The number one most-hyped teacher fashion item has got to be Tieks flats. If you spend fifteen seconds on Pinterest looking for anything teaching related, you will definitely see an image of a beautiful rainbow assortment of ballet flats somewhere in your feed.
I’ve had my eye on a pair for a few years now, but they’re quite pricey (some will set you back over $200). One of my teacher BFFs bought these chestnut beauties a few months ago though, and they looked so cute on her that I just had to try them! Here are a few of my thoughts on my Tieks:
The packaging they arrive in is GORGEOUS. I’m a sucker for packaging.
They are only available in full sizes. I usually wear a 7 1/2. The website suggests sizing down since the leather stretches, so I bought a size 7. I wore them around the apartment for about an hour and they felt way too small, so I thought I would try an 8. Tieks sent me the 8 right away so that I could compare the two sizes, and then I sent the size 7 back. I was happy with the larger size and with the customer service on the exchange.
They are very comfortable. At this point in my life I have worn too many cheap, uncomfortable pairs of flats and I’m just not doing it anymore. I would rather invest more money in a quality pair that doesn’t give me blisters or pain in my arches. They are the kind of shoes that you just don’t really have to think about. Sometimes after a day of teaching I can’t wait to get home and kick off my shoes, but I haven’t felt that way with my Tieks.
They ARE really great for teachers. We have to stand on our feet for most of the day, plus we have to maneuver around roller backpacks and lunch boxes and then climb on a chair to hang the top row of student work on a bulletin board. These are perfect shoes for the that. I wouldn’t choose to wear mine on a long outdoor hike, and they aren’t well-suited for cold weather, but they are great as a casual, indoor, comfortable, classroom flat.
They look cute! I remember loving the little black flats that Cinderella slips into before she goes to feed the animals, and these simple flats remind me of that. I copied my friend and ordered the neutral chestnut pair, but another teacher friend of mine ordered the gorgeous rose gold pair, and I love this printed leopard pair. The teal sole is also totally adorable.
Lastly, I was under the impression that Tieks were made in the US, but from what I can now tell, only the last stage of assembly is done in Los Angeles. They contribute to a women’s empowerment fund called Kiva, but do not claim to be a fair trade company. I consider these an investment piece (they are the most expensive pair shoes I own!) and I will incorporate them into my increasingly fair trade and American-made wardrobe.
However, I am interested in trying out other boutique flats companies that have a stronger mission and purpose. Rothy’s are made from recycled plastic and are slightly less expensive than Tieks, Oka-B flats are made in the state of Georgia, recyclable and affordable, and The Root Collective has gorgeous fair trade flats. I’d like to try give one of these companies a try the next time I’m in need of a pair of teacher flats.