This article may contain affiliate links; if you click on a shopping link and make a purchase I may receive a commission. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
This LISSOM flats review has been updated several times over the years. When I first encountered LISSOM flats, I became an instant fan and felt a connection with the founder. Thanks to this LISSOM flats review and me wearing the shoes all the time, I sold thousands of pairs and had many of you write me, thanking me for introducing you to these revolutionary shoes.
But LISSOM was a small business started by a woman who wasn't from Silicon Valley, didn't have an MBA, but had a brilliant idea and made it reality and learned as she went along. And while she had a great product, her business ended up failing and those of us who supported her were also affected.
This LISSOM flats review was updated in 2020 to share my experience as a promoter of the brand and how I was out thousands of dollars in affiliate revenue because the company filed for bankruptcy. But the founder paid me all that was owed to me, and found new investors to re-launch LISSOM with the same great style and comfort.
You may also like: travel-friendly capsule wardrobe featuring LISSOM flats
I understand how hard it is to have a successful business, and how to scale when your business grows faster than you expected. I appreciate that the founder paid me what was owed from her own pocket, making things right. And I appreciate that she is so passionate about LISSOM that even with such a difficult experience, she relaunched the line, which is available on the LISSOM website and on Amazon. And with that, an updated and honest unpaid LISSOM flats review!
LISSOM Flats Review
Back in 2018, a reader reached out asking me if I had tried LISSOM flats. To be honest, I hadn't even heard of the brand. I visited their website and was intrigued enough to purchase a pair to provide an unsponsored honest LISSOM flats review. Now in 2022, I have owned three pairs of LISSOM flats and am a true fan.
What is LISSOM?
LISSOM was started after the founder Jennifer Markham left Pilates and realized how her shoes undid all the good from her class. She shared, “I realized the shoes I was wearing outside the studio were dulling my senses and core connection from the ground up. In ballet flats I felt myself clawing my toes to hold on, flip-flops made my back hurt, and sneakers felt over-padded and restrictive.”
Markham desired a shoe that allowed her feet to be grounded, thereby improving communication with her core and helping her move better. She couldn't find anything on the market that did all that and also looked cute so she took it upon herself and in 2017 LISSOM Flytes (the name of their style of flat) was born.
Fun fact: LISSOM is an old English word that means flexible, nimble, agile
I liked the modern, almost space-age style of LISSOM flats, loved that they were vegan, extremely lightweight, and washable. Unlike other flats I had, these were designed in the shape of a foot, with just the right amount of cushioning. I have wide feet, short toes, and am prone to pronating. That combination isn't great for flats.
I regularly deal with stretching flats out because my feet aren't the same shape. I have so much toe cleavage my pinky toe pops out or gets mangled. Often flats with cushioning look frumpy; these looked cool in a forward-thinking style that would be right at home with a wardrobe of clean, modern basics with an edge.
The uppers of LISSOM Flytes are made from several stretchy layers of Lycra and other activewear fabrics. The ultra-lightweight, high-grip, super flexible outsole is made of a patented blend of rubber and other traditional running sole synthetics. The insole is removable, the rise of the shoe high enough to accommodate some orthotics and insoles. LISSOM has a 30-day money back guarantee (even if you purchase on Amazon) so you can truly test drive their shoes to be sure they're great for you.
Ordering my First Pair of LISSOM Flats
I ordered a pair of LISSOM Flytes in Black with Black Sole in size 8, my regular shoe size. The shoes arrived quickly, in a beautiful box, carefully packaged. The shoes looked exactly as they did on the website. They are like a lined neoprene fabric with a seam around the foot opening and a flexible grippy sole.
LISSOM recommends wearing the shoes a couple hours at a time to get adjusted to them. I put them on and they were instantly comfortable… yet felt weird. You'll see from the photos that the sole sticks out a bit from the back of the foot. This is to bring greater control to the foot while accommodating lots of different foot types, and it takes a bit of getting used to.
Also, the sole of these shoes are drastically different from any other shoe I've worn; it's not rigid and its shape goes with the shape of a foot with additional padding in the sole and the ball of the foot. It's a unique feeling walking in LISSOM flats, sort of like being barefoot yet protected. You can walk on gravel and hot asphalt but you also feel the shape of the ground beneath you.
