While perusing the mammoth print edition of the Dallas Observer's Best of 2009 issue released this week, we noticed the familiar Toms name got a plug for Best Low-Guilt Shoes. The company is relevant to DFW not only because area Whole Foods locations carry the canvas slip-ons, but because company founder Blake Mycoskie is from Arlington. He's the entrepreneur behind the one for one formula Toms shoes are known for -- each time a pair is sold, another pair is donated to kids in developing countries who'd otherwise go barefoot.
Other area programs have a similar mission, like Shoes For Orphan Souls run by Buckner International. But Mycoskie's initiative leaves the donor/purchaser with a reminder of their gift: a pair of simple, comfortable shoes that have become the new Keds in our parts.
And the style-setting continues with new fall lines from the company. The first, called Cordones and named for Argentine writers who pushed for civil rights in the mid-nineteenth century, is a complete departure from the original patched-up, Vans-like design. Shoes like the Dolina Cordones ($69) for women have holes for laces and a subtle, woven multi-color plaid print.
The classic Toms get new prints and more meaning with the Cultural Anthropology line, with names of -- yep -- cultural anthropologists given to each new print (check out the ultra-light Yellow Strauss design for $54).