Comfortable, cute and a fantastic mission.

Between my hammer toes and the fact that a feather rubbing the wrong way can cause my feet to blister, it’s hard for me to find shoes I love. I tend to stick with one pair of tennis shoes and one pair of flip flops for warmer weather for a year or when they fall apart, whichever comes first.

I take new shoes for a test walk around the store before buying. I’m not checking to see if they’re comfortable – I know they won’t be at first. I’m just trying to figure out where the blisters will form.

So when I received a TOMS gift certificate for Christmas, I thought: “yeah, buying shoes online. That’ll work.”

I’ve had my TOMS – the blue corduroy classics for women and the gray classics for men (what? They fit!) – since January. It’s probable this company will get 90% of my shoe business from here on out. I’ve got plenty of reasons to love these shoes:

1. They look good with anything. Okay, I’m not a fashion plate. At all. In my world, “dressed up” means wearing a shirt that isn’t preceded with a “T”. But I wear my TOMS with shorts, capris, jeans, casual-dressy pants and all sorts of tops, and they work.

2. So. Comfortable. Even for sensitive, picky feet with ridiculous toes. I’ll admit, with both pairs I first thought I’d ordered a size too small – they were more than snug. But after just a few minutes of walking around they seemed to loosen up. And after a week it was as if they’d been specially created from a mold of my feet. No blisters, ever.

3. They’re pretty durable. I’ve worn my TOMS every day (no exaggeration) for the last four months – they’ve gone hiking outside of Vancouver, bobsledding at Olympic Park in Utah and trekking the entire length of the Long Beach Peninsula boardwalk and discovery trail – and they’re ready for more. A tiny hole started in the toe of the blue pair a few weeks ago, which I mended with a quick sew job.

4. You’re in ‘the club’.
I’m not into “brand recognition” when it comes to clothes (see #1), but now that I have TOMS, I notice them everywhere. And my feet get compliments, something my Payless kicks never managed. It’s not “hey, nice shoes,” either, but “cool TOMS!”

5. One for One. For each pair of TOMS you buy, the company gives a pair to a child in need, helping them avoid soil-transmitted diseases and cuts and sores that may become infected, or to go to school in areas where children are not allowed to attend barefoot – the list goes on and on.

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