Rothy’s vs Tieks: A Review

Rothys vs Tieks Review

For some time now, I’ve seen Rothys mentioned quite a few times as an equally comfortable alternative to Tieks leather flats. Similar to Tieks, Rothy’s come in a variety of colors and more interestingly are made from recycled plastic bottles. After seeing no less than five girls wearing them on my commute to work one day, I decided to bite the bullet and buy a pair to conduct my own Rothy’s vs Tieks comparison.

Rothy’s Overview

As mentioned above, Rothy’s flats are made from repurposed water bottles. So not only are you getting a stylish flat, but you’re doing good by minimizing environmental impact! Their flats come in a variety of neutral colors and in round-toe and pointed-toe variations, which is great for those who might need a more formal looking flat. Additionally, the insole can be removed and machine-washed separately from the rest of the shoe.

Currently, the round-toe flats retail for $125 and pointed-toe flats retail for $145.


In terms of style, Rothy’s round-toe flats have a similar silhouette to Tieks. You could argue that Rothy’s are more versatile for business formal workplaces, as most of the shoes have a neutral dark sole vs the Tieks signature turquoise soles. Luckily, I work in pretty casual workplaces, so this wasn’t a huge consideration for me.


  • Rothys: A+
  • Tieks: A-


While Tieks only come in whole sizes, Rothys come in both whole and half sizes. I’m normally a 7.5, so I wear Tieks in size 7 (they stretch out over time) and I ordered the Rothys in 7.5. While the Rothys fit well lengthwise, they were loose on my feet overall – something to consider if you have narrow feet like I do. They have more give width-wise than they do length-wise.

Another major difference in fit is the heel rise. The Rothy’s come up much higher on the heel and have a scratchy trim, which gave me significant blisters after wearing them for one day at work. Depending on the shape of your heel – I would advise wearing them around at home for a little bit before taking them out for a full day.


  • Rothys: B-
  • Tieks: A

Smell & Sweat

One major benefit of Tieks all-leather flats is the ability to wear them without socks and avoid smelly situations for at least a year, if not more. In my previous Tieks review, I mentioned wearing them in Europe during summertime (read: very hot and sweaty) and my shoes smelled fine after.

I’ve had issues in the past with synthetic shoes smelling up quickly – so I was curious if Rothy’s would be the same. After wearing mine for a day, I did start to notice a… scent. Most reviews I’ve read mention Rothy’s stinking after a week of wearing them consistently. Luckily, the shoes and the insoles are machine washable – however, it would be a bit of a pain to have to wash them so frequently. I’ve read that these Pedag cotton insoles are a great fit for Rothy’s and help reduce sweat – I haven’t tried them out myself, but will update when I do!


  • Rothys: C
  • Tieks: A

UPDATE 3/17/18: I purchased a pair of the Pedag insoles in size 7, and they fit perfectly inside my 7.5 Rothy’s Points, below:

So far, they’re comfortable and a bit more breathable than the default Rothy’s insole. These don’t reach the very tip in the pointed flats, but that hasn’t affected the comfort level for me. I like having the option of multiple insoles, since I typically need to wash mine after every full-day wear!


I haven’t had the chance to fully test out Rothys yet – but at first glance, the material does seem pretty durable and less prone to surface scratches like leather. So for now, both Tieks and Rothys get the same grade.


  • Rothys: A
  • Tieks: A

Customer Support

While this isn’t a feature of the shoe itself, I do think customer support is an important area to consider for any 100% ecommerce brand.

Tieks is well known for its excellent customer support – especially for returns and exchanges. There’s no time limit on returns, as long as the shoes remain unworn. If you order one pair and are unsure about sizing or color/pattern, you can request Tieks to send you another size/color to compare side by side, free of charge. The latter is pretty incredible – I’ve never seen another brand offer this.

I’ve had less exposure to the Rothys team – I did email them about the heel blister issue, and their support team mentioned that I should try stretching out the shoes. Unfortunately, this doesn’t quite solve the problem of the heel back being too high. After reading through threads on the Rothys Buy, Sell, Trade Facebook group, it sounds like Rothys hasn’t invested as much into their CS team as Tieks has. To be fair, Tieks’ level of customer service is above and beyond the average retailer – almost at the same level as, for example, Nordstroms.


  • Rothys: B-
  • Tieks: A+

Overall Grade:

Rothys: B
Tieks: A


Overall, Tieks are still my one-true-pair. However, this is just for my particular narrow, flat-footed feet!

