TOMS vs BOBS: Which Shoes Are Better?

Being able to afford new clothes and shoes certainly isn’t a luxury. However, we often see barefoot kids around the world and I know that you have thought at least once about how you would love to help them somehow.

Thankfully, brands have noticed that, and some of them came up with charitable donations every time you make a purchase. You get yourself a pair of shoes, and a kid from some poor country gets a pair as well.

How amazing!

When talking about ethical footwear brands, TOMS and BOBS are mentioned the most.

That’s why I decided to compare those two brands and see which is better and what shoes you should buy.

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Table Comparison – TOMS vs BOBS Shoes

TOMS and BOBS have been a subject of discussion, debate, arguments, and confusion in the last couple of years. Mostly due to the fact that BOBS basically copied TOMS’ business model.

In the table comparison, I’m going to compare the two brands and point out some main differences.

TOMS vs BOBS: Shoes Comparison
ShoesAlpargata ColorblockBOBS B Cute
FeaturesTextile uppers
 
Cloudbound featuring more comfortable fit and improved traction
 
OrthoLite® Eco LT Hybrid™ insoles made with 26% eco content (15% waste foam, 5% recycled content, and 6% bio-oils)
 
Elastic gore for easy fit
Skechers Memory Foam™ cushioned comfort insole
 
Crafted with 100% vegan materials
 
Soft canvas upper with frayed details
 
Slip-on style with decorative laces
 
Flexible traction outsole
 
Machine washable
Size7 – 146 – 11
ShippingFreeFree
ReturnsFree within 30 daysFree within 45 days
(90 days for Skechers Plus members)
Target audienceWomen, Men, KidsWomen
Charitable donationsFor each pair bought, one pair is donated to kids in needFor each pair bought, one pair is donated to kids in need
Website:

TOMS Review

TOMS was founded by Blake Mycoskie in 2006. Blake was on his travel to Argentina and he noticed that many children were barefoot and some of them weren’t allowed to go to school because they didn’t have shoes.

This experience inspired him to start TOMS. TOMS’ business model is quite simple. For each pair of shoes TOMS sells, another pair is donated to children in need.

The first batch of 250 shoes was made in Argentina and donated to children. Then an article in LA Times about Blake and TOMS changed everything. The orders skyrocketed and Blake sold 10,000 shoes in the first year.

So far (from 2006-2022) TOMS have donated over 100,000,000 shoes! Thanks to people who bought TOMS shoes, over 100,000,000 lives were impacted.

On top of that TOMS donates ⅓ of the profit to charitable causes.

Incredible.

An excellent example of iconic TOMS is Alpargata Colorblock. These amazing slip-ons became famous for incredible comfort and being super lightweight.

The canvas upper is very stretchy, therefore you can jump into the shoes when you’re in a hurry.

The OrthoLite insole is removable and washable. Even though the shoes are breathable and made with moisture-wicking technology it’s good to know that if your shoes become smelly, you can just ditch the insole into the washing machine.

The customers love TOMS Alpargata because they are lightweight, comfortable, and versatile, and their feet remain dry and odor-free.

Also, you don’t have to worry about the size because TOMS run true to size and are available in medium width only. We recommend ordering the size you normally wear.

PROS

  • Charitable donations for each pair of shoes sold
  • Durable and lightweight
  • Easy to clean
  • Free shipping
  • Free returns within 30 days
  • Supportive insoles
  • Comfortable
  • Versatile

CONS

  • Absolutely no water protection

BOBS Review

BOBS is owned by Skechers – a lifestyle and footwear company famous for its memory foam shoes.

BOBS was launched in 2011 and issues aroused when the company presented the concept behind BOBS. It’s exactly the same concept as TOMS’ – for each pair of shoes sold, another pair will be donated to children in need within the US and 25 other countries.

People have accused BOBS of lack of creativity and cynically copying the entire concept.

Still, BOBS managed to donate over 9 million shoes to kids in need. Also, they started a new line of animal-inspired shoes. For each shoe sold, the company donates money to animal welfare organizations.

