12.05.2010

Advent Conspiracy: TOMS shoes

98:365

Ian and I both love our TOMS — classics, cordones, botas — 3 pairs each and counting. They're comfortable, stylish, and wearing them initiates you into a club, where everyone wearing TOMS notices your TOMS. The ensuing compliments are a nice confidence boost.

They also last. I still sport my first pair, purchased over a year and a half ago. They're fabric so they soak quickly when wet, but they dry out and are fine. I accidentally walked through mud in my yellow linen TOMS. Once dried, it vacuumed right out and you can hardly tell. The cordones and botas are great for cooler weather, with a little more weight and/or fluff than the classics. The classics, on the other hand, make the TSA's shoe-removal requirement a breeze (but are no help in the radiation/groping issue).

anna wears her navy canvas classic toms at fenway park

Best of all, every time you buy a pair, whether it's online or from a department store, they donate a pair of shoes to a child that needs them. These one-for-one shoes are designed for the kids' location, i.e. mountains = warm shoes with traction, and giving partners make multi-year commitments to continue providing shoes as the kids grow.

So why shoes? Kids without shoes are prone to diseases, infections and parasites they can't afford to treat. Kids without shoes can't walk as far to get needed water, medical treatment, and education. Kids without shoes are less likely to be successful in school. With shoes, healthy, educated children can change their communities.

ian's brown botas

Visit TOMS.com to order. Want to give TOMS but don't know which to pick? Give a gift certificate with the TOMS story dvd. (In the event you get the wrong size, TOMS is great about returns — if in doubt, wear them inside until you're sure.)

Either way, gifter and giftee can feel good knowing sweet new kicks mean somewhere a child has a better life.

For more Advent Conspiracy ideas, click here.
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