Walk a mile…to break in these shoes

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friend or foe?

Turns out I’m the prime candidate for internet sponsored posts. In the past 2 months I have purchased 5 things from shady instagram shops or those “50  Types of Unicorn Erasers under $10 on Amazon” lists. That doesn’t sound like that much typed out, but I probably bought 8 things total from any shop. It’s worked out relatively well: highly complimented skirt, containers in a variety of animal shapes, several items that were bizarrely sized but garnered a full refund without even returning!

 

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Essentials

So it comes as no surprise that after a few months of constantly seeing the ads for Tieks’ rainbow of ballet flats, I was intrigued. Out and about I started to notice people with the teal soles, namely coworkers who spend their days on their feet like me. Everyone swears by them and several others were buying them. I’m not a shoe fiend but I like fun shoes and rarely wear the same pair on back to back days; however I also almost completely stopped wearing heels, so comfy flats are a must. Plus I’ve started to notice I’m affected by shoes that might seem comfy but don’t have enough support for my back. So something cute and comfy in between heels and orthopedics are a necessity.

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How does anyone resist?

The conflict here is the price tag. $175 regular, $245 metallic (which I of course wanted). Most of the shoes in my closet are at least 10 years old, so I have no problem investing in a pair of shoes, but I need to know it’s worth it. I joined some Facebook groups and talked to the coworkers again and everyone was a fan.

So I pulled the trigger right before the school year. My shoe size varies and I went with a 7. When the 7 was too tight, I contacted customer service and had a size 8 in about 2 days, and they fit.

The first day the Tieks looked cute and got at least 1 compliment, but within a few hours my feet felt not great. Not painful or the major heel rubbing girls are all too familiar with, but just kind of tight. Not a shoe you’d ever forget you were wearing.

I decided to withhold judgement since I’ve been wearing flip flops all summer and all real shoes feel a little funny.

About a week later, wearing #2.

Again, fine. Not uncomfortable but couldn’t wait to take them off. I get how breaking in works, but it just really hasn’t been something I had to do for most of my favorite shoes.

I consulted the main Tieks Facebook group I had joined. My question: does everyone have a breaking in period? These are not comfortable.

The responses trickled in.

Oh yeah you have to break them in. It usually takes me a few months before they fit like a glove!

I average 50-60 hours breaking in time.

You could get them professionally stretched. 

Here’s a shoe stretcher system you can buy.

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I just paid $245 for flats and part of the deal is spending more money on a cobbler?

I posed this comment to the group.

Doesn’t it seem excessive to spend $245 and then have to go to great lengths and expense to be able to wear them?

The responses again…

A cobbler stretch is pretty standard around here.

You could think of it as “I spent $175 on these shoes, why not just pay $5 more to have them stretched.”

I’ve been stretching mine for 3 months and still can’t wear them.

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That is not how things work. You pay many dollars to get things that work correctly without additional expense. You don’t pay more dollars so you can spend more dollars. I can deal with a shoe that takes a few wearings and I can understanding spending money on shoe repair. New heels, resole-ing, I’ve done all those things for shoes I loved that were worn out. But I had also done those things after I wore them out. And they were probably a lot cheaper. This is not like a Chanel suit that your grandchildren can wear. These Tieks are cute but they  probably wouldn’t be in my top 3 favorite shoes even lookswise. That award goes to the GAP flats I’ve had for 10 years that were probably $40 (combined for 2 color variations). I didn’t have to take those to be stretched or live with bleeding feet for 2 work weeks. These Tieks were supposed to replace those in the rotation and I thought I’d splurge on myself, but it’s awfully hard to embrace the splurge when the shoes with the holes are more comfortable than $245 worth of material.

I have no judgement about what people spend their money on (sort of…but at least in this situation no judgement). What I can’t understand is spending the money and not expecting anything. Why are people lamenting how they can’t afford a pair but then being willing to save money for them and toss more money to make them fit?

Am I not cool enough for the Tieks cult? Inquiring minds want to know what I’m missing.

 

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