The Bobs vs. Toms debate has been going on for a while now, and it comes as no surprise. These popular brands have a lot in common. In fact, some people wonder if there are even any differences between the two. Is there a chance that one of them is just a copy?
One thing’s for sure, though – you’ll be doing a good thing getting a pair of any of these. Both brands offer ethical sourcing of materials and zero carbon footprints.
On top of that, with every purchase, you’ll be making a charitable donation. How wonderful is that? You’ll no longer feel bad about getting another pair of shoes…
Toms were launched with a charitable intention to help underprivileged children. Quickly, they gained a huge following and success all over the world, and they’ve grown into one of the biggest brands today. People fell in love with their idea and mission long before they fell in love with the model of their shoes.
It’s a wonderful feeling being able to help others, especially if it’s as simple as buying a pair of good quality shoes. Not only are you giving yourself a treat, but you’re also helping communities in need where new shoes are a luxury.
Not long after Toms, Skechers followed suit and came out with Bobs. Since then, Bobs vs. Toms has been an ongoing debate that causes a lot of confusion. Because of that, we’re here to discuss some of the similarities and differences between these two brands, so you can choose your favorite.
The history of Toms
So, how did the founder come up with this noble idea? In 2006, Blake Mycoskie was vacationing in Argentina when he met a woman who was delivering shoes to children in need. This volunteer helped Mycoskie see how many kids couldn’t afford a simple pair of shoes, which inspired him to find a way to help them.
To fulfill his dreams of helping children in need, he established a company called Toms, which quickly became loved by people all over the world.
Inspired by the people of Argentina, Mycoskie decided to put out simple canvas slip-on shoes. His main goal was to help boys and girls in developing nations by providing a new pair of shoes for every pair sold.
The sales began in 2006, with only 250 shoes manufactured by local Argentine workers. However, the orders skyrocketed quickly, and the company ended up selling around 10,000 pairs in the first year.
Surprisingly similar to Toms, Bobs are a line of shoes put out by Skechers. Although the company first started with skate shoes and utility boots, it gradually started focusing on more casual-style shoes for both men and women. So, how did the Bobs vs. Toms debate start?
Launched in 2011, Bobs follow the same business model as Toms. For each pair sold, they’d donate a pair to children in need. Their model is mainly made from canvas and it’s available for women in a variety of styles.
Naturally, the launch of Bobs was pretty controversial, as many accused Skechers of copying Toms’ style and concept. However, that didn’t stop the company, as they’ve successfully donated around 9 million shoes to children in over 25 countries.
The brand decided to launch a new scheme that can help our four-legged friends, too. They’ve put out a limited edition line of Bobs inspired by animals, and it follows the same model – for every paid sold, Sketchers donates to an animal welfare organization.
Because they’re so similar in style and business model, it’s hard to find contrast in a Bobs vs. Toms debate. Both of them have a charitable mission, and we know how hard it can be to pick your favorite.
Bobs vs. Toms: is there a difference?
Bobs vs. Toms has been the subject of many debates, arguments, and discussions. We’re not shocked that it caused so much confusion over the last couple of years. That is (obviously) because both brands follow the same business model.
At first glance, Toms and Bobs might seem similar. Although they now offer a variety of shoes, the most popular ones are almost the same. So, are there any differences, and, if so, what are the main ones? Let’s find out.
In the Bobs vs. Toms argument, there’s one thing we can all agree on – both of them are really comfortable to wear! However, this purely depends on the wearer and their preferences. What you are looking for in your shoes plays a big role in whom you pick in this debate, because they do have some differences.
For example, Bobs have a pretty effective formula when it comes to comfort. They’re really light thanks to their upper being made of canvas. It’s a great choice for those who don’t like to feel their shoes on their feet.
Most of us want plush cushioning that will provide comfort throughout the day, and Bobs give us exactly that. The memory foam insert and canvas upper proved to be a pretty effective combination.
Toms, on the other hand, provide that all-around comfort your feet need. Their insoles are made from breathable material which allows air to pass easily, keeping your feet dry and cool throughout the day. On top of that, their anti-microbial properties prevent unwanted odor. What else could you need?!