The Lissom Flats Break-in Period
I didn't wear these for little bits at a time to get used to them. I was taking a flight and wanted a super easy shoe to slip in and out of at TSA that would also work with a variety of outfits I packed. I grabbed the LISSOM Flytes and my inaugural wearing was on a flight.
My LISSOM Flytes survived a frantic dash to my gate, a long trip to baggage claim, and activities before I could get to my room. I wore them several times throughout the trip and used them as slippers when padding around my room. They felt like a hybrid between ballet flats, sneakers, and slippers and I was a mega fan.
My mistake with LISSOM flats is I didn't give them that break-in period. Yes, they were super comfy but because I didn't give them much time to cool off and bounce back, I stretched them out a bit. I wore them here and there for weeks after the trip, running to the market or to take my kid to school, not long trips and they seemed fine.
Then I had a weekend getaway and took them as the primary shoes for the whole weekend and that's when I realized I stretched them out. My feet were sliding around and the shoes made a squeaking noise when I walked. I walked off a step and the shoe gripped the ground while my foot went another direction, twisting my ankle.
Washing LISSOM Flats
Once home, I decided to wash the shoes for the first time, thinking it would help them bounce back. That it did! I removed the insoles, and to be sure the shoes didn't get damaged in the washing machine, I put everything in a lingerie bag, washed on gentle, cold water, liquid detergent. The shoes came out looking great… and the washing seemed to do the trick! The shoes fit again like they did when I got them. I began wearing them regularly and continue to do so four years later.
My Second pair of LISSOM Flats
LISSOM saw a decent amount of traffic from my site after I first featured them in 2018 and offered to send me another pair in thanks. This time I chose a pair in Blush, figuring they would be a low-contrast neutral that would work with a variety of outfits. This time I followed the instructions. I wore them for two hours around the house, waited a day, wore them again for a couple hours, waited a day, and then wore them for a bit longer. This “breaking in” period seemed to “train” the shoes to mold to my feet and seemed to help them better handle my pronation.
I love the blush color as it's low contrast with my skintone. I've worn them with dresses, with ankle jeans, with cropped wide-legged pants. I find them to be far more stylish and versatile than a classic ballet flat, and kinder to my feet for long periods of time than my Rothy's flats. In fact, after getting two pair of LISSOM flats and liking them so much, I donated my Rothy's flats.
While I would likely stick to a supportive sneaker or boot for hikes and long days of sight-seeing, my LISSOM flats have become a must-pack for every trip and from spring through fall they're the most worn everyday shoes in my closet.
My Third Pair of LISSOM Flats
As I mentioned at the top of this LISSOM flats review, I had some issues with the brand. In 2020, the UK company filed for bankruptcy, ceased communication with me, and failed to pay thousands of dollars in affiliate revenue I earned from promoting the shoes through this review and times I wore the shoes.
But in 2021, LISSOM returned with a new business model (including a US-based warehouse for quick shipments to us outside of the UK) and the founder paid me any outstanding revenue. She also sent me another pair of LISSOM flats in the color of my choice. I chose black with black, just like my original pair.
I chose black with black not because my first pair failed me, but because I failed them. I took these shoes on travel and somehow the insole of one shoe fell out and I lost it on the trip (likely forgotten at the bottom of a hotel closet). I was devastated as while I was frustrated with the brand when this happened, I still wore the shoes all the time and they just aren't comfortable without the insole.
I was happy to find that in 2021 with the relaunch of LISSOM, the shoes are exactly the same fit, same quality, same design, same great packaging. I am also happy to find that LISSOM flats are available on Amazon with free shipping!
My Honest Thoughts on LISSOM Flats Four Years Later
I have fussy feet. My feet are wide, high volume, and I have short toes. I have stretched out so many pairs of leather flats, have had my pinky toe escape from low vamps, and often can't fit all my toes into a strappy sandal. If a shoe is too flat, I will have pain for days after wearing yet arch support is often in the wrong place for my shape of foot. I own shoes that are comfortable, shoes that are cool looking, but few that are both.
And LISSOM flats, in my opinion, are both. I think they look really sharp with cropped wide-leg pants, with midi dresses, ankle pants, and even leggings. They're so lightweight, they feel like you're not wearing anything, but the sole is really grippy and offers stability.
