A couple of years ago, my cheap black flats gave out on me because the faux leather started flaking off.
I was shopping for a pair that would last better, and while I was in the midst of researching them, Bali Elf offered to send me a pair of their handmade leather flats. Yay!
The shoes right after I got them.
Since my hope was that they’d have better longevity than my initial pair, I thought an update would be helpful to you guys.
So, 2.5 years in, I’m still very impressed with my flats.
The more I wear them, the more comfy they get, which I find to be true for real leather shoes. Plus, this rather unstructured style is really soft from the get-go, and I have not found that to be true with a lot of cheap flats, which tend to be really hard in the back-of-the-heel area.
The leather is still soft and supple, and it’s not showing much in the way of wear at all.
One of my favorite features is the soles of these shoes. They’re fairly minimalist, but they’re also really grippy! My old flats had kind of a smooth bottom and were consequently rather slippery.
But my Bali Elf flats have a great texture bottom which means that even when it’s wet outside, they’re not prone to slipping.
These shoes don’t have arch support, which is no biggie to me. I have ridiculously high arches, so arch supports never ever reach the bottoms of my feet. You could certainly insert some arch supports if you wanted, though.
I’ve read about Tieks as a great, high-quality flat, but the Bali Elf flats are $65 less expensive ($110 vs. $175).
And based on my experience with them, it seems like they last just as long as the Tieks.
Plus, the Tieks all have the turquoise stripe up the back plus a turquoise sole, which is a little unappealing to me. I like that my Bali Elf shoes are all neutral-colored.
I haven’t had problems with these getting smelly, but I always wear cotton liners with them…you know, the kind that are meant to be invisible with flats?
If I wore them without socks, I definitely would have sweaty feet issues. But I feel like that’s the case with any flats I’ve ever owned.
I wear my flats a few days a week during the fall, winter, and spring, and not much in the summer. Flip flops are my jam in the summer! So if you wear flats every day, yours will probably look more worn in 2.5 years than mine do.
Those cheap flats I had? I only wore them occasionally on Sundays, and they still wore out in pretty short order.
That makes me feel like these Bali Elf shoes are worth the price. Plus, if you buy these, you have the satisfaction of supporting a small company that makes quality products by hand, and that’s worth something too.
So, I give a really big thumbs up to my Bali Elf shoes and I’d definitely recommend them if you’ve been wanting something sort of like Tieks but have felt like $175 is just too much to pay.
P.S. I have the Aise flat but Bali Elf also has a bunch of other styles of flats you can choose from. And they come in a variety of colors.
P.P.S. If you’re new here, you might be wondering why on earth a frugal person is talking about $100+ shoes. I’m frugal, yes, but I am ALL about saving up and buying something that lasts vs. buying something cheap that won’t last. In the long run, that ends up being a frugal and earth-friendly choice.
Bali Elf sent me a complimentary pair of shoes back in 2014, but they did not ask me to do a follow-up and they haven’t sponsored my posts in any way. And I don’t gain anything if you buy a pair.