An Overdue Trip Abroad

It’s been quite a few years since I’ve been out of the country, and quite a long time since I’ve dedicated myself to the blog, but with my upcoming honeymoon to Italy I think it’s time for a revival!

Yes, you heard me, I said honeymoon! To Italy! This blog is about to take a big “grown up” step forward from its college-days era and into the life of a newlywed.

On our itinerary, we land in Naples and head straight to Sorrento for five days, Florence for the next five days, and end in Rome for – you guessed it – five more days. Then it’s back on a plane to our home in Denver. The itinerary is a bit fuzzy as far as how we’ll spend our time, but there will be plenty of food, wine, and photography, I promise.

The important questions in life: what shoes do I pack?

Aside from the obvious acts of purchasing plane tickets, renewing passports, etc. – most of my energy has been focused on what to pack. With all the city-hopping, the layover in Ireland, the rush from one NYC airport to another on the day we come back (I’ll come back to that in another post), our major focus is packing as light as possible. How light, you ask? The plan is to fit two weeks of necessities into only a carry-on bag and personal item each. I’ve already done a practice run and it is possible, with plenty of planning! I didn’t practice with the clothing I’ll ultimately bring, but with similar quantities of shirts, pants, and dresses I already own. The hardest challenge for me, though, has been picking out which shoes to bring.

We are going to be walking all day long, all around cities, and then into the night. On top of that, Italians are fashionable folks. I’ve got some amazing hiking sandals by Merrell, but I think I’d prefer to reserve those for wearing to Pompeii and other more hiking-y activities. Then I’ve got some Sam Eidelman gladiators, but I’ve yet to go a full day in them, and I’m concerned about the thinness of the sole. I’ll bring both of those and hope for the best, but then I faced the ultimate question – what do I do for a closed toe shoe that I could wear at night when it cools down? Nighttime is when we’ll be out on the town getting dinner and drinks, and my toes get cold very easily. When those temps drop to the 50’s, I’d rather be in a closed-toe flat than strappy sandals. My current flats are cheap and uncomfortable – I just wore them for a full day on my feet when I was directing a video and photo shoot, and my heels and toes were dying by the end of hour 6 – to the point where I ended up taking off my shoes entirely for the last hour, even though I was running around on gravel outside coordinating the video shoot. That’s how bad they were!

And then I found Tieks!

So, I did a TON of research. Tieks had been popping up on my radar for ages by this point – specifically invading my Pinterest with their pretty colors and delightful aesthetic. But, I was skeptical. Is ANY flat comfortable after a full day? After reading endless raving reviews, and even after specifically trying to search for bad reviews, I ultimately decided they were worth a try. The thing that did it for me was the praise for customer service and the size exchange and return policy. So, I bought a pair of patent nude Tieks – bright for summer sun, but still neutral enough to go with everything. Here’s a photo borrowed from the Tieks website:


I mean, c’mon, how cute! Can’t you just see me in those, at that table, sipping on prosecco in bella Italia? But for $195 these things have got to be PERFECT. Which brings me to my current dilemma: Tieks doesn’t sell half sizes, and I’m a 7.5

I initially ordered an 8, but worried that they would be a bit loose, I also requested a 7 to try on. The company was kind enough to send the 7 while I still had the size 8 pair (thanks Tara!) so I could test them out side by side from the comfort of my living room. The 7’s arrived last night, and I spent an hour walking around my kitchen in them. At the end of the hour, my heels were sore and my big toe knuckles hurt. I have no doubt that length-wise, the shoe is the right size, but that snugness – oh buddy. I can’t imagine a night of walking through Rome in these after just one hour of moseying through my kitchen. The shoe itself, though, is leather. I suspect this means they will break in, but how much breaking in will it take, and how long?

So, here’s the question I have for the wonderful women of the internet: if you have a pair of Tieks did you find there was a breaking-in period where they hurt, and if so, how do they fit you now?

I’m looking for totally honest feedback, and I promise you that this anecdote of mine is in no way influenced by any brand or individual. I’m just a first-time buyer looking for insights about this exciting, but nerve-wrackingly expensive purchase! Thanks!


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