I don’t remember why I was in the Whole Foods at Westlake and Denny, many years ago, but it was there that I saw my first pair of Toms Shoes. Later, I bought a pair from the Toms web site. They’ve been my shoe of choice ever since. I like the shoes, and I like the company. I’ve owned several pairs over the years – often two or three pairs at a time.
Toms Shoes are not waterproof, and they aren’t well-suited for long urban hikes. (I’ve never tried Toms leather shoes, however.) But they are extremely comfortable. When it’s not raining, and I’m not walking more than a couple of miles, I wear my Toms often. I wear them until they wear out, and then I keep wearing them until they fall apart.
Recently, Phillip sent me a link to a company named Oliberté. They’re a Fair Trade factory located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. They make shoes and bags out of locally-sourced leather. I’m actually amazed at how reasonable their prices are – considering they’re small-factory leather shoes. I was impressed enough that I ordered a pair of Zabilo shoes last week. (I have standard-sized feet, so I’m comfortable ordering unfamiliar shoes online.) I decided to be cheap and opt for the free shipping. My new shoes arrived yesterday.
I wore them to work today. It took some time to break them in, and to get them used to my feet and my pattern of walking, of course. There are comfortable. They feel sturdy. I can see these being useful for urban hiking.
My new shoes make me happy. I may have two favorite shoe brands now.