I love LISSOM flats for travel. They are comfortable on a plane, even if your feet swell, and are easy to slip on and off. They're a good option as a slipper when at your hotel. They are so slim and lightweight, they don't add weight to luggage and can be tucked into a tote for a quick change when walking back from an event or other destination.
I keep my black LISSOM flats near my front door because they are the perfect slip on and go shoe with most any outfit from spring until fall. And I love how if I do hit a puddle or dribble my coffee, I can wash up my LISSOM flats and have them back to looking like new.
LISSOM Flats FAQ
These are the questions I get most from people when they ask about my LISSOM flats:
- Are LISSOM flats machine washable? Yes, though I don't recommend doing it often. The fabric is sort of like neoprene, so it's easy to spot clean (I do quite often with Bac-Out). I have washed the insoles more than the actual shoe to keep the shoe in great condition.
- Do LISSOM flats work with insoles? Technically yes, and far better than my other flats, but I find it awkward. LISSOM shoes are very stretchy, and I found insoles didn't sit quite right. That being said, I absolutely need insoles in other flats to be comfortable for long periods of time standing and walking. I don't have that need with my LISSOM flats. I also saw in Amazon reviews a few folks wear LISSOM flats with insoles and have great success.
- Do LISSOM flats fit wide feet? Yep, I have wide feet and they're great. A reader let me know she also bought them. She has very narrow low-volume feet and also finds them a good fit.
- Can you wear LISSOM flats on cobblestone, sand, or gravel? Yes, though I wouldn't wear this shoe sight-seeing in a city that has predominantly uneven ground. They provide more cushioning than bare feet, but they are just flats. I'd recommend a more structured shoe for such situations.
- Do LISSOM shoes give you toe cleavage? No, and that's another reason why I like these shoes. I have such short toes I have cleavage in most flats and pumps but not in LISSOM. Woot!
- Do LISSOM flats smell? I have smelly feet, but I find LISSOMs smell less than the other flats that I own. I just don't seem to sweat as much in them. They have air vents right above the toes, and LISSOM offers bamboo sock liners on their website, which also help. Also unlike insoles in many other shoes, when I wash these they truly get the funk out.
- I have plantar fasciitis, can I wear LISSOM flats? LISSOM discusses plantar fasciitis, pronation, and other foot issues in their FAQ. I do have pronation and a fallen arch. I find LISSOM more comfortable and for longer periods of time than any other flats. However, I am not a doctor and I don't know your body. I recommend you discuss it with your podiatrist.
- Will LISSOM fit if I have bunions? I don't have bunions but the uppers of these shoes are so stretchy, soft, and comfy. They may be a good choice depending on the type and size of your bunion.
Considering how often I wear my LISSOM flats, I felt it was time to update my LISSOM flats review. If you have purchased these shoes, do share your thoughts in the comments to help fellow Wardrobe Oxygen readers determine if these are a good purchase for their feet!
Thanks for the updated review! Note to anyone looking to buy that it seems as if Amazon has more colors available than the Lissom site? I’m holding out for a vibrant orange or red 🙂
Rebecca Pruett says
I think I saw a previous version of this review a month or two ago – because I bought a pair of these on your recommendation. I really like them! I still find the lack of sneaker-like support slightly disconcerting, but they look cute and are comfortable!
I understand the reason (from previous posts and comments), but is there any way to at least draw a line between the old (complaining) reviews and the new reviews of the new business? I was taken aback by several, until I squinted and read the fine print (the date).
PS. Maybe before you post updated reviews, you could add what would be the first comment on the new one and say, from here on, these are old reviews??
Thank you for updating this review – have been wondering about Lissoms as a stylish (‘futuristic’ looking) yet comfy flat, but didn’t want to bite the bullet without first knowing how an online order would fit (my feet are very similar to yours – right down to the shoe size!) You mentioned you’re usually a US8 – so did you order the US8.5 then (as seems to be recommended in their size chart) or US8?
I’m a bit confused though because you mentioned this is a UK company, but I can’t find a UK website from which to order it at all? (Both their site & Amazon seem to list in USD & either shipping from their USA/ Asian warehouses). Could you clarify this please Allie? Thanks a lot!
