Gadling Gear Review: Tieks Foldable Ballet Flats

Shoes are always the packing puzzle I can’t quite solve. Travels that require evening dress are a struggle. I once gave up valuable space in my luggage for a pair of strappy platform sandals; the evening dress I packed took up probably a quarter of the space I needed for the accompanying shoes. I ended up carrying my shoes around later that night anyways.

Tieks by Gavrieli are foldable ballet flats that take up a tiny amount of space in your bag and they dress up very nicely. They’re cute – they come in a whole lot of colors and styles – and they absolutely work with your cocktail dress, the one that takes up no space in your luggage.

I was surprised at how little breaking in they needed, the pair I tried (I went with the sparkly Obsidian Black) were comfortable on my feet right away. They looked great with my evening event outfits (you really can’t go wrong in basic black) and my feet were much happier than they’d have been in heels. But they didn’t quite make it through the second night – my feet were tired after two hours on the reception patio’s concrete floor. There’s no arch support – that’s a sacrifice for a shoe you can fold in half.

Tieks come in a big array of colors and some patterns, you can have snakeskin or something floral or something blingy with sparkle. A basic solid color pair will set you back $165, the snakeskins run $295. You can spend a lot less on a foldable ballet flat – a quick search turned up a few brands that have a similar sturdy sole, but they don’t offer the range in style that the Tieks do.

Tieks are all about the style – they come with a carrying pouch and a reusable bag, probably for throwing your heels in when you’ve switched shoes at the end of the night. And they’ve made a nod towards comfort – the flats fit well and are really fine for walking in, though I’d not choose them for all day wear.

They’re cute, they look great and they fold up to pack away very easily. I’d think twice about making them my shoe of choice if I’m going to have to be on my feet for a long evening, but if I just need to make sure I have shoes for a dress up night out while I’m traveling, they’re a great option.

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