This review of the Rothy’s flats is sponsored by Rothy’s. The opinions are completely our own based on experience.
Do you remember the first time you heard about Rothy’s flats? Did your co-worker wear a pair to the office? Or perhaps you stopped someone on the street to inquire about her cute shoes and she told you all about her Rothy’s flats: how they’re made from post-consumer plastic bottles (read more about the company’s sustainability mission here) and come in a variety of gorgeous colors and patterns. Your interest is piqued, but you have picky feet like I do and you do your research before purchasing. I got ya. While there are thousands of customer reviews on the Rothy’s site (which I highly recommend scanning), it’s good to hear from someone that understands foot issues. Let’s get started…
How do Rothy’s flats fit?
Snug. Over the past ten years, my shoe size has varied little among brands. I’m almost always a 10 medium (never larger), but sometimes a 9.5– so it makes sense that I ordered a 10 in Rothy’s. I read through a few on-site reviews mentioning that Rothy’s flats run small, so order up a half size, but I dismissed them as I’ve never needed a 10.5. I noticed a twinge of tightness across the toe box at first wearing and wondered if I ordered the wrong size. I decided to keep them as I remembered what one of my readers remarked, “They don’t stretch, but they mold to the feet.” That’s true. They actually feel better each time I wear them. If I order a second pair, I’ll try the 10.5 for comparison (yes, they actually carry this unicorn size). However, if you are between sizes, order up! If you have a wider foot, order up! If you’re still unsure which size to order, utilize Rothy’s live customer support pop-up when shopping their site or visit their comprehensive FAQ section.
Secure. Narrow heels, rejoice! Finally a flat that doesn’t slip. I’m serious. If you’ve given up on flats because of your quad-A width heel, please give Rothy’s flats a chance (free shipping + free returns=happy customers). It doesn’t matter if I’m walking, skipping, going up or downstairs, my Rothy’s stay PUT–a small miracle for some with teeny-tiny heel widths (this is why you might want to stick with your usual size if you have narrow feet). Plus, no slipping means no blisters. Phew.
How do Rothy’s flats feel?
Smooth. You might be wondering how a shoe made of recycled water bottles can possibly feel good against sensitive foot skin. The filament fiber yarn (made from certified polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles) used to knit the uppers is surprisingly soft and non-irritating since it’s seamless with no elastic pieces or extra adornments like studs, buckles, or velcro fasteners.
Forgiving. I have both bunions and hammertoes and find the woven uppers to be accommodating of both.
Lightly Cushioned. The removable foam insole (made from foam components recycled shoes), provides some cushioning, but not a ton. Since it’s removable, you could put in a more substantial insole/insert. However, I doubt a full orthotic would fit well in Rothy’s flats.
Arch support? Well…no. Due to the low-to-the ground, glove-like fit of Rothy’s flats, don’t expect arch support–there’s not much room to fit it in! Again, you could try your favorite insole to give your arches a little boost. Personally, I can wear my Rothy’s for shorter stints, but I wouldn’t choose them for a day of shopping on hard sidewalks–too flat for my picky feet. If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, this is probably not the shoe for you. I do have fleeting bouts with hallux limitus, but for some reason it simmers down in my Rothy’s flats.
Breathable? I have read that Rothy’s are breathable due to the knit upper, but I have yet to wear them in temperatures above 70 (we’ve had the wettest and coolest spring so far here in Chicagoland). I also don’t know how well they wick moisture since they’re made from plastic fiber, but I plan to report back.
What I love most about my Rothy’s flats:
Environmentally-friendly: While I’m a far cry from being a full-fledged environmentalist, I’m taking steps in the right direction. From bringing my own reusable grocery bags to the store (Envirosax are worthy of their own blog post), to taking my plastic bags back to the store for recycling, I’m headed in the right direction. My conscience feels good knowing I’m supporting a company that has repurposed closed to 32 million plastic bottles that may have ended up in a landfill. That feels good.
Stylish: I’m not typically a flats kind of gal, but I love the silhouette of Rothy’s flats– simple and elegant. This copper color is divine. It’s more of a dark coral that actually goes with more than you’d imagine! I hope they keep this color around a while.
Washable: I actually had to wash my new Rothy’s just three days after receiving them. I decided to wear them to my son’s baseball game after a drenching rain. Needless to say, walking through mud was unavoidable and my pretty new shoes got dirty. No problem. I just threw them into the washing machine (separate insole from flat first), used a small amount of detergent and ran them through on the gentle cycle. They came out perfectly clean and air-dried in no time.
Versatile: I’m taking my Rothy’s to a wedding in Colorado this weekend. I plan to change out of my heels and into my pretty copper flats at the reception so I can mingle and dance! But I can just as easily pair them with shorts, jeans and skirts all summer long.
Find Rothy’s flats (pointed-toe, loafer style, sneaker and round-toe flat featured here) in whole and half sizes 5-12 (no wide widths…yet), for $125-165 with free shipping and returns. from Rothy’s.com.
Do you have a pair of Rothy’s? We’d love to hear your opinion, so feel free to leave us a comment. Still looking for the perfect pair? Check out our category of reviews and recommendations for comfortable flats.