Since she went bankrupt in the UK she may have had to restart in the US. I bought my usual size 8 but to be fair I am a small 8 (was a 7.5 before I had Emerson) and often with wide shoes, especially sandals, I do better with 7.5.
Rose Lynn Scott says
Issom sent me 2 pairs of shoes…..WAY TOO SMALL AND NARROW! $176 down the drain.
They said to mail them back and they would mail me ONE (not two, as i paid foe two) larger pair…..$14 to return them….
That has been5 months…..NOTHING!
Facebook needs to stop showing their ads…..RIPOFF! CRIMINALS!
Rose Lynn Scott
also got the exact same email as your reader. I got an email that said my TWO pairs of shoes had been shipped. USPS never received the package. Because they sent me a tracking number (but the shoe never got to USPS), my credit card didn’t want togivemmy money back because Lissom made sure it looked like they were going to be shipped.
Guess who just started selling shoes again? That is right…. Lissom Flytes are available to order again. VERY frustrating. I wrote to them and told them I was never able to get my money back and I never got my shoes. I asked them to make it right or I was going to have no choice but to make sure other people knew what a scam this company is and make complaints and share wherever I can in a public platform. I’m so frustrated!!M even more so after hearing your story. I am so sorry you went through that. What awful business practices.
Jen J says
I just got an email for their shoes this morning. Was very interested as they gave black on black (work requirement) and sound super comfy for long days on my feet. But after reading the above, they are a hard pass for me. If a company can’t treat a longtime customer who promoted their brand right, what makes anyone think they will treat new customers any differently. So NOPE. Not gonna burn me.
Sarah Bardwell says
Thank you so much for your honest post. I had just ordered two pair in December 2019 via an email sale that I received. I had not received them yet, but when I ordered my first pair it took a bout 2.5 months to receive them, so I had not gotten too worried. Something made me check today. When I could not get the webpage to come up, I did a google search and found your facebook page. Fortunately, I paid on paypal credit, so they should be able to research this fairly quickly. I included your information on who to contact.
It is so sad that the company is going under. The shoes are great. I bought my second pair a half size too big b/c my big toe hit the top of the shoe, but they were too big, so I just wear them with black socks and it works fine.
Thank you for letting us know. I was just about to look for the site to purchase a new pair. I’ve loved them, and have walked an extraordinary amount of miles in them. Soooo disappointed this is what happened to them, I was worried that this might be the case when it took months for the black/black to be available again.
Sorry to hear that you have had your troubles with them.
Marni Witte says
Thank you for posting this. I actually purchased a pair of Lissom shoes (based on Oprah’s recommendation in O Magazine). I had to send them back because they were too small. I understood that the shoe is supposed to stretch to fit but my big toe was smashed up against the front of the shoe (despite ordering my true size). I contacted Lissom and was given an RMA # and return authorization along with the details of where to send the shoes back. I shipped the shoes back in mid November and by mid December still hadn’t received a refund or any correspondence from Lissom. I sent several emails – no reply. I called customer service several times – all went straight to voice mail despite calling during business hours. Frustrated, I did a goggle search on Lissom and found your article. At least now I know what’s going on and can move on. I opened a dispute with PayPal in hopes of getting my refund. Thanks for ending the “mystery” for me!
Sorry that you had an issue. I don’t think this was a scam. I have ordered shoes from them on multiple occasions (including one just a couple months ago) and never had any issues with my orders.
I was actually going back to order another pair when I found that their website had been taken down. A google search led me to this. Sad to see this outcome, hopefully they will be back as I live the shoes.
Alison Gary says
It is sad as they were unique and high quality shoes!
So sad. I was a returning customer searching for them. I was going to purchase in several colors. Looks like they have the customers. Thanks so much for the update. Sorry your faith in the company was never reciprocated. At least this lead me to your blog. Thanks again, Gail
Oh, Alison. I’m so sorry that happened to you and your family. Hope your finances didn’t take too hard of a hit. And thanks, as always, for being honest with your readers. Helpful to have a fuller understanding of the nuts and bolts and infrastructure behind what is (for us) a fun and vicarious thrill to read.
Alison Gary says
I just got word that the liquidation of the company will take in account any affiliates, so fingers crossed I get payment this year!
