Summer is just around the corner and it is time to think about, amongst many other things, cute, comfy footwear. A good pair of shoes is the best way to enjoy walking around, thus helping us get our exercise and cut back on other forms of transportation. In other words, a win-win scenario!
I walked into a local shoe store on the Upper East in Manhattan and much to my surprise they carried the super hip and popular TOMS shoes. This is not the type of store I expected would carry this type of product so I was glad to see that such a healthy trend is spreading. For the few out there who don’t know about these shoes, the premise of the company is to design and manufacture eco-friendly footwear backed by the “One for One” concept – for every pair purchased, a pair is given to a child in need in underprivileged locations of countries such as Argentina.
The company was started in 2006 by Blake Mycoskie. While Blake was traveling through South America he came to realize that so many children were running around barefoot. The issues at hand are the fact that children depend on walking for miles to get food, water, shelter and medical help.
“Wearing shoes prevents feet from getting cuts and sores on unsafe roads and from contaminated soil. Not only are these injuries painful, they also are dangerous when wounds become infected.” In addition, “Many times children can't attend school barefoot because shoes are a required part of their uniform. If they don't have shoes, they don't go to school.”
Overall, shoes literally give these children the opportunity to walk their way to a better life.
So, I went into the store to check them out. They’ve got sort of a European espadrille feel with a bit of an urban edge. I was definitely intrigued. I chose red to brighten things up for summer. I usually wear an 8½ but 8 was the correct size in these shoes (something to consider if you buy them online). They come in just about every color you could imagine so forget the old notions of brown and beige as the only eco-friendly options around (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
The following day, the sun was shining so I broke them out and put them to the test using the tough streets of Manhattan. For starters, they required no “breaking-in” which is a major plus and hard to find.
Within the 3 hours I was out, my feet were stepped on twice, rain poured on them, and I stepped into a puddle. Well, I’m pleased to report that they passed the test. After an hour or so of drying, they were good as new and even more comfortable. I’m already thinking about my next pair and am thinking I want some fun, color patterned ones.
So the hype is very well deserved.
With TOMS shoes you can satisfy your urge to shop and do something good. How can you beat that?