The barefoot challenge

How does it feel to live without shoes?

When Blake Mycoskie, founder of “Toms”, participated in CBS’ hit show “Amazing Race”, he had the chance to visit Argentina. He would notice the shoes the locals wear (they call them alpargata and they bare a resemblance to espadrilles) but mostly how many people were not wearing shoes at all. On his flight back to L.A. he had already conceived an ethical business idea: to make shoes. Simple, nice, light shoes, similar to alpargata. For every pair sold, one would be donated to a child in need. Since 2006 when he begun, more than 1 million pair of shoes accompany children’s footstep at school, at home, at the fountains. In China, Ethiopia, Argentina.

On April 2011, “One day without shoes” campaign commenced and people from all over the world took their shoes off to exemplify the impact a pair of shoes has on a child’s life. On this year’s ODWS, Toms invited FWBVK to participate in the promo video. An afternoon for workshopaholics and me without shoes, a video directed by Theo Prodromides, an experience that was embarrassing in the beginning -who can stand to be barefoot- but revealing and overwhelming after all. Barefoot was a choice for them, but remains a cruel fact for many for millions of children who suffer enough already.

Vicky Kaya