Well, we have a couple of more things you might like about the popular Toms. They’re pretty easy to fit into because of the eco-friendly materials they use to make the upper.
On top of the accusations that they’re copy-cats, many accuse Bobs of the lack of support that Toms provide. Whether that’s true or not, we leave it to you to decide.
2. Their insoles
The insoles in these two shoes are probably their biggest difference. Don’t get us wrong, they’re both really comfortable, but there are some contrasts that are worth mentioning.
For example, Sketchers opted for inserts that are made of memory foam. This type of insole provides the wearer with plush cushioning, which is really comfortable.
So, how do memory foam insoles work, exactly? They’re made of polyurethane together with additional chemicals. This increases its density and viscosity. Foam bubbles are open and they create space where air can move around.
In contrast to furniture or pure foam, the open bubbles that create density become cooler and more responsive over time. This type of insole brings a lot of advantages, including pressure point relief, back support, pain relief, and more. On top of that, it’s super durable and hypoallergenic.
So, what kind of footbeds do Toms use? Although they don’t have memory foam insoles, they use OrthoLite ones. They’re specially formulated and made from recycled rubber. The good thing about these insoles is that they provide support for different needs.
OrthoLite insoles are breathable and they allow air to circulate in and out of the insole, which helps keep the foot dry and cool. Plus, they’re moisture-wicking, making them perfect for people who have sweat problems.
This type of insole is super lightweight and provides perfect performance without adding unnecessary weight to the shoe. And the best thing about OrhoLite – they’re machine washable!
Both shoes provide great insoles, which doesn’t really help the Bobs vs. Toms debate. It’s up to you to decide which ones would be the best fit for you, your requirements, and your needs.
The main reason why there’s a Bobs vs. Toms dilemma, besides their noble mission, is the fact that they look very similar. On top of their looks, both brands use almost the same materials.
When it comes to their Bobs line, Skechers use canvas uppers. As we’ve mentioned before, they give their shoes a lightweight and casual style and feel. Not only will you look cool, but you’ll feel comfortable, too.
As we’ve already mentioned, their footbeds are made of memory foam which molds to the feet of the wearer. Because of that, it creates customized support that will give you comfort all day through.
Toms shoes are not much different when it comes to the materials used. The resemblance is uncanny, so it comes as no surprise that people are confused by these two brands. However, Toms come with an ECA outsole and a molded textile insole, which is great at odor-fighting.
Toms are easy to maintain thanks to the high-quality materials used. They give an effortless look that people all over the world love and enjoy, yet it doesn’t compromise their amazing quality and comfort.
4. Styles and options available
When it comes to style, both brands are pretty similar. Their shoe options, however, are where differences arise. Both of them started with simple footwear for everyday use. However, over time, their options branched out.
Today, both Bobs and Toms are available in a variety of different styles. For example, Bobs offer heels, casual slip-ons, sneakers, and even athletic footwear. Toms, on the other hand, offers heels, flats, boots, and sandals. There’s only one difference, though.
While Toms have shoes that are designed for women, men, and kids, Bobs only make shoes for women. I know, it’s a bit shocking considering the noble cause which inspired both these brands to start producing.
When you’re trying to help the environment and those less fortunate, you’d want your whole family to be on board. Unfortunately, that’s not possible with Bobs.
For Toms, being able to buy good quality shoes for everyone in the family is a huge benefit. That way, they’re able to sell more shoes, raise more money, and have a larger following.
If you have wide feet, then finding the shoes that are the right fit for you can be challenging. When it comes to sizes, both Toms and Bobs stay true to theirs.
However, Toms emphasize that you should buy your actual size, no matter if you have wide feet or not. This is because their shoes need some time to break in. During this period, their material will stretch and adapt to your feet, making them a perfect fit.
This is common with other footwear as well, so it shouldn’t worry you. You’ve probably bought a pair of shoes in the past that caused blisters in the beginning, but over time became the pair you wear the most because of how comfortable they are.
Toms are no different, so give them some time if they don’t feel great at first.
Are Bobs just an imitation?
In the Bobs vs. Toms case, a lot of people believe that Skechers’ version is just a rip-off.
