So I love TOMS and it's been made pretty clear. But I wanted to know more about the history behind the company and try to answer the question I get the most "why do they look like that?". My sister's friend John knew a lot about TOMS (in fact I think he was the first person I know to own them) and actually has met Blake Mycoskie before at a church in LA. He was telling me that the inspired style of TOMS comes from a type of shoe in Argentina called alpargata espadrilles. Since the whole TOMS movement started when Blake and his sister were on the show amazing race and they traveled to Argentina. He went back to visit in 2006 and after playing soccer with the children realized that most of them did not own shoes. Not only did their feet blister and crack from running around the streets of Argentina playing soccer but most of these children lived miles away and had to walk home barefoot.
"I was sitting on a farm pondering life, and it occurred to me, 'I'm going to start a shoe company, and for every pair that we sell, I'll give a pair to someone who needs them". He returned to the United States and sold his online driver education company to self-finance the shoe company.
Mycoskie's main reason for creating this company to give shoes is a disease called podoconiosis, a debilitating and disfiguring disease. Also known as "Mossy Foot", Podoconiosis is a fungus that gets into the pores on the bottom of the feet and eventually destroys the lymphatic system. It is a soil-transmitted disease caused by walking in silica-rich soil.This causes one's feet to swell along with many other health implications. Shoes are the most basic solution to many of these health risks. According to the TOMS Shoes website, there are over 1 Billion people at risk for soil-transmitted diseases around the world, and shoes can help prevent it. Mycoskie emphasizes that his company's goal is to not only give shoes, but to also educate others on the importance of shoes.