Even Blake Mycoskie came out and said he wishes more companies would copy their business model and make a change in the world.

Now let’s have a look at one of Skechers BOBS – BOBS B Cute. The shoes are stylish and comfortable thanks to Memory Foam cushioned comfort insole. Just, like TOMS, they feature a soft canvas upper making them perfect slip-ons.

The shoes are made from 100% vegan materials, and for every purchase, a donation is made to animals in need.

Customers love BOBS B Cute because they are breathable, durable, comfortable, attractive, and stylish.

On the other hand, I’ve noticed many negative reviews about poor cushioning.

PROS

  • Memory Foam insoles
  • Breathable and moisture-wicking
  • Comfortable
  • Free shipping
  • Free returns within 45 days (90 days for Skechers Plus members)
  • For each pair of shoes sold, one pair is donated to children in need
  • Donations to animal-welfare organizations

CONS

  • Some customers experienced difficulties when returning the shoes

Head to Head – TOMS or BOBS Shoes?

Now that you know the story behind both brands, let’s compare their products and see which performs better.

Insole

Just like the concept, their shoes look quite the same and they are made of similar materials. Both TOMS and BOBS use canvas uppers giving the shoes that casual, lightweight look.

TOMS use OrthoLite footbeds. The footbeds are made from recycled rubber, and they provide support for different types of needs. They are breathable as well, keeping your feet dry. The shoes feature moisture-wicking technology that prevents unwanted fungus.

Also, they’re super easy to maintain.

BOBS rubber outsoles include Memory Foam (Skechers trademark) footbeds that simply mold according to your feet.

Just like OrthoLite, Memory Foam footbeds provide air flow keeping your foot dry and odor-free.

Besides that, the shoes are durable, and the footbeds help with pain relief and back support.

Size

TOMS and BOBS are quite similar in this category.

Shoes from both brands are true to their size. TOMS recommends purchasing exactly your size since you’ll have to go through a short break-in period. During that period the shoes will stretch a bit to fit perfectly.

The same thing goes for BOBS.

Comfort

As I mentioned, TOMS, uses insoles from recycled rubber, and they provide all the support you need. They are breathable and moisture-wicking.

Many customers stated that TOMS shoes are incredibly comfortable and easy to fit in. That’s due to eco-friendly materials used in the upper.

BOBS use, already mentioned, Memory Foam giving that plush cushioning. Personally, I’m a Skechers fan, and I love how comfortable their shoes are.

Memory Foam, just like OrthoLike provides airflow and support.

However, many customers stated that TOMS shoes are more comfortable and supportive than BOBS, therefore we shouldn’t disregard such feedback.

Options

Here’s the most interesting part, and I’d say the major difference between TOMS and BOBS.

First, of all, both brands have a variety of shoe options, but BOBS make shoes ONLY for women.

TOMS makes shoes for women, men, and children.

Speaking of options, TOMS offer alpargatas, boots, flats, heels, platforms, slip-ons, sneakers, and dress shoes.

The Verdict

Did BOBS mimic TOMS? The answer to this question many of us want to know, and it’s probably YES.

Skechers simply followed the business model Mycoskie came up with and you can’t blame them. Mycoskie’s idea is a huge success.

Speaking of the products, both brands make comfortable, durable, and lightweight shoes. Even though I’m a big Skechers fan, I have to admit, TOMS did a fantastic job with alpargatas.

According to numerous reviews, TOMS shoes are more comfortable and have better support.

Also, they are so easy to maintain thanks to recycled materials.

Many people think BOBS made a mistake following and basically copying everything TOMS does, however, they have donated over 9 million shoes so far, and that means something.

The bottom line is, TOMS is better than BOBS in terms of comfort and maintenance. Also, TOMS make shoes for men, women, and kids, while BOBS makes shoes only for women.

Besides charitable donations, let’s not forget the impact TOMS has on the environment. The company launched a line of vegan shoes and it aims to increase its B Corp score.

Next, TOMS wants to source 100% sustainable cotton by 2025 and make packaging from 80% recycled materials.

What are you waiting for? Let’s get some shoes for the kids around the world.

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