Both Bobs and Toms offer comfortable, casual shoes. Not only do these shoe styles look quite alike, but the companies have similar business models, too.
They donate one pair of shoes to children in need for every pair purchased by a consumer. Both brands offer lowkey footwear for a variety of people, but there are some primary differences to take note of when shopping for a pair.
How exactly do Bobs and Toms compare? We dive into the specifications of both brands to help you decide which line is best for you with our ultimate Bobs shoes vs Toms guide.
Toms’ founder is Blake Mycoskie. While touring Argentina, Blake came across kids who had no shoes and he noticed how hard they struggled. He saw the great impact that shoes would have towards their ability to go to school and prevent infections.
This personal experience led Blake to launch Toms (shoes of TOMorrow) in 2006. So, Toms came up with the one for one concept. For every shoe purchased, one pair would be given to children in need. The creative idea made people want to associate with the brand and be part of the cause. Toms has donated shoes to over 70 countries.
The company has come under criticism that their one for one concept only makes consumers feel good and doesn’t really address the causes of poverty for the people they wish to help. Research shows that the shoe donations don’t improve foot health or self-esteem among children, either. Instead, it increases the feeling of aid dependency.
Toms are mostly known for producing espadrilles, also known as alpargatas, an Argentine-style shoe with a rope or rubber sole, and canvas on top. But the brand offers other designs as well, such as sneakers and boots, to name a few.
Their footwear is targeted for men, women, and children ages 13-30. The shoes come in lots of colors and designs.
The Toms Women’s Alpargata Loafer is one of their most popular models. According to customers, these shoes fit tight the first few days you wear them. Afterward, they mold to your feet and the Ortholite insoles are super supportive. The soles are also machine washable.
One con users find is that the shoes tend to smell when you wear them in hot temperatures, especially without socks. One buyer described their pair smelling bad after only a few days of use when walking around on vacation.
Also note that Toms are only available in medium width, which makes them too small for people with wider feet.
- Shoes for men, women and children.
- Wide variety of colors and styles.
- Conform to the shape of your feet.
- Ortholite insoles are machine washable.
- No wide fit options.
- Tend to stink once your feet get sweaty.
The brand behind Bobs is the large performance footwear company, Skechers. They’re known for producing some of the comfiest shoes, especially those with memory foam.
Bobs was launched in 2009, with the aim of providing comfortable, casual footwear for women. It was inspired by the South American alpargata shoe. The company offers a variety of boots, sandals, sneakers and more.
This brand has a similar model to Toms one for one concept, called the soles4souls. For every pair of shoes purchased, they donate a pair of shoes to children in the US and other countries.
Many individuals have accused Bobs of simply copying Toms here. Regardless, soles4souls has distributed more than 30 million pairs of shoes.
Just like Toms, Bobs is most famous for the espadrillos. The company also has an exclusive line of animal-inspired shoes. For each pair purchased, they donate to animal welfare organizations. Bobs has donated more than $6 million to shelters so far.
One of the more popular shoes is the Women’s Bobs Plush-Peace and Love Ballet Flat. Users love that it’s offered in a wide size, as well as a medium-fit one. There’s also no break-in period with these shoes and they fit instantly. Another liked feature is the comfort and softness that the machine-washable, memory foam insoles provide.
However, some customers report that the shoes fall apart after a few months of wearing them regularly. This is the downfall of the soft material: it isn’t the most durable. The easy-wear style also comes at the expense of less support for your feet.
- Sizing is true to fit and comfortable.
- Wide options available.
- Many colors and patterns to choose from.
- Memory foam insoles make for perfect cushioning.
- Machine-washable design.
- Could be more supportive.
- May wear out after a few months.
Bobs vs Toms: Comparison
So how do these brands compare? Let’s have them battle it out.
Bobs and Toms shoes are made from similar materials. Their most famous alpargata designs consist of cotton fabric and a shock-absorbing EVA rubber outsole.
However, Bobs memory foam insoles provide a custom-designed fit as they conform to the shape of your feet. They also have elastic fabric panels that help the shoes slip-on easily, as well as a soft inner lining for added comfort.
On the other hand, Toms shoes flaunt their textile molded footbed for increased cushioning. A latex arch insert for added support adds to the comfort. Users state that Toms makes more supportive footwear than Bobs shoes. Another plus with the brand is that they have vegan options such as Toms Alpargata Birch Terry Cloth (Vegan).
Bobs shoes have memory foam insoles that relieve pressure as you walk. Foam provides excellent cushioning, offering comfort and reducing foot pain. The downfall with this component is that it wears out faster and you’ll need to replace your insoles after a few months.
Toms shoes have an Ortholite insole that’s made from recyclable rubber. It’s breathable, durable and provides great support for everyday wear.
Both shoe brands include a variety of designs, colors and patterns. Bobs shoes consist of sneakers, heels, casual slip-ons, flats and Bobs sportswear. Their popular animal-print shoes have a unique design, such as the Skechers Bobs Plush-Breeds Ballet Flat.
Toms styles include alpargatas, heels, flats, sandals, boots and sneakers. Both brands offer shoes for both women and men, as well as for children.
It depends on the shoe model, but in general, Toms and Bobs are about the same price and last for a similar amount of time. However, users state that Toms hold up for a longer period. Make sure to use the manufacturer’s instructions when washing your shoes with either brand, that way you can use them for as long as possible.
FAQs About Bobs vs Toms
Still undecided? We gathered up some of the most frequently asked questions by people on the internet to help you determine which brand is best for you.
Are Bobs and Toms the Same Company?
No, Bobs and Toms aren’t the same company. Their shoes are similar, so are the business models they abide by, but there are some differences as we laid out above.
Bobs operates under the famous footwear company, Skechers, while Toms is the parent business itself.
Are Toms Ethically Made?
Toms manufactures their shoes in countries they intend to help such as Kenya, Haiti and Argentina. In this case, they might help create jobs in those locations.
This company is also venturing into vegan models and more sustainable ways of manufacturing their footwear.
Do You Wear Socks With Toms?
Yes, you should wear socks with your Toms shoes. Especially with the espadrillos and boot styles. But if you’re wearing open-toe sandals, you can go barefoot, of course.
Socks help protect your skin from rubbing and prevent blisters. For more information, read our article on How To Stop Shoes Rubbing Back of Ankle: Five Expert Tips.
Bobs or Toms: Which Brand is Better?
Both brands offer superb choices for comfortable, casual and stylish shoes. Their one to one concept and soles4souls have revolutionized the business world, encouraging other businesses to follow suit.
As for the winning brand, Toms takes the cake. You simply can’t beat the original and in terms of support, durability, and styles, they’re our favorite. However, Bobs shoes do offer wide fit options and users state that the memory foam sole makes them quite comfortable.
Determine the best brand for you and know you’re providing a child with a pair of shoes at the same time.