These TOMS Weren’t Made For Walking
Walking is the most common form of transportation for humans. Except for the handicapable, humans walk everywhere, or at least to their rollerblades or cars that they use to bypass the need for walking further. Shoes are the guardians of feet and take most of the damage that daily walking would place on bare feet. This daily wear-and-tear would be considered the “moderate daily use” of shoes which is more intense in impoverished areas like Africa.
Moderate daily use varies from person to person. In America, the average person walks approximately 2.55 miles per day, whereas the average Australian walks approximately 4.85 miles per day as shown by Parker-Pope. African children walk anywhere from approximately 1.25 miles to 10.56 miles just to get to school, and then repeat that distance again to get home. That distance gap creates a difference in moderate daily use, which yields a difference in the rate of replacement necessity for shoes.
For an average American, a pair of athletic shoes, sneakers, may last anywhere from six months to two years. That means that a sneaker can take approximately 1,135 miles of use before kicking the bucket. A pair of TOMS shoes on the other hand deteriorates after two weeks to a year, or from personal experience, a few months, developing holes and losing all treading. That means that TOMS shoes can only take approximately 230 miles before deteriorating, one-fifth the time of a standard sneaker.
African children walk, on average, 4.6 times as much just to get to and from school as an American does total daily. With that much walking, a pair of non-TOMS sneakers would only last a little over three months. That means that a child would need two pairs per year just for school. Change the shoes to TOMS and that child now needs 10 pairs per year. While the TOMS that get donated to impoverished children may be better than no shoes, when a poor child needs durable shoes for school, TOMS shoes are the worst possible shoe choice.
Parker-Pope, Tara. “The Pedometer Test: Americans Take Fewer Steps.” Nytimes.com. The New York Times, 19 Oct. 2010. Web. 01 Apr. 2013.
Diligent, Lynne. “Dilemmas of an Expat Tutor.” Http://expattutor.wordpress.com/. WordPress, 22 Nov. 2011. Web. 01 Apr. 2013.
Armstrong, Nikki. “What Time Do Your Children Get up for School…and How Far Do They Walk?” Onedifference.org. One Foundation, 15 Feb. 2010. Web. 01 Apr. 2013.
Modern Gal, The. “Are TOMS Shoes All They’re Cracked up to Be?” Thegreenists.com. Allie Larkin, 30 May 2011. Web. 01 Apr. 2013.
Rebecca. “How Long Do TOMS Shoes Last?” Answers.yahoo.com. Yahoo!, 2010. Web. 01 Apr. 2013.