TOMS One Day Without Shoes: I Tried It ... at Work

The day started like any other: a mad, disheveled rush out the door, squeezing into a pair of uncomfortable heels, and opting to go umbrella-less, despite the darkening-skies-and-pouring-rain indicator on my Blackberry weather app.

So, when I arrived at the office and my boss asked me to go barefoot in support of the TOMS One Day Without Shoes campaign, I fully embraced the opportunity to kick off my heels and sink my toes into the carpet.

TOMS was founded on the premise that with every pair of shoes purchased, a new pair is given to a child in need.

Last year, more than 250,000 people went sans footwear and over 1,600 events took place globally to raise awareness of the impact one pair of shoes can have on a child’s life. As the FashionEtc representative, I went barefoot, joining TOMS in acknowledgment of its fourth annual event.

Although my office is small and most people knew that my shoeless appearance had a reasonable explanation, I still couldn’t help but feel flustered every time I got up for a cup of coffee (which is an all-too-frequent occurrence).

At first, not having to worry about walking out of my flats, teetering in my heels, or paying attention to extra boot buckles, ties, laces, and straps was liberating. However, the sense of freedom was paired with an equally overwhelming feeling of discomfort and sanitary vulnerability.

I spent the day tiptoeing around from the kitchen to the conference room and back to my office, the Barefoot Contessa of FashionEtc.

TOMS One Day Without Shoes

Conclusion: I was surprised by how completely naked and exposed I felt simply without a flimsy pair of flats covering my feet.

While most of our closets overflow with heels and booties (some of which are above and beyond our price range), millions of children around the world face the risk of infection and disease because they cannot afford even a single pair of shoes.

I sat at my desk staring at my bare feet tucked under a strategically placed purse and began to rethink those platforms I’ve been salivating over for months.

The outcome: Next time I buy a pair of shoes, they'll be TOMS.

Meanwhile, check out our interview with the mastermind behind TOMS, Blake Mycoskie.

Bottom photo: Model Anne V. and TOMS Shoes lead a barefoot walk around Christopher Street Pier in NYC.