Tieks by Gavrieli: My Favorite Travel Flats

On most of my backpacking trips, I packed only two pairs of shoes: flip flops and running shoes.

Which of course meant I had nothing to wear in dressier situations. In Asia, I was even turned down at several clubs for not having proper footwear. (Like at the Skybar in Saigon. Ugh.)

So on my most recent trip, I decided to pack a pair of black Tieks to accompany my flip flops and trainers.

And I was so glad I did.

For one, having a pair of stylish, comfortable shoes in Europe is a must (please never wear tennis or hiking shoes in public in Europe, mkay?).

And secondly, they take up almost no space in your backpack.

Yes, they’re expensive. But for shoes that are well-made, durable, and chic, I’m willing to invest.

So this year I ordered another pair of Tieks in burgundy– perfect for a wine lover, non?



Why Tieks are perfect for travel:

a. They’re stylish, and look good anywhere from European cobblestones to Southeast Asian clubs.

b. They’re comfortable, thanks to the padded sole.

c. They’re well-made, with soft but durable Italian leather. And they last- they don’t wear out quickly like most ballet flats.

d. They’re extra portable because they fold up into themselves! (See first image).

And okay fine, I love the box they come in. And the myriad colors. (I not-so-secretly would love the leopard. Next pair.)

But Tieks aren’t just good for travel, they’re also great for everyday life– I wear both my burgundy and black pairs to the office all the time.

Tieks_VeniceTieks also make great gifts for those you love very, very much- hey, they ain’t cheap! My best friend pictured above in the ballerina pink Tieks I gave her for Christmas. 



Which color Tieks would you choose? Comment below!

A note about sizing – order down if you’re a half size. I’m an 8.5 and I wear an 8 in Tieks. Also, some of these links are affiliate links, and I will earn a small percentage of any resulting purchases at no additional cost to you. Thanks for keeping Ashley Abroad afloat!

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About Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley is a travel and lifestyle blogger who lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Since college she has au paired in Paris, backpacked the world solo, and lived in Uganda. Her work has been featured by Buzzfeed, Forbes, TripAdvisor, and Glamour Magazine.

71 thoughts on “Tieks by Gavrieli: My Favorite Travel Flats”

  1. Your timing is perfect! I’m in desperate need of updating my travel fashion wardrobe and I’m in the market for some new flats. I absolutely love these shoes and I think I need them in black, pink and gold :)

    • Is anyone else bothered by the “toe cleavage?” I love the idea of these shoes. I ordered multiple sizes a few years ago but the shoe just didn’t cover enough of my toe-end foot. I would *love* if they would make a version that comes up a bit higher. I gave them this feedback directly, to no avail.

      In the meantime, I’ve been using Merrell Barefoot Ballet Flats. They make different versions but they are quite similar to Tieks but don’t fold up as small – though still quite compact.

      From my initial order, I think Tieks are worth the cost. The quality and compactness was awesome. But they just don’t fit me properly.

    • Hi Miriam, I’m totally with you on disliking ‘toe cleavage’. I think Tieks just fit everyone a little differently – they fully cover my toes, but that might not be the case for everyone. Hopefully they come out with a few different versions!

  2. I’ve been wanting to try these shoes since I first read about them but they are just so expensive. I would LOVE to win the $100! I would buy the Metallic Silver, Metallic Gold or the Chestnut from the Classics collection.

  3. I use Toms… but they’re def not fashionable or as foldable. I’m such a dork, I have running sneakers and hiking boots… that’s basically half my bag.

  4. I’ve been checking these out, but hadn’t wanted to splurge quite yet – and there are SO many colors. I usually pack flip flops, decently dressy sandals, running shoes, and Tom’s. But yeah, that’s too much.

  5. I am just about to go on a (maybe) year long RTW trip with 4/5 months in Europe, I so need one of those! I like the chestnut and the stripped one. I am a silent follower but adore your blog.x

  6. Awww the blue soles! So cute. These remind me a lot of the Yosi Samra shoes I travel with. But the Tieks box is so much cuter! And the soles! Love those soles.

    I’d probably spring for a black pair…you know, they would go with everything. :o)


  7. Hi Ashley! Fellow Michigander here. I’d have to go with black or navy because they’d match more and be very versitle. Loving the blog. Heard about you from Caroline Made This!

  8. I really hope I win so I can get the leopard print tieks that I’ve been dreaming about! Leopard is totally a neutral, right?

  9. I’ve wanted a pair for a long time! I think I’d want to get something fun like green or blue, but probably would end up getting black or tan/neutral colored ones.

  10. They look super comfy and easy to pack…not sure if I’m quite ready to spring for them but they definitely might be a good investment for classier locations. And the burgundy color is so gorgeous – I would wear that with everything.

  11. I really want a pair of Tieks, but seriously they are soon pricey! Clearly worth it though. I think I’d go for that gorgeous nude pair you bought your mate. Dreamy:)

  12. I have cancer mutiple myeloma now for almost 6 years. Along with chemo came neuropathy in my legs, feet and hands which makes finding comfortable shoes almost impossible. I live on social security which makes buying really good shoes too expensive. I would really love to be able to afford and try Tieks.

