Am I the Only Woman Who Doesn't Love TOMS?

Beauty & Style 50


If you're like millions of other American women, you own a pair of TOMS. And if you do, good for you!

TOMS was founded on a truly fabulous concept -- for every pair of TOMS shoes you buy, the company gives a new pair of shoes to a child in need. That alone makes a pair of TOMS worth the price. But I'll be honest -- initially, I thought women were buying them as a good deed ... sacrificing style in order to help provide shoes for the poor.

It turns out that I was wrong.

"Omigod, I just LOVE your TOMS!" I've been overhearing women squeal to each other more and more often lately. This wouldn't be all that surprising if these women were wearing clothing made of hemp and standing in an aisle at Whole Foods. However, from what I'm seeing, many of the latest TOMS fans are SUV-driving, meat-eating, Estee Lauder-wearing 'assisted blondes' -- the kind who probably think 'Vegan' is a celebrity baby name.

Yes, TOMS shoes have gone mainstream. They're, like, a thing. TOMS shoes have actually become *shudder* fashionable -- and to me, the fact that canvas man slippers are now considered to be stylish is an obvious sign of the End Times.

To me, TOMS are like Crocs with a conscience. And while I don't know very many moms who would agree to wear Crocs in public (although let it be known, I'm a HUGE fan of Crocs for kids), every woman's GOTTA have a pair of TOMS right now. And I'm betting that more than half of them don't even know or care about the company's background.

Understand I'm not ragging on you if you have a pair of TOMS. Seriously. Every woman I know has a pair of TOMS. I realize I'm in the minority here. I would just like to know WHY you love your TOMS. Do you really think they look great? Or are you just wearing them because they're comfortable and it's all for a good cause?



Image via TOMS


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nonmember avatar Monzie

I agree with you completely. I hate them. They look like the cheap canvas shoes we used to buy at the import store when I was in college in the late 80's. Back then, I bought 'em because they were, like, $6 a pair and they fit with my "emo-hippie, henna'ed hair and broomstick skirt" fashion esthetic. Now I'm a sensible adult who can afford shoes that aren't made out of cloth. And I can make charitable donations that I know will make a difference. So, you aren't the only one out there avoiding TOMS. They're aren't any in my closet either...

Breukellen Riesgo

I have this pair:

And they are really cute. The basic style is pretty ugly though. I learned about Toms in a business class, and chose these sneakers over a pair of similar Converse.

Nancy... NancyJ422

I used to have a pair of Keds that were very very similar looking.  They had the same stink problem that someone else mentioned.

I do not have any pairs of Toms.  I have problems with my feet - one foot got a bunion removed and a ceramic joint in my big toe, the other still have the ugly bunion.  I'm pretty particular about my shoes and what fit and those don't look like they would be a good match for me.

On the other hand - I adore my CROCS!  I have 2 pair and I wear them in the morning on my way to workout and back and around the house.  I did wear them once to the amusement park so I wouldn't mind the water rides and I tell you, I'll do it again!

conjumi conjumi

Toms are hideous.  My teen loves them as do her friends.  I just don't see the appeal, but they make her happy. 

Oh, let's not forget about Sperry's....  bad

nonmember avatar Dawn K

Yes, you are the only woman who doen't like Toms. Even if you think they are not cute (and most of them are adorable), the fact that a pair of shoes is donated for every pair you buy is awesome! You should just buy a pair to be philanthropic and give the pair you buy away as well if you don't like them.

Sara Weiss Seely

I agree with you on the flats, would never wear them. But I LOVE LOVE LOVE my TOMS red peep toe wedges. And my little girls had silver glitter TOMS that were super cute and matched everything.

Carol99 Carol99

My 13 year old daughter wouldn't be caught dead in those.

nonmember avatar Amy

I don't like the espadrilles, but I think the ballet flats are really cute. I don't own a pair, but I would wear the flats. The wedges aren't bad either. But the original espadrille style is fugly.

nonmember avatar Lindsay

The TOMS company may have good intentions, but they are not a "fabulous" company. There is not a shortage of shoes in developing countries that recieve these "gifts." The distribution of these shoes undercuts local shoe sellers and shoemakers. Additionally, many of the kids who get these shoes already have shoes (many distribution centers are schools where the kids must already have shoes to attend). Many of the shoes are manufactured cheaply in China, rather than the countries recieving the shoes - aka, very few jobs for locals are provided by this effort. TOMS does not provide sustainable aid - lack of shoes is caused by lack of funds to purchase them, not a lack of shoes. Thus, a better solution would be to create jobs that pay people a living wage. These shoes mainly exist a) to make a HUGE profit for TOMS (come on, 50+$ a pair for ridiculously cheap shoes?) and, b) to allow middle class American women to feel good about themselves for giving charitable, yet thoughtless, donations. Basically, FEEL NO GUILT about disliking TOMS. They ARE ugly, but they're also a poorly constructed aid model.

Amanda Smith

You've apparently never been to my town, because all the damn women here wear crocs. It's insane.
Personally my appeal for Toms is the Cause and the comfort. I do think they're cute, but I used to think they're ugly, so apparently they've grown on me.

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