I’ve been frantically searching for a pair of black shoes for a long time that breached the gap between casual and formal – something that was both comfortable and easy to dress up and down – and I do believe I’ve FINALLY found a pair of these – and yes, they are Toms. TOMS Shoes is a for-profit company that is based in Santa Monica, California, which also operates a non-profit subsidiary, Friends of TOMS. The company was founded in 2006 by Blake Mycoskie, a bloke from from Texas who also competed in the second season of The Amazing Race (really). The company basically designs and sells lightweight shoes which are based on the Argentine alpargata design – a design have been worn by Argentina farmers for hundreds of years – impressive, right?
Yes, I have realised that they DO look like kung fu shoes, and as one who is indeed that-way ethnically inclined I should refrain from purchase “stereotypical” shoes – but I don’t care – there are far too many reasons to buy these shoes, all of which greatly outweigh the single (and quite frankly, shallow) negative.
FIRSTLY: For every pair of TOMS Shoes purchased, a pair of new shoes is given to a child in need – which is where the “One For One” motto comes into play. Over 1,000,000 pairs of shoes have been given to children under the One for One movement since TOMS launched in 2006. The canvas shoes have been given to children in more than 20 countries worldwide, including the United States (Louisiana, Kentucky, Mississippi and Florida), Argentina, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Guatemala, Haiti, and South Africa. Quite frankly, these shoes make for a strange way to be both comfortably fashionable and altruistic.
SECONDLY: They’re incredibly comfortable – and as a victim of “sweaty foot” I find that the shoes are surprisingly (and simultaneously) breathable and squishy – which is unexpected of a shoe boasting a leather foot-bed and rugged canvas upper. I’m planning to use them as a much warmer alternative to wearing flats through the icy seasons. The really great things is, not only are they great to run about in a care-free manner, but knowing that they truly are comfortable and high-quality makes me happy to know that the kids tare getting a sweet pair of shoes.
THIRDLY: The design and slimness of the shoe make it super easy to mix up in a huge variety of different outfits – I mean, people are even known to wear these shoes to weddings. REALLY. WEDDINGS, FOLKS. They come in a HUGE variety of colours – and apparently – styles. I say “Apparently Styles” as the bulk of Australian retailers do not stock the full range of styles that are available in the YOU, ESS OF AY. However, the one’s we DO have available are still pretty fantastic – I picked up a pair of simple black ones (AUD $80) so I could match them up with my huge selection of maxi-skirts and over sized sweater-legging combinations. For reference, I was actually wearing this outfit today:
+ BOYFRIEND BLAZER
+ OVER SIZED KHAKI SHIRT (buttoned to the top)
+ DISTRESSED BLACK WEAVE SWEATER (layered over the shirt)
+ SKIRT LEGGINGS (ingenious idea, great to avoid the “leggings as pants” plague)
+ CASIO DATABANK GOLD CALCULATOR WATCH (worn with spunk)
+ BROWN SATCHEL (worn across the chest)
+ BLACK TOMS (worn with ‘tude)