One day without shoes

March 22, 2010 by George Walker 

One Day Without Shoes.Ever had to run shoeless out the door to catch the recycling van? Ever scorched your feet on a hot beach as you wandered to the sea? It’s only at times like these when we notice how we take shoes for granted, but on April 8 TOMS Shoes are hoping to raise awareness of how many people never have access to shoes, even in the most dangerous environments. George Walker reveals how One Day Without Shoes promises to be a fun and rewarding day for those daring to go footwear-free!

In Britain today shoes are a basic necessity that we- quite naturally- take for granted. Many of us love lusting after that perfect pair of new shoes. We look for the ideal colour, heel or ethical credentials that make the pair a must-have buy. But have you ever considered a life without shoes when unwrapping a new pair of pumps?

One Day Without Shoes is a fun way of highlighting a very important cause. The plan is to get people across the world to allot a whole day or just part of a day to going barefoot in the hope of raising awareness about the lack of adequate footwear in developing countries.

TOMS have been trying to help children get the shoes they need since they began selling their stylish pumps and sandals. TOMS donate a pair of shoes to a child in a developing country every time a pair of their shoes are purchased. The One Day Without Shoes Event now hopes to raise extra money for the cause and get people to support the work of the label.

Blake Mycoskie, TOMS Shoes’ founder and Chief Shoe Giver, says, “A shoe company asking people to go barefoot?  I know it’s odd, but we are so excited for people to once again join us in One Day Without Shoes. Awareness and empathy are the catalysts of change.”

Many children in developing countries have no access to shoes, meaning that they’re put at a much higher risk of injury and infection. The issue is only made worse by the fact that sources of clean water and medical services can be a long walk away from home.

It certainly is a shocking fact that so many children are put at danger due to not having shoes. It’s also a  fact that might not first some to mind when thinking about child poverty in the developing world. As TOMS say: “Imagine a life without shoes; constantly aware of the TOMSground in front of you, suffering regular cuts and scrapes, tending to infection after each walk, and enduring not only terrain, but heat and cold.”

In Ethiopia, the problem is particularly bad. Approximately one million people are suffering from podoconiosis, a debilitating and disfiguring disease caused by walking barefoot on volcanic soil.

If you fancy helping with the cause by organising your own barefoot bonanza, or if you just want to find out more, head to the One Day Without Shoes website.


2 Responses to “One day without shoes”

  1. Naomi Andersson on March 23rd, 2010 9:58 AM

    I have a friend (in the UK) who hasn’t worn shoes for 8 years. Its amazing, he has feet like a hobbit! All chunky and solid! I think it would do us all good to learn to walk a day without shoes!

  2. Jen Marsden on March 23rd, 2010 10:21 AM

    Interesting to know what happens to your feet when you don’t wear shoes, thanks for sharing Naomi!
    I had an inspirational (others would describe her as “alternative”) teacher who always walked barefoot in the concrete streets of Edinburgh and I always felt part-amazed, part-embarassed to walk along side her. I asked her how she didn’t get glass in her feet and she replied – I just walk with more care. Very wise words. Years on, it reminds me of Jain nuns who sweep the paths as they walk with a feather to prevent harm to even the tiniest of creatures…!
    I think I may take up the TOMS challenge…anyone else interested?

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