Monday, June 08, 2009

The Trouble With TOMS, Part II

A couple months ago, a rep from TOMS shoes contacted me and generously offered to send me a free pair. Now, as you know if you've been reading this blog since April 25th, 2008, my hippie boyfriend has been wanting a pair of TOMS since, well, sometime before April 25th, 2008, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to be a loving, selfless girlfriend, and also bribe my boyfriend to write a review for my blog.

I lovingly and selflessly passed the free TOMS voucher to him, and he of course ordered a pair that screamed, "I live in a self-made mud hut at a community garden and spend my days teaching schoolchildren to play the bongos." Which is fine, I guess:

After wearing them around town for a few weeks, here's the review he submitted:

My first time wearing my TOMS I kind of felt like I was wearing a pair of Winona's J. Crew flats. They were nothing at all like what I was used to wearing. Namely, they were very flat. But soon, I started to enjoy wearing them. I hate putting on socks, and my TOMS relieved me of that burden. They're not supportive, but comfy, and I've grown to love the way they look. Plus, mine are vegan and when you buy a pair they give a pair to a kid in need, which is awesome.

But they do have negatives: My first complaint is that they are made in China. I know that very few shoes are made outside of China these days, but to me, TOMS should have tried harder. Secondly, there is no ventilation, so when it's hot out, your feet begin to sweat. This is normal. Perhaps what is not normal is the smell that results.

Recently in a class I was taking I felt the urge to take off my shoes, so I went for it, and at first I said to myself "this isn't so bad." Then all of a sudden the smell hit me like a dust storm. I quickly put my shoes back on in shame. I tried to add socks to my TOMS equation to remedy the situation, but they kind of stretched out the shoes and just looked weird. None of Winona's flats--which she wears without socks--smell this bad, so I've gotta blame it on TOM.

Here are my ratings:

Looks: 8
Comfort: 9
Support: 3
Smell: 1


TheSundayBest said...

Smell: 1.

So that answers that question re: possible summer shoe. I'll stick with these boats...

Anonymous said...

Hah! I want to love these shoes, and really do adore the buy-a-pair-give-one-to-needy-kids policy ... but they are simply unattractive. They are! And now that the BF has added "stinky" to the list, I feel justified in continuing to shun them. For myself anyhoo.

WendyB said...

This made me laugh a lettuce leaf out of my mouth: " Then all of a sudden the smell hit me like a dust storm. "

jennine said...

oh no! well, i never met a tom you could really trust.

Natalie said...

There must be some kind of cosmic connection, here, cause I was just perusing the Toms site last night. I want a pair of their black/striped ones, but much to my chagrin they only carried the CUTE styles in MENS' sizes. This shocked and outraged me. I like them, but the womens' styles were friggin' bo-ring. I still want a pair, though. Maybe if I saw some in person...

Lisa said...

I've liked the look of the silver sequined Toms since I saw Anne Hathaway sport them en route to a photoshoot in InStyle magazine, but magazines can't really warn you about the smell I guess. Kudos to your man for speaking the truth. =)

WendyB said...

By the way, I once got a pair of Old Navy sandals that smelled like poison.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha ha! One of the best reviews I've ever read!

Also this description IS my brother in law! "I live in a self-made mud hut at a community garden and spend my days teaching schoolchildren to play the bongos."

Anonymous said...

They look like they might wear out quickly. I think I'll just buy a pair of keds and mail them to a kid in need next time I buy a pair of new kicks, save us all a lot of greif.

lauren price said...

Your boyfriend is not alone- I must admit that TOMS make perfect conditions for sweaty, stinky feet. Don't wear them on hot days when you'll be walking around a lot, because it's impossible to keep your feet dry and smelling fresh. That's not to say that I don't love my pair, though- I bought solid red TOMs over a year ago, and they've held up great. In the past, I haven't dug most of their color choices, but the red ones are a lovely, bold pop of color when I need it. They're perfect for slipping on before dashing over to a friend's house, where you'll then kick off your shoes and hang out barefoot in the sun all day!

Kim said...

Oh God, can I relate to this. As a person who lives in the deep south, I have certain shoes I just can't wear if the temps climb above 80 degrees, which means I can't wear them for the next four months. It's depressing, but it must be so.

Annie Spandex said...

The smell has got to be HIS fault! He's a dude, after all! Dude's feet typically smell bad/worse than their girlfriends'. My TOMS smell like roses, for the record ;)

ambika said...

I hate wearing socks so if wearing Tom's means I have to wear socks, I won't be getting a pair.

Tricia said...

Could not get these for my man, as he occasionally gets the horrid smelly feet problem!

Bri said...

Well that's good to know. It does piss me off that everything is made in China though.

Cal said...

I read once that if you put shoes in a plastic bag and stick them in the freezer they come out smelling MUCH better because all of the icky smelly bacteria has been killed in the freezing process. And yes, I tried it once and it did work (don't worry, I sealed that bag tightly).

J said...

It is natural for shoes that don't breathe to cause foot smell. Basic biology.

Samantha said...

Oh, this really sucks. I just ordered a pair of silver glittery ones. Thanks for the heads up..

Queen Michelle said...

They look like slippers. He should just wear slippers outside.

Mary-Kate Hopkinson said...

Love the idea of him methodically smelling all of your shoes! I have the glittery ones, too, and luckily I don't see enough occasion to wear them (oh well) that they've ended up smelling too bad....

Alya said...

Oh my God! I was laughing hysterically at the smell part. Yikes!!

It's funny because I wear flats without socks even during the hottest days of summer, but thankfully I've never experienced bad smells.

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amanda said...

I also have the silver glittery TOMS and as much as I LOVE the look of them, I almost have to leave them outside once I take them off because of the horrid smell!! I am looking into purchasing another pair because they are just so darn comfy and cute but was wondering if the vegan ones (since they have different insoles) smell any less terrible. I believe your blog answered my question there and I guess I'll just have to wait until its winter again so I can wear them!!

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