Kudos to my ladies. While I think Toms are some of the ugliest shoes on earth, based on the recommendations of Emily, Jessica, and Nancy I decided to buy a pair before leaving the US. This has turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. I have never owned a more comfortable pair of kicks in my entire life. I seriously wear these shoes all day long, everyday.
And it shows in the amount of dust they have accumulated.
Toms are really lightweight slip ons, apparently modeled after a traditional shoe in Argentina. They are made of canvas, and have a thin rubber sole (through which I can feel every pebble), but so far they are holding up well. Even so, I’ve asked Joachim to bring me a second pair when he comes to Malawi in two weeks. This time I’m getting them in red!
Along with how ugly the shoes are, I also don’t really like the “movement” associated with the brand. For every pair of shoes that you buy, a pair is given to a child in the developing world. While this is perhaps a nice gesture, it bothers me when companies allow you to feel good about buying another thing you don’t need – instead of feeling guilty that you’ve once again fallen prey to yet another fad, you feel honored to be doing your part in saving the poor African children. Barf. I buy a lot of stuff I don’t need, but I don’t let myself believe that it’s anything other than pure consumerism.
Although, it would make my day to run into a kid in some rural Malwian village wearing a matching pair of Toms.