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Steps in the Right Direction This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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TOMS are lightweight, slip on, form-fitting shoes similar to flats. Mine are corduroy plum with the little TOMS logo on the heel. The inside of my size six-and-a-half shoes have a brown, tan, and light blue zigzag design. The insoles are made of a sturdy, foam-like material that over time has molded perfectly to my feet. TOMS are a fashionable way to stay comfy during long days.
When I first saw an advertisement for TOMS a few years ago, I hated them. The style didn't appeal to me. But as I started to see them online and in person, they grew on me. When I finally decided that I was serious about getting a pair, it was difficult to find them. Stores sold out quickly. After deliberating for a few weeks about which pair I wanted, I ordered them from the TOMS official website (www.toms.com). When they arrived a week and a half later, I was ecstatic.
However, TOMS are more than just cute shoes. The TOMS organization is strictly focused around three words: “One for One.” When someone purchases a pair of TOMS, the company sends another pair to a child in need.
Children in third-world countries are at high risk of infections from cuts from debris on the ground. Most schools will not accept children if they don't have shoes, so those who can't afford them go without education. It is rewarding to know that thousands of people – myself included – are helping children in need every day.
My TOMS have been with me for a year, and I have worn them to school many times a week. They have been on outrageously long shopping trips and all-day events. My TOMS even survived walking through an inch of mud, which is when I learned they are machine-washable. I wear them so often that you can see where my toes belong, even when my feet are not in them.
TOMS shoes make a bold statement in fashion and in society. When I see people wearing TOMS, I think about the children who benefitted by receiving shoes of their own.
I love that TOMS are loud shoes, but still simple – much like myself. They can be formal or informal, and worn to any occasion. Purchasing TOMS gave me an opportunity to help others in need, and that is what I love most.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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