Bobs shoes vs Toms—these names have been subject to much confusion, ridicule and perhaps even disappointment from consumers. Today, we’ll make some sense of it by comparing the two brands to see if one is better or if they’re too similar to distinguish.
Our comparisons for Toms vs Bobs :
- Styles available.
- Memory Foam.
- Toms or Bobs for wide feet.
Who Makes Toms Shoes
Toms was founded by Blake Mycoskie back in 2006 following his travels to Argentina the same year. While away, he witnessed many children who didn’t own a pair of shoes and the hardships that they faced.
This sparked his desire to help through the creation of his company Toms Shoes. The concept would be, that for every pair of shoes sold, the firm would match it with a new pair for children in need.
With his simple idea, the company evolved into an influential business model. It continues working to address the need for health, education and economic opportunities for children and communities across the globe.
Today, Toms Shoes claims to donate to over 70 countries. So far, it’s estimated to have gifted over 60 million pairs of shoes.
Watch this video of Blake Mycoskie talking about Toms various ethical missions.
About Bobs Shoes
Bobs is a line behind Skechers—a company founded back in 1992 by Robert Greenberg, former CEO and founder of L.A. Gear. Skechers is a lifestyle and performance footwear company, famous for its memory foam shoes.
Skechers launched Bobs in 2011. Its shoes are mainly constructed from canvas and are available for women, offering several styles in various colors.
Issues arose when it launched the Bobs line. Or, more specifically, the concept behind it. The creator behind Bobs was inspired by the idea of donating a pair of shoes for every pair sold, similarly to Toms. Still, since its launch, Bobs has given almost 9 million shoes to children in need within the U.S. and 25 countries.
In addition to this, Skechers launched a new scheme through an exclusive line of animal-inspired Bobs. For each pair of charitable shoes purchased, it donates to animal welfare organizations.
Bobs Shoes vs Toms – Which Is Better
1. Bobs or Toms Shoes Quality
Bobs and Toms shoes are very similar in terms of looks—both include almost the same materials.
For the Bobs line, Skechers uses mostly canvas uppers, which gives the shoes a casual, lightweight look and feel. When it comes to the outsoles, it includes its Memory Foam footbeds that mold according to the wearer’s feet, creating customized support.
A prime example is the Skechers Bobs Women’s Bobs Plush-Peace & Love shoe. It’s lightweight and has a flexible rubber sole and memory foam footbed.
- memory foam footbed
- Flexible sole
Toms shoes also consist of a canvas upper, and the resemblance between the two is uncanny. Nonetheless, Toms sports an EVA outsole with a molded textile insole with odor-fighting twill liner. They’re great quality, which also makes them easy to maintain, you can read more in our guide: how to easily clean Toms shoes.
Our example is the Toms Women’s Classic Canvas Slip-On Shoe, it’s an iconic Toms shoes, donning that effortless look.
- Woven metalic textile upper
- OrthoLite Eco LT Hybrid removable insole for comfort
- CloudBound Sole delivers extra comfort, extra traction, and an extra breathable insole. An ultra-comfortable and hand-washable OrthoLite Eco LT insole offers premium Cushioning and increased air flow
- Rubber / EVA outsole outfitted with custom tread and tractions pads provides a super sticky grip
Both include features that make each very comfy to wear. For instance, Bobs have the Memory Foam footbed, and Toms include a textile insole and flexible material, making them simple to slip into. So, when it comes to comfort, it really does depend on the wearer.
During our research, it’s clear that consumers prefer Toms over Bobs. A few dubbed the latter as “flimsy” and not nearly as supportive as Toms. With that said, Bobs is a line under Skechers, who is famous for producing some of the comfiest and most supportive shoes.
3. Styles Available
Yet again, the two brands share more than a few similarities. Bobs, for starters, are available in both leisure sneakers, heels, casual slip-ons and even athletic wear with cushioning soles.
Toms also offers several styles, including heels, flats, sandals and boots. However, unlike Bobs, which is only available for women, it also provides footwear for men and children. Here, footwear is available in sneakers, boots and even vegan options.
4. Toms vs Bobs Memory Foam
This is where we’ll see a significant difference between the two. Toms shoes don’t have a memory foam footbed, instead, most include an OrthoLite Insole. It’s a specially formulated insert made from recycled rubber, providing support for different needs.
