Why I returned my Tieks Ballet Flats in Electric Snake
Hi friends! I recently purchased a pair of Tieks by Gavrieli Electric Snake Ballet Flats for $295 (USD), and have decided to return them. This was not an easy decision to make because these flats are gorgeous! They're made of leather, but hand-painted with at least four different colors to resemble snake scales. These ballet flats, or works of art rather, beckon you to admire them. Each pair of Tieks comes with a reusable tote bag, a storage pouch, a handwritten and personalized card, and beautiful packaging. When traveling, you can fold up your Tieks, place them in the pouch, and tuck them into your purse, backpack, or handbag.
Tieks by Gavrieli did a lot of things right with their shoes, and fall in love at first sight, I did indeed with my TIeks; however, I still decided to return them. Why, you ask? For a few reasons, namely the following:
A pair of Electric Snake Tieks ballet flats costs $295. Classic pairs of Tieks, such as black matte, cost $175, which is still steep, considering the prices of other flats. Shipping was free, and it was also tax free. Let's compare the prices of other ballet flats out there:
Rothy's flats cost $125 per pair. They're sustainably made from recycled plastic bottles. Side by side with the Tieks, Rothy's flats are comparatively comfy, and more flexible.
Coach and Michael Kors flats go for under $100; they're even less expensive when they're on sale.
Tory Burch ballet flats for under $200. A snake-stamped flat sells for $258 (Tory Burch CHELSEA EMBOSSED BALLET FLAT)
TOMS ballet flats sell for under $50.
Chanel ballet flats are over $750, but they're Chanel shoes.
Burberry flats sell for around $300 and more.
Although the Electric Snake Tieks are gorgeous and special, they are expensive. When I asked a friend how much she would pay for them, she said $130. When I asked other friends over Instagram if I should return or keep my Tieks, 75% of my friends voted for me to return them. That says a lot, no? Majority rules.
2. Sizing and fit
I normally wear a size 8 or 8.5 in women's. Tieks suggests you go up a size if you wear half sizes, and stick with your normal full size if you wear full sizes. Just be aware that over time, leather Tieks ballet flats will stretch out to conform to your feet. Knowing this, I ordered size 8.
Out of the box, they fit well; however, my big toe poked the top of the flats and made a small toe hump. You have to stare at it to notice. Over time, I felt pressure spots over both of my big toes. This became slightly uncomfortable.
The back of the flats did not slip when I walked, and I didn't feel that they would cause blisters by the Achilles area, so that's a pro. The back, above the heels, aren't elastic, and Tieks is proud of that fact. The flats kissed my feet nicely, and felt sturdier than cloth flats. Did they have good ankle support? You really can't expect them to; they're flats after all, but they did feel structurally sturdy.
I do not recommend Tieks ballet flats for people with bunions. The tips of the flats are narrow, and push your big toes toward your second toes. I can't imagine these shoes being comfortable for super-wide feet and people with bunions. Note that wearing tight shoes may cause bunions and worsen bunions. (1)
My husband pointed out that if the flats were made with real snake skin, they'd be more durable. They're made with leather, cut and tumbled to resemble snake scales, and the scales are hand-painted. My husband felt that it's highly likely for the flats to tear from wear, or the paint to chip. Imagine scratching off gold-plating or paint from surfaces. He felt the paint could scratch or chip off from the flats over time.
Over the recent years, I have decided to only wear sustainable clothing and shoes made from mostly recycled or vegan materials. Tieks are made from mostly leather. Please note I had purchased this pair to review prior to taking the previously stated stance.
What I loved about TIeks
Like most people, I'm a sucker for clever and beautiful, non-fussy packaging, and Tieks delivered. See for yourself. I also loved that the Tieks came with two free goodies (three if you're counting the flower band): the pouch and the tote bag.
2. Exchange and Returns
The exchange and returns process was painless. I clicked on a link, typed in why I'm returning the flats, and the next day, I received an email (from a person!) with a link for a PDF. Return shipping is also free. Please note that once you wear your Tieks outside, you cannot return them.
There are so many colors to choose from, and they're recognizable thanks to their unique blue soles. You can also safely fold Tieks and travel with them, so those are all pluses.
Return Yay or Nay?
Yay, like I mentioned, I've returned these flats. It was a hard decision to make, because I really loved the Electric Snake print, and felt the excellence the company placed behind a quality product. Never having bought shoes that cost over $200, I felt I couldn't justify my Tieks' high price. My big toes poked out and the dreaded toe humps appeared. Over time, the flats may loosen and the pressure points over my toes may lighten. I didn't want to wait and take a chance. The beautiful paint may chip off over time. The price shocked a majority of my friends, and they encouraged me to return them. For all these reasons, I've decided to return my Tieks.
My friends, do you own Tieks? What do you think? Are you thinking of trying out a pair of Tieks? Let me know your thoughts.