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Toms - Buyers Guide

Updated on January 10, 2012

The Toms Story

You may be surprised to know that the founder of Toms is not called Tom! The Toms story began in 2006 when Blake Mycoskie made friends with some children in Argentina and was shocked to find they had no shoes to protect their feet. Determined to change this and prevent it from happening again Blake created Toms, a revolutionary company that would match every pair of shoes sold with a pair of shoes given to a child in need. The movement was named One for One. So where did the name Toms actually come from? There is in fact, no ‘Tom’. Toms is an abbreviation for ‘Shoes for a Better Tomorrow’ but that’s too long to put on the back of a shoe so Blake and his teams decided on Toms as a company name.

Later that year after the company was up and running Blake returned to the children with 10,000 pairs of shoes made possible by Toms customers. So, it’s evident that social responsibility underpins what Toms are all about. What could be better than not only buying yourself a pair of shoes, but also helping a child in need?!

Why Shoes?

You may ask yourself, why did Blake choose to give the under privileged children shoes over say food or medicine? Even though these are important Blake chose shoes because thousands of children in developing countries grow up without shoes to protect their feet. These children are most vulnerable due to soil transmitted diseases such as hookworm, jiggers and tetanus. These diseases can break through the children’s skin though bare feet. Also, by wearing shoes teh children are protected from their feet becoming cut and sore. If these cuts and sores aren’t protected they can become infected. Lastly, Blake learnt that thousands of children cannot attend school bare foot due to shoes being part of their uniform. If these children do not have a pair of shoes they cannot go to school, if they do not go to school they cannot learn to enable them to realise their potential. After alot of hard work and research Blake discovered that in Ethiopia in particular shoes are a ‘status symbol’ and children dream of having their first pair.

How Does It Work?

The Toms approach includes giving sustainably and responsibly. Their first step in giving shoes to children in need is to establish a partnership with humanitarian organisations. Together with the organisations Toms identify communities that need the shoes most. This is decided by the communities’ economic, health and educational needs. The children who receive the shoes not only have receive the shoes themselves but are also made part of a long term health and educational program which help them get the care and opportunity they deserve. The shoes Toms give to children in developing countries are made to order; therefore they only receive the size they want. The most popular shoe is the black, unisex canvas slip on which has a strong sole. Black shoes are required for school in many countries making them a very popular choice.

Toms produce their shoes in 3 countries and currently give shoes in 23 countries. In September 2010 Toms customers had given away 1,000,000 pairs of shoes! Toms are keen to state that the giving is not instantaneous; it takes a while from when the shoe is purchased for the Giving Partners to order the shoes, have them shipped and for the children to receive them.


The Toms product range has now be extended to include glitter and wedding styles. The glitters collection adds sparkle to your favourite Toms. The Glitters collection gains attention from Toms newcomers as well as loyal customers. They feature silver sequin glitter with a canvas inner lining. Colours available include black, pink, blue and gold. The wedding selection of Toms features perfect shoes for brides, bridesmaids and grooms. The black waxed twill cordones style is very popular amongst grooms. The shoe features hidden elastic straps for a secure fit even without laces, a Toms classic suede insole with rubber cushion for added comfort and a solid rubber outsole for comfort and style.

Shoes for Tomorrow

We love the caring story that underpins the existence of Toms. This spring/summer 2012 they are set to be more popular than ever with a number of new styles being added they truly are the ultimate feel good purchase.


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