Thursday, April 26, 2012

Toms Shoes: Why every grandmother and granddaughter need a pair!

A while back I wrote an article for Blog Critics about ATT and their link with Toms Shoes.   ATT created an ad in 2009 that featured the Toms Shoes mission and their connection to ATT phone services. The story was about how Toms Shoes gives away one pair of shoes to children in developing countries for every one purchased. The cause started by Blake Mycoskie has come to be known as the One-for-One Movement.  The TV ad run by ATT was where many people learned about the concept for the first time. In 2006 Toms had sold 10,000 shoes.  By the end of 2010 they had sold their millionth pair.  The rest is history.

Toms Shoes website page
In 2006, American traveler Blake Mycoskie befriended children in Argentina and found they had no shoes to protect their feet. Wanting to help, he created TOMS Shoes, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. One for One. Blake returned to Argentina with a group of family, friends and staff later that year with 10,000 pairs of shoes made possible by TOMS customers. from Tom's Shoes Movement

TOMS Shoes
TOMS Shoes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I love Toms Shoes. I have worn a pair of these shoes for years.  I bought them shortly after seeing the original ad in 2009.  I still wear them when I am in Arizona. They are wash and wear. I don't know how long they would last but I have gotten my money back many times over...and a child somewhere is doing the same. As a grandmother that has seen children without shoes in third world countries I take a lot of satisfaction from that.  I am well aware that disease and infection are a problem for children with no shoes. In fact, children are required to have shoes in order to attend school in many places.  Shoes are important!

Now, it turns out, Toms has become very trendy with the teen set.  My granddaughter came to visit last night.  She will be 15 next month.  My Toms shoes came up in the conversation immediately.  It turns out that they are the in thing at her high school now and all the girls on the dance team are buying them.  Cool doesn't even come close to describing a pair of pink or sparkly Toms on the feet of a girl from the dance team walking down the halls at Glenco High School in Hillsboro, Oregon.

My daughter mentioned that Sketchers have a knock off shoe that looks the same and you can buy them at Target for a lot less!  I don't know if Sketchers is donating a pair of shoes to a child for every one they sell or not.  I am thinking not.  I was a little angry when I realized what they were doing.  Wouldn't that be a bit like using a knock off for the Walk for the Cure to make money but not do any good?  I will not be buying them even if they are cheaper or even better.  It really is just wrong in my world.

This is what I need to go shopping with your granddaughter and you both need a pair of Toms.  You will never regret it and it is the right thing to do!


Note:  Toms are available on Amazon, Toms Shoes, and upper end retail stores.

Links:  Sketchers vs. Toms:  How Sketcher shot themselves in the foot!


  1. I wore the sparkle Toms to my son's wedding. My daughter and grandson wear them almost exclusively. We believe in the mission- and comfort. Thanks for bringing them up!their website has been giving away trips to give away shoes. I bought a pair again and registered.

  2. Good for you Jannette. I love the idea of traveling to give away the shoes...wouldn't that be something?


  3. I do love their corporate philosophy but have to have a more supportive shoe. I'll look at their options more closely though next time I need shoes and sparkly sounds good!

  4. Juli

    I know what you mean about the support but I have found that insoles make them very comfortable. Give it a try.


  5. Hi Barbara,

    The Tom's copycat is called 'Bob's' by Skechers. Bob's was rolled out with much marketing fanfare including TV commercials and print ads in popular magazines. The shoe styles and concept are similar in many ways (ie one-for-one model) yet dissimilar in all the wrong ways. There is a tremendous amount of controversy surrounding Skecher's decision to copy Tom's so blatantly. For more info your readers can check out a recent article that appeared in Fast Company. The comments following the article are interesting as well!

  6. Michelle, I did not mention the Bob's name because I didn't want them to get ANY publicity. Why in the name of heave would a company with such a BIG name like sketcher even need to copy anything. I cannot tell you how this outrages me.

    Thank you for bring it up.


  7. My freshman granddaughter loves Toms. In fact, her sparkly pair has holes in the toes and she won't stop wearing them! I bought her a cool pair for Christmas, but I guess she needs a new sparkly pair as well.

  8. Susan,

    You made me laugh..."she won't stop wearing them!" Boy do I hear you on that score. Yes, I suppose more sparkles are in order. She might out grow those Christmas shoes someday.



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