I’m sorry they treated you like that, Allison. Update on May/June 2019 posts–I ordered Lissom black flats per their sizing recommendations, and they seemed big. I contacted the company and came away with the impression of it being a rather fly by night 2-bit operation. I kept the shoes and wore them for about 5-6 months. I stopped wearing them because the insole got too grody to wear, and aftermarket insoles did not work out at all and actually caused foot problems that I’m still dealing with. I am wearing the Arcopedico brand a lot these days–they have been great for the pain issue and offer proper arch support, which Lissom did not.
Alison Gary says
I’ll have to check out Arcopedico, thanks for the suggestion!
Have you considered reviewing Tieks? I have heard good things and I see them on women around town. They are just so pricey to me. Of course if they felt great and lasted for years I might consider it. I also think the toe looks a bit to round for me.
Alison Gary says
I will not be reviewing Tieks. They are more like a “barefoot” shoe without any support in them, they don’t come in half sizes or widths. I know some swear by them, but I don’t see the value for my life. Also as a woman with high volume yet short feet and solid legs, I enjoy my appearance more with a flat that has an elongated toebox as I think it balances my shape nicely. I am not a proponent of a round/ballet toe, its very limiting as it really only works with very specific pieces of clothing. But it seems I am in in the minority, there are major Tieks fans.
Wow, what a saga. I’m sorry you won’t be paid for the work you provided. And sorry too for the many customers that are now going to have to fight to get their refunds. What a mess this person has created, though I have to be honest and say she sounds like a bit of a con artist to me. (I’m really glad to hear you didn’t give her your banking info.) If she is on the up and up, she’s likely ruined her reputation in certain business areas. Thanks for sharing with us a side of blogging that I never even gave a thought too. What a tale of caution. And once again, I’m sorry this happened to you.
Alison Gary says
I think she just ended up over her head. Running a business is so complicated, especially when you’re dealing with manufacturing. I don’t think it was a scam, and I think she had a good product, it was just too many problems at once and she didn’t have the experience, skill, and support to handle it. I understand, but I’m still angry.
What a mess. I’m sorry you weren’t paid; very unfair. Thanks for the heads up. This is a great favor.
Alison Gary says
Thanks Dawn, this was definitely a post I didn’t want to write.
I’m confused…what shoes are readers buying? I must have missed something in your post — it seems that people are ordering a shoe you don’t recommend.
Alison Gary says
This permalink originally held a detailed review of LISSOM flats, their Flytes style of shoe. I bought a pair, loved them, shared my thoughts. From this review, I sold hundreds of pairs but the company ended up not being as great as I thought when I did the review. I feel it’s my duty, especially since readers have shared they had their money taken without receiving product, to turn this original review into a warning.
Sorry, I didn’t even look at the dates of the posts or I would have figured it out. I am so sorry about what happened to you and some of your readers. I was really impressed that you would do this post.
This entire saga started to sound like a “scam” from the point they couldn’t put $100 in your PayPal, but rather needed to put $1000 into your account from their personal account and for you to send your “routing numbers”. I do think reading it educates people on how bloggers make $ – thank you for the education!
“Over communication does you no harm.” My husband
Alison Gary says
I don’t think it was a scam, but I never feel comfortable with sharing information like that unless it’s an established company with which I have a contract, an accounts payable department, etc. Some brands I work with only pay through ACH, but they are ones that are well established. And your husband is wise!
When I first saw the headline for the article I didn’t realize it would be about finances of the company and their folding. I thought it would be a warning that the shoes can cause back problems, which was my experience. I, too, had the experience of slow shipping, etc. when I purchased them in the spring, but my nightmare was how the shoes changed my gait and in turn led to SI joint issues that took months to resolve. I regret donating the shoes and not just putting them in the garbage. I hope I didn’t cause someone else back problems with my donation! At the time of my troubles, I knew the shoes were a problem for me and quit wearing them. I did not realize until later, after my trouble didn’t resolve, that they were indeed one of a couple of culprits that contributed to my issue. Unfortunately, it seems the company needed to fold and the shoes go away. I hope no one else had my experience, I also feel for you and everyone else on the losing end financially. Here is to better shoes and experiences in 2020!