Although they’ve followed Tom’s business model and launched their own versions of the well-known shoes, they’re not necessarily an imitation. Since Toms have become highly popular, it’s natural for some brands to be inspired by their success.
Even the owner of Toms, Blake Mycoskie, didn’t mind their approach. Since his idea was to help people, he wanted others to follow his lead. That way, more people can get involved and help an even larger group of those in need.
The large reason for the company’s success is its mission and not necessarily its model.
People love good intentions, especially if there’s an easy way for them to contribute to a charitable cause, too. And what better way to help than getting a brand-new pair of shoes, while at the same time donating to kids who need them?!
Mycoskie stated he wishes others would copy his concept. The cool thing is – he’s not just helping with footwear.
His collection of bags helped train birth attendants and provide them with everything they need for safe deliveries. Their eyewear helped over 600,000 people, while Toms Roasting Company helped provide clean water for over 600,000 weeks so far.
What do people like more?
It doesn’t take much research to see that customers love Toms shoes more, and that’s no surprise. They’re the main brand in this business model, and people love classics. When it comes to raw numbers and sales in the Bobs vs. Toms game, Toms are far more popular.
Not only because many feel that Skechers displayed a lack of creativity and originality by “copying” Toms, but the quality of their footwear is hard to match. It’s hard to find a model of Toms online that has bad reviews.
When you compare the two of them side-by-side, there’s little to no difference. But, everyone who buys Toms falls in love with them, so they become their loyal customers.
The fans of Toms fell in love with the cause and they didn’t see it as simply a strategy to sell more shoes. It was a great way to help communities in need. Many consumers, however, believe Skechers had a different approach, and they simply mirrored Toms business model and the product.
All of that, however, doesn’t mean that Bobs are doing badly. They’re also selling shoes for a noble cause and helping those in need, while also working with animal welfare organizations.
No matter how their brand was inspired, what they’re doing matters the most. In the end, whichever brand you choose, you’re still doing a meaningful thing.
How do their donations work?
Toms shoes’ biggest pride is their charity, and we love them for it. It’s the company’s main mission, and it’s the main thing that this brand was built upon. How they help people is pretty easy to understand.
For every pair they sell, they donate one pair of shoes for someone in need. It’s as simple as that. Bobs, while making similar promises, don’t do exactly the same thing.
Although it might seem like it because they’re so similar to Toms, Bobs don’t follow the “buy one, donate one” scheme that Toms does. Rather than giving away a pair of shoes, they make a donation for every pair they sell.
This also didn’t get a lot of approval from the public. Not only is there no guarantee that the money ends up in the right place, but they’re also splitting the donations between different charities. That way, they lower the focus.
Toms’ model is simple, easy, and effective, which is why people love it so much. Although both companies are doing an amazing thing for communities in need, it seems like people trust Toms’ way a bit more.
Bobs vs. Toms – which ones are better?
So, we’ve learned everything, from the history, to what they offer and how they donate. So, who’s the winner in the Bob vs. Toms argument?
It’s not because they’re the leader and the original creator, but Toms wins in a lot of segments we’ve covered here. For example, a lot of people care about maintenance, and Toms is a clear winner there. Because of the eco-friendly materials they use, this brand is a lot easier to maintain.
Now, it doesn’t mean that taking care of Bobs is a complete nightmare. There are slight differences in the materials that would make us opt for Toms when it comes to maintenance.
When it comes to looks, there’s no argument. It’s really hard to tell the difference, so it’s impossible to choose the winner. They’re both beautiful shoes that you can’t go wrong with.
When it comes to their model, Toms consists of a footbed made of yarn, while its upper is made of canvas. Their poly outsoles are water-resistant, can withstand compression, and they possess color-subsuming properties. On top of that, they’re highly durable!
All these materials are pretty easy to maintain and make for highly comfortable footwear. Skechers, on the other hand, also opted for canvas as the upper for their Bobs’. It makes these shoes pretty lightweight. In combination with their memory foam footbed, they easily mold to your foot.
Both of these shoes stay true to their size, which makes it possible for you to shop online without having to try them on.
In the end, it’s up to you to decide which ones you prefer more. No matter who you choose, you’ve decided to help those in need, and you’ll be getting good quality shoes in return. We see no issues there.