Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Vegan Tieks Review

Let me start by saying, I did not receive these Vegan Greystone Tieks by Gavrieli shoes for free.  I paid for these with my own money.  I was not solicited by anyone for a review.  I noticed most of the rave reviews online are from bloggers who received them for free.  I'm not saying that influenced their opinions.  I just want to be clear that I bought these Vegan Greystone Tieks myself.

My other disclaimer is that I have crappy feet.  Well, not really, but kind of.  I was one of those girls in the 90's who liked to run around town in pointy toed stilettos.  Then I had a baby, and my already bleh feet got a little flatter and wider, and that was the official end of me wearing those shoes.  That led me to a hunt for the perfect flat shoe.

As I started to research, it became clear that the online world's favorite flat shoes were Tieks.  At first, I wouldn't consider buying them because the bulk of the line is made out of leather.  Maybe you're into wearing dead animals, I am not.  I was surprised to find that they carried a line of vegan shoes.  Their site description of their Greystone Vegan Tieks is as follows:

"Timeless texture, classic color and modern design come together to create a one-of-a-kind staple.  Our vegan interpretation of wool in neutral grey is soft, durable and breathable.  Greystone Tieks will become your go-to pair to add warmth and a unique style to any outfit."

My first thought is that these are expensive as all get out.  In fairness, I also normally buy shoes on clearance from Target for under $10.  Sneakers are the only things I splurge on, and even then I won't go over $50 maybe $60.  These shoes were definitely above what I'm normally willing to pay.  My husband pointed out, that if they were really good, and I could wear them all day without my feet hurting, then wouldn't that make them worth the price tag?  I had to agree.  Maybe it is a better idea to buy one pair of expensive shoes that make you feel great, instead of five pairs of crappy shoes that hurt your feet. I was also hesitant to buy shoes I couldn't try on in real life, but they have a great policy of exchanging shoes to make sure you get the right size.  I bit the bullet and ordered them.

They come in a Tiffany-ish blue box with a pretty bow.  All the information inserts were about their leather-line, not their vegan shoes, which seemed weird, but no big deal.  Have you noticed the crease in the middle of the shoe?  Part of the Tieks by Gavrieli schtick is that these shoes are foldable, so you can bring them in your bag to...I don't know, throw on after a long day of walking in heels? I didn't mind the crease that much, but honestly, I was kind of unimpressed with the material used for the bottom liner.  It had the feel and appearance of laminated cardboard.  I'm not saying that's what it is, I'm just saying that's what it seemed like.  I didn't let that deter me, I was determined to like these popular shoes.  I did like the color a lot.  I felt like you could dress it up or down easily.  Their entire vegan selection consists of three solid colors and two patterns.

The soles look weird, but I did like the added cushion.  When you wear these shoes, the extra lift of the cushion is slightly noticeable at first, but you quickly forget about it.

 Let's start with the good points:
  1. They are vegan and pretty, which is harder to find than you would think.
  2. Tieks really does have great customer service.  When the first pair of Tieks I ordered were too tight, they happily, and quickly, sent out a larger size.  They didn't charge me for that pair, and wouldn't charge me, as long as I returned one or the other within (I believe) thirty days.
  3. When I did return both pairs (spoiler alert, I didn't keep them) they were very nice about it and I received my refund quickly.
  4. Even if you return the shoes, you can keep the pretty flower bow.
Now the not so good points:
  1. They just weren't comfortable for me.  I've heard of people wearing the leather ones with thick shoes to stretch them, but I didn't think that was the way to go with these faux wool ones.  I didn't take a picture of my feet in them, but you could see my toe making a lump in the top of the shoe.  The size 8 was just too tight, and the size 9 was too big.  My foot would slip out of the back when I wore them.
  2. They also say you should wear them around to break them in.  Well, if you think you might return them, you can only wear them inside.  Returned shoes must be in like new condition.  Even though I wore them around for a month, they never felt more comfortable.
  3. After wearing them inside for a day, my feet felt just as crappy at they did with my usual cheap Target flats.  I know these are not miracle shoes, but reading the reviews online, I expected a little more comfort than my cheap shoes.
I had read so many glowing reviews and watched so many YouTubers regale in the wonders of Tieks that I thought I was crazy.  Is it just me?  Everyone seems to love these shoes!  So I did a little more digging, and guess what?  I'm not the only one!  The blog with the most comments seemed to be here at Mommy Gearest where there were a surprising amount of people that sounded like me!  We all wanted to like them but they just weren't the miracle shoe that other people said they were.

