An Honest Tieks Review: Mid-Year Performance

If you’ve arrived at this post, you’re probably wondering: are Tieks worth all the hype? During my initial research, I noticed that most reviews focused on receiving and trying on a new pair of the flats. My question was “How do Tieks hold up over time?” – so hopefully this Tieks review will help shed some light in that regard.

Background: I am very, very picky when it comes to flats. The only flats I’ve found comfortable in the past ~8 or so years have been Sam Edelman Felicia flats and Tory Burch Eddie flats, the latter of which are now discontinued. Hence, I was on the hunt for a new pair of go-to solid-colored leather flats.

How I Snagged a Pair of Tieks at a Discount

For the past few holiday seasons, Tieks hosts an advent calendar promotion via their Twitter account. From December 1st through the 24th, anyone who retweets their daily advent tweet is entered for a chance to win a gift card for Tieks flats. This is a great deal, as they never run promotions or sales on their website. I tried this a few times in 2014 to no avail; However, 2015 was my lucky year, and I won a $100 gift card with just a few days left in the season.

I’d been considering purchasing a pair of Tieks for some time – several friends swore by how comfortable these flats were and owned many pairs in different colors – but I always balked at the price tag. Silly in retrospect, as the Tory Burch Eddie are about the same price and much less durable.

I’d been eyeing the classic leather style in Cardinal Red, which was perfect for the holidays (and for any season, really!). Now, after 6 months of heavy usage, I present to you:

Tieks Review - Cardinal Red

Tieks Wear & Tear Review

Overall: I’ll get into more details, but overall the wear isn’t so bad on these. I’ve worn these about 2-3x a week (with the exception of the months of Jan/Feb) in a variety of road and weather conditions. Gnarly streets, light rain, gravel, sand, cobblestone – these shoes have been everywhere!

Comfort: I was skeptical when everyone claimed they could stand in these forever – but they really weren’t kidding. I’ve worn them around theme parks and through several walking tours during a recent 5-week trip in Europe. These were arguably more comfortable for all-day walking than my Nike Flyknits. I had no problem with the band of the shoe digging in or anything – only received one blister on my heel on a particularly hot/sweaty day.

Smell: Let’s admit it, this is a valid concern! In the past, I haven’t been able to wear any flats without little flat liner socks. However, because these are fully leather lined, I’ve had no problem with… unwanted scents of any sort. They smell only of leather, which is amazing.

Leather: As you can see in the photos below, I’ve accumulated a few scuffs on the underside of the toes and some dark marks at the base of the heel. Not bad considering I don’t baby these shoes at all – I’ve stubbed my toe countless times, so it’s rather surprising that more hasn’t worn off. I noticed that the scuffs are pretty limited to small areas – perhaps because of the sturdy leather. In contrast, any scuffs I accumulated on my Tory Burch flats would grow quickly into a very sizable (and noticeable) mark.

Tieks Review - Cardinal Red
Tieks Review - Cardinal Red

Update: Based on a suggestion from another blog review, I’ve actually been able to remove most of the black markings by using baby wipes!

Rubber Soles: The rubber soles are in great shape – you can see some smoothing of the rubber on the front portion, but that’s about it.

Tieks Review - Cardinal Red

So, are Tieks worth it?

Absolutely. Given their comfort and durability, I have no qualms about purchasing another pair at full price. Judging from these first several months, I’m confident that I can achieve a solid cost-per-wear of well under $1, so these get a thumbs-up from me.

Note: This Tieks review is for their classic leather flats only – I’ve heard that some of the very pretty metallic shades, such as Rose Gold Glam, may show signs of wear and tear more quickly. So keep that in mind – though your mileage may vary!

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DIY Marquee Letter Lights

In typical fashion, I had the majority of this post drafted right after the holidays, but haven’t gotten around to finishing it until now, a solid two months later, hah. During my annual visit to good ol’ Bakersfield, I made an obligatory stop at Michaels Art & Craft store (made easier with the help of numerous 50% off and 30% off coupons). Upon walking in, right at the head of Aisle 1 (glitter paper and Martha Stewart supplies), I stumbled upon these fantastic marquee light kits by Heidi Swapp:

Marquee Love by Heidi Swapp

Her collection ranges across the full span of the alphabet along with a few miscellaneous shapes like ampersands and arrows. Each kit costs only $12.99, a steal compared to real metal marquee lights that easily run $100 or higher.


The kit contains the essentials: the letter/shape frame itself, which is a blank white paper material, a stencil, lights specifically for that letter (some have fewer/more lights than others), and the light bulb casings that you pop on in the end. With the AAA powered LED lights, unsightly wires are not a concern. You can customize the letter in almost any way you want – with paint, glitter paper, real glitter & glue, washi tape, or just leave it white if that works with your decor.

Below, I used black and bronze paint with a sponge to achieve a burnished metal look:


And glitter paper cut outs (with the handy stencil) for the following:IMG_0927

As you can see, I had quite a bit of time on my hands. Five out of five stars for ease of set-up and customization – a fun project for a rainy or snowy winter afternoon!

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Etsy NY Holiday Handmade Cavalcade

Unfortunately, I missed the latest Renegade Craft Fair in November this year, but was luckily able to stop by the Etsy Holiday Handmade Cavalcade at Chelsea Market this past weekend!

Etsy NY Handmade Holiday Cavalcade

It was a great opportunity to discover some new local shops and sellers – though the venue was on the smaller side, there were still plenty of goods and wares to peruse. Some favorites of mine included:

  1. Amber Lee Isabella HomeEtsy shop here
    Cute design-oriented prints with a variety of fun quotes and sayings – the colors used between the typography art and paintings are consistent, so it’s very easy to mix and match! Lots of NYC-related prints, perfect for decorating a new apartment or as a housewarming gift. While most of her shop consists of prints, she also has some die-cut pieces that are fantastic along with home goods.

    Kick Up Your Heels Print
    Left – Print “Kick Up Your Heels”, $20 here; Right – Gold Foil “Design the Life You Want to Live”, $40 here

  2. CynlaEtsy shop here
    Lovely hand drawn illustrations and cards made with eco-friendly and recycled materials. Per the store description – “Designs are influenced by my half-Japanese culture, nature, my travels and the pursuit of stressing less.”

    Left – Hot Chocolate Holiday Card, $4 here; Right – Rice Cooker Birthday Card, $4 here

  3. TitiluliEtsy shop here
    Pretty hand screen printed paper goods and textiles like tea towels, pillows and baby clothing.

    Left – Tea Towel, $15 here; Right – Christmas Gift Bag, $12 here

There were many other great vendors there selling items ranging from jewelry to custom flasks – the full list can be found over here!

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