Why TOMs shoes’ charity model is overrated

I find it funny when I read or hear about people defending their spending $40-60+ on a pair of TOMs shoes by saying that, for each purchase, the company donates one pair of shoes to children in need. Okay. That sounds nice. But please use your brains for a minute.

A pair of classic TOMs: $48
Possible manufacturing cost of retail shoes: (I’m being generous here) $8
Possible manufacturing cost of free shoes: $8

Gross profit: $32

Even if you deduct overhead fees and other costs, the company still makes a pretty penny. Given that their revenues for the last year are estimated to be between 250 to 300 million dollars, I’m sure the founder and owner of the company doesn’t just have charity and sustainability in mind.

Now don’t get me wrong, I do own a couple of pairs. I bought a purple/yellow one for myself (seen in picture below) and a glittery black pair will be delivered soon. I bought a red/black pair for my mother (in photo) and a pattered striped blue pair (in photo) for my little sister, Sofia. I also got a pair of classic red for my friend, Kamille, which will be arriving along with my glitter shoes.



You know what else makes me laugh? The ones who are too snooty and look down on similar shoes that are not TOMs. Like Skechers’ Bobs. Unless you’re blind, it’s obvious that Skechers stole the idea and model from TOMs (and earned a lot of money by doing it). But you know what, I don’t really care. They’re cheaper and very comfortable since Skechers added a memory foam insole, which feels heavenly especially if you walk a lot. In fact, I own a pair:


I own TOMs not because they’re popular or have a “good cause.” Not even because they use organic cotton or recycled boxes with soy ink. *rollseyes* I own them because they are cute and comfortable. I own a pair of Bobs for the same reason. I plan to get another pair of Bobs — the silver glittery one similar to TOMs’ black glitter slip-on that I just purchased.

They are a tad expensive, though. I’m a known Scrooge so spending more than $30 on a pair of shoes makes me cringe. My advise is to use coupons. They have good ones out there. When I bought the purple/yellow and red/black shoes, I got $15 off PER SHOE since the Campus Classic line were on sale for a limited time. So that’s $33 per shoe. When that expired, I used a $20 off for $75+ purchase to get the black glitter pair for me and the classic red for Kamille. I got my sister’s blue biminis on sale at the mall for $30. The total retail price for all five shoes is $240 but I only spent $178. Never pay retail price for anything. Except for my sister’s shoes, I purchased everything from the TOMs website and used coupons because I’m leery of fakes when it comes to popular trendy stuff like these.

I would have bought my husband a pair but Chris only wears sneakers and the occasional dress shoes. He looked at the men’s alpargata shoes suspiciously. I think that he puts them in the same category as men not wearing socks with lace up leather dress shoes. Eew.

As a side note, a lot of company donate to charities. Even Skechers does, Bobs or no Bobs.


One thought on “Why TOMs shoes’ charity model is overrated

  1. Pingback: Ways to save on TOMs Shoes and why I love them | Karma & Apollo

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