Today’s active lifestyles mean people are on their feet, and in fact, some estimates say that people are on their feet walking an average of 2.5 miles each day, and that’s just doing routine things! Good, comfortable shoes that provide ample support and style are a must, and that’s why the Toms brand grew exponentially.
Good and Comfortable Shoes are Essential
In addition to comfort and style, people want to purchase products that are environmentally and ethically manufactured. Toms has been one of the shoemaker masterminds in meeting these needs. But there are other comfortable, stylish shoes out there, so what are some that offer an eco-friendly, comfortable, and stylish alternative to Toms shoes?
How Toms Shoes Grew
It all started in 2006 when Blake Mycoskie, the founder of Toms, took a trip to Argentina and became moved by the sight of so many children going barefoot. Demonstrating the epitome of corporate responsibility, as soon as he got home in the U.S., he began working on a plan to develop a company that made shoes that, for every pair sold, would give away another pair of shoes to a needy child. This One for One program, as it was known, grew along with Toms first and still best-selling shoe style, the Alpargata. This comfortable, slip-on shoe remains one of Toms bestselling products. In addition, his charitable approach helped Toms sales flourish.
Toms has currently identified greater-good goals for the long-term improvement of its products and practices, several of which include increasing its use of sustainable cotton and using greener packaging.
Alpargata vs. Espadrille
So, what is the difference between these two shoe styles? Basically, they are the same, but with a variety of options in style and color. Classic espadrilles are simply made of canvas and with rope soles, whereas today’s espadrilles are made of many other materials, including recycled products and, most often, rubber soles.
The upper parts of the modern espadrilles are manufactured with any of the following options:
- Sweater knit
- Recycled cotton
The look and style of espadrilles are essentially limitless, with some examples including:
- Solid colors
- Robust floral prints
- Color blocks
- Animal prints
- Polka dots
And whatever else you think of, there are surely espadrilles out there just like it.
Generally, the espadrille is a casual shoe, but as you will see in the following discussion on an alternative to Toms shoes, there are other options where the shoe style is perfectly acceptable. If, however, you are wondering about the most typical places where you will find this shoe, check out these options:
- Going to barbecues
- Attending outdoor concerts
- Joining garden parties
- While traveling
- Doing errands
- Exploring the farmer’s market
- Picking apples
- Walking the dog
- Hanging out
Is There an Alternative to Toms Shoes?
The answer to this question is yes, and in fact, there is more than one alternative to Toms shoes. The shoes listed below combine the style, comfort, and eco-friendly characteristics of the Tom shoe brand.
Most of the styles below are similar to the famous Toms Alpargata style shoe.
This California-made shoe is made from Italian suede with a foam footbed that offers comfort to its wearers. Manufactured by the Ashbury Skies company, it is made using just eight components, and instead of glue, which is toxic to the workers making them, the shoes are stitched together. The insole is doubly thick, so customers claim it’s like walking on a pillow.
Women’s Wool Loungers
Made by Allbirds, this shoe is made from Merino wool and made using 100% eco-friendly materials and processes. It is a solid alternative to Toms shoes, especially the Alpargata style.
A long-respected company known for producing comfortable shoes, Dr Scholls offers a product that is a cheaper alternative to Toms shoes. This Madison Sneaker is lightweight, flexible, and made from bottles recycled from the ocean. A slip-on is especially popular because it is available in an impressive array of color and style choices.
Another eco-friendly option, these shoes made by the Sanuk company, are 55 % recycled. They come in fun, funky styles and have footbeds that are 85% recycled foam lined with 100% recycled polyester. In addition, the upper part of the shoes are also made from 100% recycled materials. This alternative to Toms shoes is also of a slip-on design,
Thousand Fell Woman’s Slip-on
These slip-on shoes are made from recycled shoes and recycled rubber and are a durable, breathable alternative to Toms shoes.
Barcelona Black Women’s Vegan Canvas Slip-on
Made by Bianka, every material used to make these shoes is natural, including organic cotton and all-natural rubber, making them 100% cruelty-free vegan shoes. Made by artisans in Spain, they are breathable, lightweight, and comfortable. They come in a variety of colors and are a great shoe for walking.
Lucas Vegan Slip-Ons
These shoes are a great alternative to Toms shoes as well as a comfortable and attractive walking shoe. They are made by Matt & Nat, and the company is always looking for sustainable, animal-free materials to use in the manufacturing of the shoes. The company’s commitment to being eco-friendly is embodied in its name, which is derived from the words material and nature. In addition to its slip-ons is a wide selection of other styles.
Sequoia Misty Blue
Made by Saola Shoe company, this shoe is a very similar alternative to Toms shoes. It is made from recycled plastic bottles, natural cork, and other eco-friendly materials. The style of this shoe is distinctive yet close enough to be a solid contender as one alternative to Toms shoes.
A synthetic leather shoe made by Mattisse Footwear, these are eco-friendly, vegan, and approved by PETA. Their style is fun and funky, similar yet also distinctive to Toms shoes.
Women’s The Barton
A unique manufacturing aspect of this company’s shoes is that all uppers are knitted together using recycled water bottles. The process is done digitally, which results in less waste during the manufacturing process. The all-natural Barton is stylish and similar in look to Toms shoes. No stitches are used in making them. They are made by Suav shoes.
Made by Vivobarefoot, this shoe is made with leather from Portugal along with canvas. They have a stylish design, are breathable, and are comfortable, making them another viable alternative to Toms shoes. A pricier alternative to Toms shoes, they work well being worn to any occasion because of their light, flexible, and breathable design.
Morris Vegan White Slip-ons
The name of the company that makes these vegan shoes is almost as big as the shoes themselves. Made by Goodguysdontwearleather, besides vegan leather uppers, they also have a rubber sole, and the insole can be removed. This style is unisex and a classy-looking shoe that can be worn for any informal to formal occasion.
Bossanova Worn Out Leather Sneakers
A down-to-earth, yacht-style shoe manufactured by Osklen, this shoe is made of crackled bovine leather. Its sophisticated design gives wearers a classy, distinguished look. The slip-on design offers yet another alternative to Toms shoes.
Slip-on Grey and White
These shoes, made by Etiko, are as comfortable as walking on a cloud. They are made from pure, right-from-the-tree rubber, as opposed to man-made rubber, and have a cotton sole with arch support. They are hand-stitched, also with 100 % cotton. In addition, they are a moderately priced, completely vegan alternative to Toms shoes.
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This soleRebels alternative to Toms shoes has a funky, distinctive look that will make you stand out from the crowd. A slip-on espadrille, it is made of hand-spun and hand-loomed cotton, trimmed with jute braid and features comfortable recycled tire soles.
Emmi Rewool Slip-on Black
Made by the Helsinki firm Terhi Polkki, these shoes are especially unique because they are made from 30% coffee beans. In addition, they have a 70% natural rubber sole for comfort. Another feature of these shoes is that they are also completely waterproof.
TOMS Official Video: Grassroots Good
In this first in a series official TOMS Shoes video, they explain how they give 1/3 of profits to the Grassroots Good program.
Toms or an Alternative?
As you can see, if you want an Alternative to Toms Shoes, you have a lot of selection! Of course, Toms is still a socially responsible, excellent company, and sticking to the original isn’t a bad idea either.