll add, I spend my life in flip flops and strappy flat sandals - beach style, or running shoes. I'm clueless.

Posted by Stacey
Kansas City
124 posts

I recently got a pair of Vivobarefoot Maryjanes (Kali, I think is the make), and I love them. They have a wide toe box and the barefoot design is meant to help eliminate heel strike. They do not have much for arch support, but the insole is removable and you could put in your own. I also live in flip flops and tennis shoes, but I thought I ought to get something a little nicer for work. You can get them at Zappo's with free shipping and free returns if they don't work out for you. This pair seems to run about a half size large on me, but I'm ok with that in case my feet swell by the end of the day. I'm planning on wearing them in London next month. Good luck and enjoy your trip!

Posted by Cat
Paia, HI, USA
141 posts

Thanks Stacey, I'll check them out!
Enjoy your trip as well - don't miss the beautiful country-side outside the city!!

Posted by Betsy
Denver, CO, USA
25 posts

Hi Cat! I love my Tieks! So comfortable and no socks needed. I will bring them on my 3 weeks to Italy in June. That being said - I am bringing them as a shoe that I could wear in the evening for a change of pace or maybe even walking around Milan! I will definitely not wear them as my primary walking shoe. Merrell for closed toe and Taos for walking sandal.

Posted by Shirley
Underhill, VT, United States
4 posts

I have a similar foot. I have found that El Naturalistas fit well. They have them at Zappos. I wore them all over London last year, walking 5-7 miles a day, and they were my favorites! They have a LOT of heel cushioning.

Posted by Kelly
St Petersburg Florida
951 posts

I would wear whatever is the most comfortable shoe you wear on a daily basis; a shoe that you would wear all day long and do alot of walking in. If an athetic shoe is the only shoe you wear that is comfortable, then that is what I would choose. I know us gals are on a quest to look cute, not to look like an American tourist, trying to blend in. But when overseas, we walk so much more than we typically do; thats why the locals run around in high heels and we wear comfy shoes. Plus althletic shoes are cool looking lately; bright colors, cool soles. Buy some ankle socks and you could wear them with skirts, shorts, capris, etc.
I have found that no matter what shoe you wear, your feet will be sore based on the fact that you will be walking so much more than you normally do. I go to Europe in the winter and have struggled for 7 years to find the perfect footwear; I wear some kind of winter walking boot. This past trip, I found success with a light weight Merrell city boot; no heel pain, no blisters...but the shins and feet were sore (no crisis sore) if lots of walking occured.

Posted by Sarah
Stuttgart, Germany
2029 posts

Wow, those are some expensive flats! I can't speak to the quality of Tieks but I enjoy ballet flats in general, but find they don't do well as a serious walking shoe. There's usually not a ton of support, so walking on uneven surfaces and cobblestones can start to really wear on your feet after a while.

Posted by Martha
Seattle, WA, USA
2 posts

I have a similar foot situation: bunions---so I need an extra-wide toe box---plus very high (and long) arches. I can almost never find shoes I can wear. I got 2 pairs of great shoes called Planet Walkers at The Walking Store years back, but they are no longer being made. I am leaving in two weeks for a month in France, and plan to do a lot of walking. I have decided to take flipflops for showers, beach, and around my hostel or hotel; and either one or both of my Doc Martens ankle boots and Doc Martens kneehigh boots.

Posted by Cat
Paia, HI, USA
141 posts

Thanks Ladies, for the feedback - this seems to be a tough one for all of us = Comfort VS Fashionable/Cute! Despite my metropolitan upbringing (now beach girl realization), I think I have to realistically err on the side of comfort... I've literally ordered about 10 pairs of shoes (from zappos - free return shipping - I used the return!!!!) None of them seemed to fit well. I am beyond tempted to order the tieks, but am going with a pair of Cole Haan flats that have a Nike air cushion on the bottom instead. And I am definitely taking the advice to wear my typical at home comfy shoes (I'm just simply over it - been looking for fashionable walking shoes for a month, it's not happening!). My sneakers and sketchers are coming for the ride to Italy. So, I'll go running shoes by day, and my cute/comfy flats or boots to back it up when I need a little fashion. (Cole Haan cushy flats, uggs, or riding boots as option). PS- for any of you like me, who have VERY LIMITED SHOPPING; zappos.com, shoebuy.com and a few other websites offer the free shipping, free return option - utilize them!!
Thanks again everyone, for all the feedback - I look forward to sharing my feedback post-trip, and will keep you posted of how everything works. Aloha! ~Cat