Alison Gary says
Oh gosh, I am so sorry that happened to you Sandra! I haven’t had any issues, I still wear the shoes regularly but I can see that they are not the right shape and purpose for all. Thank you for sharing this, as this post ranks high in Google when people search for info on this shoe brand and others may be dealing with the same thing you did.
Amanda Reid says
How do these shoes perform on wet pavement and rainy days? We have lots of rain in central Florida and this is an important question to me. I love Crocs, which are much less expensive, but they do not do well in rain. I need a good shoe that can stand up to lots of walking including being on wet surfaces. Thanks so any info on this topic!
Alison Gary says
The soles are softer than Crocs, so they don’t skid over water. I think they do more like sneakers in rain. However, they are neoprene shoes without a very thick sole so if you wear them in the rain you will end up with wet feet.
Try AllBirds. They are fabulous.
Hi Alison, I’ll spare you the saga…Were your new Flytes a snug fit when you first got them? Thanks.
Alison Gary says
They were. They stretch out. I’m wearing my black pair today and they’ve become a hair too loose from me wearing them without socks. I’ll wash them this weekend to shrink them back down. But yes they should but be sure to wear them a lot during the 30-day trial to ensure it does for you.
I have been looking at these shoes but it’s hard to find a pair that is comfortable for wide feet. After reading your review today, I ordered a pair and got the socks for free thanks to the code you posted. I’m excited to try them.
kathrine Russell says
Great review. Thank you. I tried to order the socks and the python print shoes but there was no where to put in your code to get the socks for free. Suggestions?
Alison Gary says
I just had a chat with the owner today, she said try again for the field should be there. Sorry for the trouble!
Just fyi – if you get the wrong size, even though you’ve followed their recommendation on sizing, return shipping cost is up to you. I called them about this, and it seemed like the person answering the call was at a residence rather than a business, and she sounded distracted. Maybe it was a false impression, but it was an impression nonetheless.
Carrie Stockwell says
I’m so glad I found your review! I stumbled upon Lissom, I think Instagram, and have been considering these shoes for an upcoming trip to Europe. There will be a ton of walking! I’m hoping to wear them on our excursions. I’ve been going back and forth between black and blush. I want something I can wear with “everything”; capris, dresses, jeans. I think blush it is, especially since they seem more summery. Your review helped me make the decision. Thank you!!
With the black pair, after you washed them, you said they bounced back. Did they go back to starting over on the foot molding part? Or just kind of tightened up the actual structure of the shoe? I’m just curious because a friend of mine didn’t like theirs and was thinking about shipping them to me to try….if they’re already molded to her feet, I wonder if they’d work? ♀️
Alison Gary says
They lose most of their custom fit after washing, but not all.
thanks for the review – been looking at them for the past 2 weeks and decided to do it
Alison Gary says
I hope you love them!
Will you tag this post in shoes? I knew I had ordered these shoes after seeing it on your blog but could not remember the name at all and couldn’t find them by searching for shoes on your site. So I had to scroll back through old posts to figure out the name of the shoes. Thankfully, it wasn’t too far!
Alison Gary says
That’s a great suggestion, I’ll work that in!
Love your honest and detailed reviews. Flats are hard for me, I may just give these a try after reading their FAQ.
Alison Gary says
If you do I hope they work for you as well as they did for me!
Thanks for the honest review Allie! Your reviews are one of the most valuable parts of your blog and I really appreciate them, I have been so curious about Lissom but hesitant to pull the trigger. Your review plus the offer convinced me to give them a try.
Alison Gary says
Thank you! I know it’s hard to find detailed reviews these days, especially when there’s affiliate money at stake for so many websites. I write the kind of reviews I want when I’m making a purchase. I hope you like them!
I appreciate the 30 day guarantee, since the product is something of a paradigm breaker. It’s tough when you try new shoes and realize they’re not for you only after you’ve worn them enough to make them nonreturnable.
Alison Gary says
I fully agree! You can’t determine the comfort level of a shoe walking in circles on your bedroom carpet.
The trick is that you have to put the socks into the cart prior to entering the code….then they are credited as free.
What is the code good on? You convinced me to try and I’ve got the black flytes in my cart. I’ve entered your code and it says it isn’t valid for these shoes. Any ideas?
Alison Gary says
I know you got a response in the FB community, but to help others I reworded the post to clarify the promo code. Thank you Lisa!