I will put it out there. I love TOMS shoes. I have two pairs, I bought Alex a pair for Christmas, (he just doesn’t know which pair…), and I will continue to buy these shoes into the future. They are comfortable, versatile, stylish, and matter. The company has created a brand loyalty for me that is unmatched by anything else I own.
For those of you who don’t know, TOMS gives a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair purchased. I have heard some criticism in the world of philanthropy that TOMS is not teaching anyone to fish, that it’s just giving out shoes as a capitalistic ploy to sell more overpriced shoes, that if people really cared they should just give the money directly to a cause instead of buying themselves a pair of shoes in the process.
I say, so what? If I am going to pay $40+ for a pair of shoes, I would rather a kid with bare feet receive a pair too. I’m going to spend the $40 either way. Shoes are something I prefer to buy new. It’s about time the fashion world be revolutionized. TOMS does this while also telling a story, a story about a guy who went to Argentina and returned with a dream to put shoes on the feet of needy kids. More than a million kids now have a pair of shoes because of his dream.
With Alex’s Christmas present came a bonus, Blake Mycoskie’s book about his entrepreneurial journey to found TOMS, Start Something That Matters. Easy to read, humorous, and inspiring, I recommend the book. I’d say buy it, but even better, buy a pair of TOMS online and get it for free this month, as well as a pair of shoes for a kid somewhere. I love success stories that combine entrepreneurism, passion, and a good cause.