For example, if you find Tieks are too narrow, if you have bunions or if you need a more formal flat, Rothys would likely be the superior shoe for you.

If you’re interested in trying out a pair of Rothy’s, you can use my referral link to get $20 off.
Note: Rothy’s referral discount is only valid for first time purchasers, verified by email / name / IP address.

If you’re unsure about sizing between The Flat (round-toe) and The Point, check out my latest review here.

Hope you found this review useful – would love to hear your thoughts if you’ve tried both Rothy’s and Tieks as well!

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  • Debi Sheets Tosi

    Rothy’s have never given me blisters. Not even walking 7 miles daily in Chicago during summer weather for a week. The heel of the shoe is comfortable and is not scratchy. The air circulates inside of the shoe and does not smell. Sorry your Rothy’s did not fit you well. I find Tieks over priced and uncomfortable. Aren’t we fortunate – to have the availability many brands of shoes!
    Rothy’s A+

  • Agree – definitely thankful to have so many brands and styles of flats to choose from! That’s great to hear that Rothy’s have been comfortable from the start for you – sounds like many folks have had that experience. I think my heels / ankles are just sub-optimally shaped for Rothy’s :)

  • Abbey Morrow

    How are Tieks overpriced when Rothys (made from recycled plastics) cost about the same and Tieks are made from leather?

  • Debi Sheets Tosi

    I paid $105 for my rounded toe Rothy’s with the discount code. On Tieks web site, I saw $175 to $295. If Tieks are your perference great! They are not mine – They are washable, never any blisters, and helping recycle water bottles.

  • M Scary

    Tieks are made from the skin of dead animals. Rothy’s are made of recycled water bottles. Seems like the choice is obvious.

  • Maria

    Thank you for this review, I’m trying to decide if I want to try Rothy’s after my bad experience with Tieks. I’ve experienced bad customer service from Tieks and it’s not a one off situation. My coworker has also received really bad customer service from Tieks as well.

    Tieks are really comfortable and I live in flats for half of the year. It’s worth it for me to invest in good flats but the soles on the Tieks started to break apart within two months!

    My friend who told me about Rothys is still breaking hers in. I’m waiting for her to rave about them before buying my own pair.

  • Karen Chapman

    I own both brands and hands down, I prefer Rothy’s over Tieks. They don’t scratch anywhere, my feet don’t stink at all (I wear them every day), they fit like a glove and mold comfortably to my feet, they look stylish, and they don’t get tight when my feet swell like Tieks do. At my age of 60, I appreciate comfortable shoes. Rothy’s are the ticket for me. Wish I had spent all the Tieks money on Rothy’s.

  • Laura Williams

    Tieks CS Is terrible. Mine came a sewing flaw and they accused me of causing it and only offered a repair shop in my area. I’m going to try Rothy’s.

  • Laura Rash

    Thanks for weighing in! Personally I prefer Rothy’s. I bought Tieks a year ago and tried, tried, tried to love them. I had swooned over the website for upwards of a year and they were my first purchase with my end-of-year bonus. Originally I chose the Obsidian Black but found they were very tight on my foot. I read online that the embossed shoes take longer to break in than the Tieks Classic line, but I wasn’t willing to spend a month breaking in $195 shoes only to find they never fit correctly. I exchanged them for a pair of the Matte Black Tieks. They were adorable and slightly more comfortable out of the box. I decided to commit and wear them outside. Unfortunately after five hours, the top of my foot was in real pain, and both pinky toes were bright red. When I sat down I’d often slide the Tieks off and see the imprints the shoe left on my foot. Ouch! Also, I didn’t like that you could see the bumps of my toes through the shoe. After a few months I gave up and sold the Tieks online.

    This January I bought my first pair of Rothy’s in black and I like them much better. My pinky toe is less constricted, although the top of my fourth toe on my left foot starts complaining if I wear the Rothy’s more than two days in a row. (My toes sure are a tough customer!) It took about a month before I needed to toss the shoes into the washing machine. I used a protective bag for the insoles since I’d read about someone’s insoles unraveling when unprotected. Hmm, you know, I don’t think I even used the gentle cycle, which you’re supposed to do.

    As much as I love the look of Tieks (minus the toe bumps), I’d have to say that Rothy’s are my one-true-pair. :)

  • That’s a bummer that Tieks didn’t work out, but glad that the Rothy’s are doing you well! I also wash my Rothy’s insole without a protective bag, and it’s done okay so far… I have the Pedag cotton terry insoles as well, so if the original ones do unravel, I still have other options!