Hey All! Today is One Day Without Shoes. what does that mean?

you go barefoot. experience what many children around the world experience every single day. do it, whether for an hour, an afternoon, or the entire day. spread the word!

Watch TOMS Shoes on the Today Show HERE.

April 8, 2010 is TOMS Shoes‘ One Day Without Shoes.

if you don’t know, TOMS Shoes sells some pretty sweet footwear, but what’s even better is that with every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need. One for One. cool right?

if you’re a little skeptical, don’t be. i had the incredibly opportunity to intern at TOMS shoes last summer and saw a company that does what it says it does. and does it passionately.

One of the things that TOMS Shoes does is work hand-in-hand with it’s non-profit partner (that’s the easiest way to explain it), Friends of TOMS.  FOT gives shoes in other countries to provide shoes to children who’ve never had a pair and also work to prevent and treat podoconiosis, which is a debilitating disease that causes extreme swelling, repeated ulcers and deformity in the feet and legs.  People get podo by walking barefoot in silica-heavy volcanic soil, a common practice in rural farming regions of developing countries.  Especially in Ethiopia, this disease effects many people to the point where they cannot walk or do life the way we do.  ODWS is a way to spread awareness for the need for shoes in the world.

That being said, this Thursday is One Day Without Shoes. if you check out the TOMS ODWS website, there are events you can attend in your area, or you can even host an event.  But do it.  Here are some vids that show what TOMS is doing this Thursday, and who is joining them. it’s pretty cool 🙂

the aftermath

** Update on the Chi Alpha page!  Check out Karen’s thoughts about her shoeless day 🙂


It has been a pretty great experience after One Day Without Shoes.  Just seeing how many people all over the nation that were willing to go barefoot was pretty awesome!

Now that the day has come and gone, and the next day without shoes is a year away, I figured that people going barefoot would end on the 16th.  But i’ve come to find that even after the 16th, people have contacted me or talked to me about TOMS and the barefoot awareness day.  It just goes to show that people are actually interested in what TOMS does, not just a one day push sort of thing.  

One of the biggest conversation intros is my TOMS.  they’re a fun bright blue and white striped pattern, so people will often ask me where I got them and what kind of shoes they are.  Easy in!  People love the way the shoes look and love the One for One campaign.

So, the official One Day Without Shoes has passed, but it is clear that the concept goes beyond just one day out of the year!

doesn’t the title of my post speak for itself? maybe not 🙂  I wanted to post some of my favorite pictures from One Day Without Shoes for you to see!

img_24563i just really like this picture.  The angle, the colors… 

img_2435I also really like this one because it was taken at my school.  In the moot courtroom…
It’s just kind of cool to see the contrast between TOMS shoeless challenge, and the formality of a courtroom.

amor-and-day-without-shoes-0761I just think these girls are great 🙂 and that’s how i felt after my day without shoes too!

0416091556-011 who doesn’t love a good jumping shot! I really love that the TOMS flag is prominently visible 🙂
plus the fact that the turtle pond is in the background is even better!

un-nino1now i know that this wasn’t taken on April 16th. but i LOVE this image.  Partially because it is so real and evoking.  This little boy reminds me of a little boy that I met in Mexico. 

3451830212_cbc3560fe01i LOVE this picture.
it’s exactly what I was going for with the point people.
attract attention!!!!!!!!!! how can you not look at him??

img_3835-11I like this because it makes you wonder where his shoes are.  riding a motorcycle with no shoes is not the safest idea in the world. And yet, there are people who would never dream of owning a bike like this… even more so the shoes that would protect your feet while riding the bike.

3452354254_c6358bdf9f1his facial expression is priceless.  It’s probably what my face looked like all day… “what the heck is on the bottom of my foot???”  It’s crazy because we are so aware of when something doesn’t belong on the bottom of our feet.  Yet children every day run around in things that we would never dream of touching.

dsc011051 reality:  if you don’t wear shoes, you will get hurt.

dscn14191another image that conjures up an OUCH thought.  It cannot feel too great to ride around on a bike barefoot!

img_23022i took this beforehand.  This was the first time I had to explain One Day Without Shoes to complete strangers.  And i loved it!  I love images of contrast.  Shoes and no shoes.

feetcircle21so many bare feet!  I think this one made me smile because I realized how many people were willing to walk barefoot through atlanta to experience One Day Without Shoes.  awesome!

img_25202Again. This is one of my contrast images.  Sarah is kind of laughing because the people across the street at Brit’s Pub (you can sort of see it) would stare at us as we walked around barefoot.  Literally, Brit’s Pub during happy hour can have about 50-80 business people chillin and enjoying food and drinks.  So here is Sarah and I, telling people about TOMS and their One for One purpose with all these downtown employees staring at us thinking we are crazy! there is just a whole lotta wealth sitting right there.

img_25502and finally.  I really love this picture.  Not just because it is a U of MN pic, but because this is what I envisioned One Day Without Shoes to be for me.  A group of people who are passionate about TOMS and excited about One Day WIthout Shoes, heading out, willing to talk to whoever for however long and pass on the word about TOMS shoes.  It doesn’t take a lot of people to make a difference.  Just a few who are willing to push the limit and be bold in approaching people.  The big thing is that people just don’t know about the need for shoes.  They also don’t realize that there is a simple way for them to help.  All they need is someone who is not afraid to go up to them and tell them.

It’s kind of funny.  People keep mentioning to me how cool One Day Without Shoes is and apologizing for not being able to go barefoot on Thursday.  I’ve just started telling people that it doesn’t matter what day it is.  Kids are going without shoes every day all over the world!  Even though April 16th is the official One Day Without Shoes, there is nothing stopping you from experiencing what those children experience on another day.  In fact, I think it’s kind of the point.  we shouldn’t be trying to get people to go barefoot for one day and then stop.  The point is to get people to understand the problem, even recognize that there is a problem!  And then from their experience, be willing to do what they can to be the solution.  If you want to go barefoot tomorrow, that’s awesome 🙂  The challenge doesn’t begin and end on April 16th.  It’s something we should be thinking about always.

That being said… I am in the process of trying to pick some of my favorite images from One Day Without Shoes 🙂 Maybe one per location???? yessssssssss. coming soon!

updates :)

New Posts! – check out the tabs on the top of the site and see what people were up to on April 16th  and how they were spreading the word for TOMS!

Atlanta – two sub pages so make sure to check those out 🙂

Megan’s Story – reflection on time spent with children who are barefoot every day.

Jenna’s Thoughts – a teacher’s reflection on One Day Without Shoes (a Minneapolis subpage)

University of Illinois – Urbana/Champaign – photos from their barefoot walk are up!

Still waiting for some photos to come in 🙂 So keep checking! Thanks for making One Day Without Shoes a great success 🙂 

I am so excited to see photos and hear stories of the One Day Without Shoes events! WOOHOO!

I am also exhausted.  It is 2AM and i just finished soaking my feet.  I now realize more than ever how amazing shoes are and how much better my feet feel in them.

It was just a day.  And i can’t imagine living and walking in my bare feet.

I have more photos and stories to upload in the morning, BUT for now, i am going to sleep!

One Day Without Shoes is over.  But the work is never done 🙂