Maybe my post-stiletto, post-baby feet aren't the kind of women they're designing these shoes for.  Or maybe they're just not for everyone.  So if you're on this side of the Tieks-don't-fit-me fence, you are not alone.  You're not crazy.  Maybe we should start a support group....


  1. You know, they really do make you feel like they're the best for everyone. And the people I know who have them rave about them. I never thought dropping that much money on a ballet flat was a good idea for me personally. Like you, I'll stick with my Target shoes and stretch them out any way I know how for comfort. I do wear those little socks that pretty much look like the ballet flat and that helps a smidge. Have you checked out ThredUp yet? I'm all about thrift stores, baby!

  2. I have to comment because I have these Greystone ones for 2 years now. I can vouch for them but it depends on each shoe and person's foot size -

    First time I bought Tieks was 5 years ago - black leather. I basically wore them everyday and travelled around the world with them for 3 years, any weather, any terrain, I was in love. Didn't even like flats before these. They were so versatile and truly stood up to the test. I shoe motto was always (the cheaper the better) but throwing out a pair of shoes every year because they rip, or having painful feet and backs, are not worth the cute cheapos anymore. Especially if you can count on one pair to travel the world with!

    Then I lost them. :( But I was vegan at this points I bought the silverlakes. They looked cute but the material was thin and being light grey, it took me just a couple times to get them looking like a piece of shit. So dirty. I exchanged them surprisingly because of the obvious poor condition after only a couple wears. I got the Greystones. The size 6 (my usual) was too tight I couldn't believe it. Yet again, i exchanged them for a 7. I've never been a 7 in my life. Anyway these are not as amazing as the leathers but they have lasted 2 years of lots of use. My feet don't breathe as well in them, and they don't look as cute as the black (I wish they had black vegan).

    I also bought my mom a pair of the caramel brown leather unfortunately had to return because the 7 or 8 never fit her (she's a 7). So in the end, I lucked out and would recommend anyone to at least try them. Their return policies give you a real chance to at least try. And if the shoe fits, voila, you probably will fal in love too. P.S Can Tieks pay me already for this stellar review!! :p

    1. I completely agree....I think their return policy is great, so it can't hurt to try them. I'm surprised they let you exchange them if they weren't in like new condition, they seemed pretty clear that they needed to be, and I read other reviews where that was an issue. I wish they worked for me. I really wanted them too! Most of the reviews talk about it like a miracle shoe, but for me....not so much. I'm glad they worked out for you! You should email them your review...maybe they'll give you a discount on another pair lol Good luck!

  3. Thank you for your honest insight. I have a pair of the leather ones I got after reading the glowing reviews (I later found out Tieks has an affiliate program which explains all those glowing reviews) and honestly was not that impressed. I loved them at first, but they get gross REALLY quickly. Even USED Tieks only save you like $20 off retail. Mine got beat up very fast, and the die hard fans tell you that you have to take them off when you walk outside, cover them or take them off while you are driving, clean them every These are shoes, expensive shoes, but they need to hold up like shoes. I'm going to now have to paint my fuschia Tieks black to cover up all the scratches and scuffs and I have only had them a year.

    1. Also, I feel like since the vegan ones aren't made of leather they should cost way way less!

    2. Vegan everything should be cheaper! Do you know the amount of money and resources that go into raising and killing cows? It's expensive af! You're totally right, they should be cheaper. So should plant-based meat and cheese...I'm going to shut up now, because if I get on my soapbox about this, we'll be here all day long. I did buy a pair of Rothy's (I'm not even giving you my referral link so you know this is a legit statement) and I love them. Comfortable and breathable. I'll have to write about them one day, but I'm a lazy blogger...

  4. Thank you for this review. I've been considering a pair of vegans, but the concern is always whether the quality is as high as the leather version. It's frustrating that the vegan models aren't less expensive... They absolutely should be! I also never knew they have an affiliate program. That explains all the "I drank the kool aid" reviews. I have a pair of Tieks, and have worn them almost daily since buying them 3 months ago. I think they're great, but it's really hard to find a truly honest take on them (like yours) among all the bloggers who are apparently part of the affiliate program.


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