Rothy’s – Quality, durable, washable shoes

Tomorrow is Black Friday, one of the biggest shopping days of the year!  In honor of the kickoff of the big holiday shopping season, I thought I would share about a product that I really like: Rothy’s shoes. 

Rothy's shoes - Quality, durable, washable flats

Disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.  See my Disclosure Policy for more information.

The opinions about Rothy’s presented here are entirely my own.  I am not being compensated by Rothy’s in any way for this post. 

A couple years ago my coworker asked me, out of the blue, “Have you heard of Rothy’s?”  I had not.  “They’re these expensive, washable flats made from recycled water bottles.  My wife says they’re awesome.”  While the “expensive” part was really a turn off, the “washable” and “made from recycled water bottles” really piqued my interest.  I went home that night and investigated.

Rothy's shoes on feet, front

My shoe troubles

I had been on the lookout for comfortable flats.  It seems like in the past 5-10 years, cute flats have become less and less common.  Or maybe I’m just getting old, and what was cute and appropriate for an early 20-something to wear just doesn’t feel right anymore.  Anyway, I had found some comfy flats at Payless Shoes and wore them all the time.  They cost me about $20 (frugal me liked that), and were super comfortable.  BUT, they got really gross and sweaty if I didn’t wear the little liner sock things that fall off all the time, and cleaning them was a pain.  They were so thin and cheaply made that I expected they would completely fall apart in the wash.  So I hand washed with castile soap and an old toothbrush which worked but took forever.  They were also a thin fabric material and after about 6 months of 2-3 days/week wear, they were nearly worn through.  By the time I realized how much I loved these flats, but also how quickly I would wear through them, they were no longer available.


Enter Rothy’s.  First: let’s avoid the potential elephant in the room.  These shoes are expensive.  Literally the most expensive shoes I have ever bought.  Maybe twice as expensive as the most expensive shoe I had ever previously purchased.  Full priced, these are $125-$165.  I nearly fell off my chair when I saw that.  But, hear me out because when I break it down, it’s not so bad in my opinion.

Rothy's flats

1: There are discount codes available. 

Anyone with a current Rothy’s account can send a referral code for $20 off a purchase of at least $30.  If the person referred makes a purchase through that link, the person who sent the referral also gets a $20 off discount code.  If you want a referral code, send me a message using the contact form on this page and I will send a referral code to the email you provide.  I have 2 pairs of the The Flat and got $20 off each by using referral codes.  And, if you’re a teacher, Rothy’s offers a 20% discount on select styles.  Check out the details here

2: Rothy’s shoes are high quality. 

They last. I’ve probably put the equivalent of 8 months of 5 day/week wear on my favorite pair, and they still look perfect.  No visible worn areas outside, no fraying.  The insoles are a little worn at the outer stitching, but that’s because I accidentally washed with something velcro and velcro does not play nice with really any fabric.  These shoes are going to last me  a long time, saving me money and reducing waste.  

Rothy's flats on feet, side view

3: Rothy’s shoes are machine washable! 

It’s really simple, I just remove the insole and place the shoes and insoles in the washing machine.  I am always careful to use cold water (heat can damage them).  Then I air dry.  My shoes usually dry overnight, except on very humid days when it takes closer to a day.  But most of the time I can wash after work and they’re dry before I leave for work the next day.  I usually wash the insoles after about a week’s worth of wears (maybe more often if it’s particularly hot and my feet sweat a lot), and wash the shoes after 2-3 weeks worth of wears.

4: Rothy’s are made from recycled materials.

Rothy’s shoe uppers and insoles are made from 100% recycled materials – the upper made from recycled water bottles, and insoles from recycled shoes.  Other elements of the shoes and packaging are also made with sustainability in mind.  You can read more about Rothy’s sustainability here. The tree-hugger side of me really likes this part.  

5: Rothy’s are vegan

While vegan shoes is not a requirement for everyone, it’s valuable information for some folks out there!

Rothy's flats front & back

6: Rothy’s are recyclable.

When I no longer want my Rothy’s, if they’re worn out such that they’re not in a condition to donate, they can be recycled!  PLUSfoam makes foam, plastic, and rubber materials from recycling other materials, including Rothy’s.  At the time of the writing of this post (November 2018), Rothy’s pays the shipping to recycle shoes; here’s the link.  PLUSfoam recycles products from other companies (current list here) and overall looks like a pretty cool company that is trying to reduce and recycle waste, and help the environment!

7. Rothy’s are cost effective

Hear me out here.  I know they are expensive, but taking into account how durable and long-lasting they are, Rothy’s are cost effective for me.

Here’s some cost comparison from my experience with previous shoes:

My previous flats cost about $20, and if I wore them 5 days/week, they would have lasted about 3 months.  With week-daily wear (I like to make up words, here I mean that I wear them every week day), they cost about $80/year. 

Prior to that, I had a $50 pair of Clark’s.  I wore them 5 days/week for about 6 months, then about 2 days/week for another 4 months or so before I considered them completely worn out (sole separating from upper, stitches coming undone, no padding in the insoles so my heels hurt, & went through a couple pairs of gel insoles).  Assuming they lasted about 9 months of week-daily wear, these shoes cost about $65/year. 

I have owned my favorite pair of Rothy’s for  14 months.  I wear them about 5 days/week for 6 months of the year, and 1 day/week during the other 6 months.  Which means at this point, they have the equivalent of about 7.5 months of week-daily wear.  Honestly, I wear these even more often.  Not just to work, but out in the evenings and on weekends.  And the shoes are showing almost no wear!  From the outside, they look almost exactly like the day I bought them.  The bottom of the shoes do show very slight wear, but NOTHING compared to most shoes.  These shoes could easily last me 5 years or more.  Let’s just assume they last 3 years, to be conservative.  I paid $105.  That’s only $35/year!  If I paid full price for the most expensive option ($165), that’s still only $55/year.  Which is still less expensive than my past favorite (Payless) and longest lasting (Clark’s) flats!

Rothy's flats being modeled

8. Rothy’s are comfortable.

Have I mentioned yet that Rothy’s flats are comfortable?  I love them!  The first day or two they felt a bit snug as my foot shaped the shoe around it.  The shoes did not stretch, just kind of molded themselves to my feet.  Which makes them feel pretty great after those first couple days.  

9. Advice

If you’re looking to purchase Rothy’s shoes, here is my advice:

  • Get a referral code and save yourself $20!  Message me using the contact form on this page and I can send you a referral code.   Or, if you’re a teacher, you can follow their instructions to verify this and get a 20% discount on select styles. 
  • Consider ordering 1/2 size up.  I normally wear an 8.5 (regular, occasionally wide width), and I ordered size 9.  They fit great.  My coworker’s wife also ordered 1/2 size up and says they fit great.
  • Once you get your Rothy’s, wear them inside for several hours, maybe for a couple days, to make sure you’re happy with the fit.  Rothy’s offers free returns and exchanges if you need to try another size!


Do you have a favorite brand of high quality shoes?   Tell us about them in the comments!