One for One; Barefoot for Many

I don’t like wearing shoes but unfortunately, in our society, being barefoot is typically unacceptable.
Luckily, I’m perfectly okay with being different. My friends call me a hipster. I just think I’m comfortable in my own skin.
Public Relations juniors, Caitlin Cheevers and Samantha Hegeman, bare their feet with News Editorial senior, Randi Schaffer, before they head their separate ways Tuesday, April 5. Regardless of rain or shine, the girls held a strong commitment to One Day Without Shoes. (Brooke Whitten | Grand Central Magazine)

That’s why I was completely okay with being stared at on April 5. I’m not sure if people were looking at my bare feet or my Tigger sweatshirt, but either way I didn’t mind.

I walked around barefoot to remind myself how hard it is to not have shoes. I’ve got blisters the size of golf balls on the bottoms of my feet, and I’m one of the lucky ones. A friend of mine stepped on a piece of glass that day; even she’s lucky. In America, we have paved roads, trimmed grass and sidewalks. In developing countries, they have far worse conditions, and far fewer shoes than Americans.
Every year, TOMS Shoes sponsors One Day Without Shoes, an entire day dedicated to walking around barefoot. TOMS Shoes is a for-profit company that sells shoes, t-shirts, sweatshirts and other accessories that are, as they say, “one for one.” For every item purchased, they donate a pair of shoes to a child in need.
In developing countries, children with bare feet are more susceptible to soil-transmitted diseases, as well as cuts that can easily become infected. In addition, many are not allowed to attend school without shoes, so they do not have access to the education they need to become self-sustaining. TOMS Shoes is hoping to help combat this issue.
Contrary to popular belief, TOMS was not founded by a man named Tom. In fact, a man named Blake Mycoski founded TOMS in 2006. The company name simply refers to the idea of “shoes of tomorrow.”
The girls continue to show off their bare, and decorated feet. (Brooke Whitten | Grand Central Magazine)
For the past few years, TOMS has sponsored One Day Without Shoes. People choose to trek around barefoot for different reasons. My reason, for example, is rather personal.
My day without shoes, however, was not simply because I enjoy being shoeless. I care about the children I am donating shoes to. I personally have four pairs of TOMS and I plan on buying many more. They’re so comfortable that I even bought a black pair for work; I am almost constantly wearing TOMS. That is, when I’m not barefoot.
For more information on the “One for One” movement through TOMS Shoes, and to purchase a pair of your own, visit their website,
Gordie Morton, a freshman currently studying art and graphic design, reveals his gravel covered feet after participating in TOMS Shoes Barefoot Challenge. (Brooke Whitten | Grand Central Magazine)

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