  13. I need these! I live in my FitFlop de loop sandals in gold since I live in Florida, but I also travel tons (flight attendant husband) so I need a closed-toe, versatile option. How am I just now discovering your blog?!

  14. Absolutely love Tieks! They’re great for travelling – comfy and stylish! I also always have a pair in my purse so I can easily change to flats after I’ve been in heels for so long.

  15. Hmm I may have to try these. Been trying to figure out which shoes will be my dressy ones on my upcoming trip. I too was turned down in Asia for trying to get in with flip flops in a couple of places ha. I tend not to like shoes that scrunch on the side though like most ballet flats…
    Another fashion forward question. Do you have a favorite brand of shorts? I’m looking for a good black pair that’s not too short to last me throughout my travels. Just thought I’d ask since you tend to look darling in your posts!

    • Hi Alex, thanks so much, that’s so sweet of you to say! Funny enough I love Abercrombie for jean shorts- just don’t tell anyone ;). And I have a couple of pairs of shorts from Gap and JCrew. Those are both good options!

  16. I would love to win a pair of these! I’m heading to Europe in the fall and this is exactly what I’ve been looking for! I’ll even write my own review after the trip!

  17. I have recently purchased at least 4 different pairs of shoes I could “afford” trying to find some that are dressy enough for the office yet comfortable. Due to some issues with back/hip and foot pain – and having one foot wider than the other but narrow heels – something that seems like “it’ll do” in the store ends up making me miserable and being worn once then donated. It will be cheaper for me in the long run to save up for a pair of these.
    But what do you wear when it rains?!

    • That’s one thing I should’ve mentioned- don’t wear Tieks in rain or snow, the leather won’t like it! But overall I really love my Tieks and Tieks itself is a great company :)

  18. I found all these comments food for thought…I just purchased my first pair. Probably a strange question but I am wondering how the insoles hold up to bare feet in them? Thanks.

  19. I’m not a fashionista, but I like comfortable shoes :) I’m starting to save for some of these! Love the look and the reviews. Black is a must have!

  20. I have been thinking of purchasing Tieks for a Euopean trip, I love how small they pack and how light weight they are. How are they for walking tours, walking on cobblestones and standing in line for any length of time?

    • Christine, I just bought them earlier this month for a trip to Europe. I was concerned when I first got them because I didn’t have that “cloud walking” experience when I first put them on. I almost sent them back but I’m glad I didn’t! I ended up traipsing around London for 2 1/2 days in only my tieks. 58,000 steps in 2 days and they held up beautifully. My feet hurt at the end of the day, but I think that would happen no matter what when you’re walking that much. I had NO blisters and no pain after soaking my feet at the hotel each night. For that I think that they’re worth it.

  21. I LOVE my Tieks! I actually own several pair. They are all I wear most days, even while traveling. I have low to moderate arches and bunions (and I’m only 41). My husband doesn’t mind my Tieks addiction, because I no longer complain about my feet. :)

  22. My husband & I will be traveling to Denmark in May. I have had surgery on both feet. These sound like they would be my answer to comfort and style.

  23. I would have a few pair by now if the price tag was not this high. I love the ruby red, burgundy.. Honestly I love them all. If and when I get a pair I am afraid I wil cave and need more:)

  24. Wow- you aren’t kidding. My boos and I were just discussing these at work the other day. I had no Idea they were so expensive.

  25. I would love the ballet pink for my trip to Paris but just can’t seem to justify the price! They look wonderful!

  26. I enjoyed reading these comments! I am about to treat myself to my first pair of Tieks. We live in Florida and travel a lot. Any suggestions as to color? I am torn between black and the silver lake.


    • Hi Jade, I really love my black Tieks but also enjoy my burgundy ones because they add a pop of color. The only color I don’t like is probably cardinal – it’s just kind of a dull red. Ballerina pink is also gorgeous!

  27. How does the leather hold up around the toes? I have a couple of pairs of driving shoes in soft leather and within days, the leather at the toes wore off. Do these do the same? I’m going to Europe for a 17 day cruise. I’ve lived in my sandals because they are the most comfortable, but would like something a little dressier. Thanks.

  28. I purchased a pair in black last winter and took them to Europe with me. I ordered down to the next full size as you suggested and after wearing for months, the back elastic was still always digging into my foot. Then the stitching inside the sole of one shoe came out. I contacted Tieks and found out the stitching was ONLY DECORATIVE, and not an indication of good quality. Boy, was I surprised! Especially considering the cost. I would NOT recommend sizing down if you wear a half size. I may purchase again, but only after going UP to the next size.

  29. Hi Ashley, I’m considering purchasing the black Tieks for an upcoming backpacking trip around the world. I’d like to have a dressier option and I think these make a lot of sense since I’ll literally be carrying all of my belongings on my back. My question – if these are kept in the folded position for a long period of time, will that affect the shoe? I imagine there might be weeks in which I keep ’em folded to save space, but other weeks where I wear them daily. P.S. Love the URL – I was sad to see it taken years ago but happy to have stumbled upon it today!

    –Another Ashley Abroad

  30. I am wondering if any other Tieks lovers had problems with parts of the blue sole coming off in the toe area. I’ve had 2 “break” in a relatively short period of time. They were kind enough to replace one of my pairs. I don’t think I walk weird. :(

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