My Facebook has been absolutely flooded with advertisements for Rothy’s shoes — supposedly eco-friendly and super comfortable. The shoes are made by recycling plastic water bottles then using the fibers to 3D knit the shoes. This process makes the shoes seamless, and the shoes are also treated with a moisture wicking agent to help keep your feet dry and comfortable. Plastic water bottle shoes don’t sound super comfortable, but the website promises a silken feel. You can read more about the process in the FAQs.
After reading some reviews and looking at my current shoe collection I decided to take the plunge. I only have a couple pairs of ballet flats and I don’t really love any of them. The promise of blister-free flats was too enticing to pass up. I have been eyeing Tieks for years, but Rothy’s are significantly less expensive, more eco-friendly, and can be machine washed! While I still want a pair of Tieks, Rothy’s make more sense for my budget right now.
I decided to go with the traditional round toe ballet flat (“The Flat“). 1) I’m not a fan of pointy toes, and 2) the rounded toes are less expensive than the pointy toed versions. At $125 this is still a serious price tag for a flat in my opinion, but I did use a referral code to bring it down to $105. In North Carolina there was no tax or shipping fee, so a flat $105 it is. After input from friends I went for the Grey Birdseye — both beautiful and versatile. I ordered a size 7, which is the size I wear in flats from Banana Republic and BP at Nordstrom.
I placed my order on a Monday afternoon, received shipping confirmation about five hours later, then they were at my doorstep Saturday afternoon. Not bad for free shipping across the country!
They arrive in a grey shoe box made from recycled materials with beautiful blue foil text. The inside of the box reminds you what makes Rothy’s special–made from recycled material, machine washable, recyclable when you decide theyre too worn out, and versatile. The packaging is pretty, but nothing insanely special. The box does come with a pull tab to open, and the inside of the flap has a self-sealing option for if you want to ship them back.
Top of the boxed the shoes are shipped in
Inside of the box. The top shows self-sealing in case of return, top of the inside of the box has blue foil text about Rothy’s, then shoes come wrapped in a paper tube.
“We’re so glad you chose the goodness of Rothy’s. Together we’ve saved over 500,000 water bottles from winding up in landfills. Let’s keep bettering the planet and looking great doing it.”
The flats looked as they did on the website. I wore them around my house for about 3 hours and found the claims to be true (at least initially). I had no marks on the back of my heel, the edge didn’t dig into my foot anywhere, even the top of my foot/big toe bone where I often feel discomfort from shoes, and the shoes weren’t hard or plasticy feeling at all. I’m not sure I would call these ‘silken’, but they definitely don’t resemble a plastic water bottle. This is easily the most comfortable flat I’ve tried on.
Grey birdseye in true indoor lighting
Grey birdseye with some natural lighting through a window. Note where my left toe is (too small =[ )
I found them to be cute and comfortable on my right foot, which is slightly smaller than my left. My left foot was simply too large for this size 7. So for now I am exchanging them for a 7.5, which for reference is the size I wear in all Keds sneakers.
Exchanging was really simple! The FAQ on the website currently says exchanges are only possible by returning and purchasing a new pair; however, I did not find this to be the case. Being able to exchange instead of just return and re-purchase was really lovely because it means I didn’t have to go hunt down my referral code for $20 off again! Returns and exchanges are also completely free in the US. In my box I was instructed to head to rothys.returnly.com. There I entered my email and selected the return I wished to process. It asked my why I was returning with many options, I selected too small. It then asked me if I wanted to exchange for the same pair (The Flat in Grey Birdseye) and if yes what size, so I selected 7.5. Then I completed my return and was prompted to download and print a return label. Now I found this a bit annoying — I wish the Rothy’s just included the return label with each shipment. I know plenty of people who don’t own a printer and thus printing out a label is a bit of a pain. Considering there’s no way to try these on in person (unless a friend has some) you’d think they’d expect a large volume of returns for fit issues — so why not just provide the prepaid label?! But alas, I printed my label, taped it to the box top over the original label, sealed up the box with all its original contents with the self-sealing strip, then dropped it off at the post office.
I went to the post office late Saturday afternoon (I was hoping the cut-off time was 5PM, but sadly it was 1:30), so my shoes should be off back to Rothy’s first thing Monday morning. Once I get my size 7.5 pair I will post a complete review once I’ve received the correct size and have worn them around a bit more.
In the mean time if you’re interested in Rothy’s my first impression is very good! Not having blisters over a few hours is way better than all of my other flats. You can use my referral code to get $20 off.
Edit:// if you want to see how I felt after my exchange read my next blog post!