Airports are among my favorite places. There is something about the energy of walking terminal to terminal, surrounded by other travelers in the “in-between”. Luggage rolls so smoothly on airport tile, people stand a little taller knowing soon they’ll be crammed into a middle seat for hours on end, and if you follow your nose you’re bound to find a cup of coffee, slice of pizza, or mediocre glass of wine.
Over the years I’ve navigated airports in heels, boots, flats, sandals, and sneakers, and although most everyone agrees that comfortable shoes are the way to go on travel days, they often require a sacrifice on style.
Enter Tieks. You know them. You’ve seen their signature style with the teal bottoms all over your Instagram and Pinterest feeds. I was skeptical. Rounded toe flats make my legs look short, and inevitably they only seem comfortable, but after passing them over time and time again, I decided to give them a shot. I wanted to hate them, I really did. $175 for a pair of generic-looking flats seemed a bit absurd. But that’s the thing. They’re generic, as in, they don’t stand out. They just blend seamlessly with whatever outfit you’re wearing and go unnoticed.
The first thing you’ll notice is the packaging. Tieks come folded in half and smooshed into a pretty teal box with an elastic flower band wrapped around the outside. When you open the box, you’ll find a handwritten thank you note from an employee, your sweet little flats, and two shoe bags. One bag is small and holds your folded up tieks. The other bag is the size of a standard grocery sack and is meant to hold your heels at the end of a long night.
As I dress in mostly neutrals, taupe (my favorite neutral shade) was a natural choice. The fit is true to size, and there is no break-in time required. The leather is soft and supple, and matches my taupe shoe polish exactly, making quick scuff repair simple. I first wore them on a trip from my hometown in Louisville, KY to New York where I spent nine hours in the city before boarding a plane to Guangzhou and then to Singapore- a total of 40 hours of travel. Though I’ll admit to taking them off briefly in the lounges at JFK and in China, these babies got me through the long haul effortlessly.
If you’re looking for a high-quality pair of flats with sneaker-like treads, foot conforming leather, and lasting wear, give Tieks a shot, and let me know what you think.