- Breathable: Air circulates in and around the insole, leaving the foot cooler and drier.
- Moisture wicking: Unique insole structure moves moisture away from the foot
- Lightweight: Insoles provide cushioing and optimum performance without adding weight to the shoe
- Care: All OrthoLite insoles are machine washable, we recommend that you wash them in warm water on the gentle cycle and always let them Air Dry!
- If you wear a size 8½, we recommend you to order a size 9 and trim to fit. Shipping cost is not refundable.
Bobs, however, come with Skechers Memory Foam insoles. These are exclusively designed inserts, providing plush cushioning, which effectively comforts and offers foot pain relief. It’s ideal for relieving pressure on your feet as you walk, by conforming to your feet.
5. Toms or Bobs for Wide Feet
Both Toms and Bobs run true to size and are available in medium width. Toms, however, suggest that you buy your regular size. It states that the shoes require a break-in period where the materials will stretch slightly and should suit your feet.
With that said, if you have very wide feet, you may want to consider buying half to one size up.
Did Bobs Imitate Toms?
It’s no secret that the resemblance between Toms and Bobs is undeniable, both in the style and concept. So, did Skechers blatantly imitate Toms?
Sort of. Toms marketing strategy of donating a pair of shoes with every pair sold proved to be quite successful. In the short time that the company has been around, it gained tremendous success. So, it only makes sense that other companies would follow.
Toms creator, Blake Mycoskie, even stated that he wishes others would copy his concept. But, what made his idea so successful was the reason behind it. It wasn’t merely a strategy to sell more shoes—it was a solution to help children and communities in need. And, it’s not just footwear.
Through Toms collections of bags, donations are given to train birth attendants and provide them with birthing kits for safe deliveries. The line of eyewear has helped over 600,000 people since 2011. And lastly, Toms Roasting Company helped provide clean water for over 600,000 weeks so far.
Many consumer’s opinions feel Skechers had a different approach. Instead of taking the concept and turning it into its own, it mirrored Toms idea, showing a lack of creativity and originality. When looking at the shoes side-by-side, there’s little to no difference, except for the logo.
That’s not to say that Skechers isn’t doing good through its Bobs line. Similarly to Toms, it donates shoes to those in need as well as working with animal-welfare organizations. So, with either brand, you’re still contributing to something meaningful.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Bobs Good Shoes?
Bobs shoes are receiving favorable feedback among consumers. The Memory Foam insoles work well at supporting the feet of the individual wearer. However, there isn’t much arch support, so if that’s a requirement for you, consider a different insert.
For the upper, the canvas is stretchy and may feel tight at first, but following a short break-in period, should improve.
How Do You Break in Toms?
According to Toms, the break-in period shouldn’t be too long. It’s recommended that you wear them with a pair of socks and try to bend and flex your feet to loosen the material. Then walk around like you usually would, and within a few hours, the canvas should stretch.
Are You Supposed to Wear Socks With Toms?
With any closed-toed shoes, it’s highly suggested to wear socks to avoid odors and potentially foot fungus. This includes Toms.
If you don’t want them to be visible, you can wear “no-show” socks. These only cover your toes, heel and underside of your foot. If you still feel like they’re noticeable, try skin-colored nylon socks or stockings.
- Stays In Place: Our short womens socks are designed to prevent you from slipping throughout the day. These low ankle women's socks have an elastic band which secures the sock in place. Plus, the silicon grips give you a non-slip experience.
- True No Show: These low-profile socks work well with a variety of low cut shoes including sneakers, booties, tennis, running, and boating shoes. Our women's no show socks come in black, grey, white, and beige. Socks for women size 5-10.
- Not Too Thick & Not Too Thin: These invisible socks for women are made of a light-to-medium weight material. Enjoy the perfect balance between comfort and support. These athletic socks are invisible when wearing shoes.
- High Quality Materials: These no show socks for men & women are made of a cotton and spandex blend (80/20). The no ankle, no show socks for women are soft to the touch and stretchy.
- 3 Sizes: Our low cut socks fit US women's shoe sizes 5-6.5 (8.5"-9.05"), 7-7.5 (9.25"-9.38") and 8-10 (9.5"-10.2"). If you are in between sizes, order the slightly larger size. SP- Calcetines para mujer, calcetines invisibles, y medias para mujer.
However, during the break-in period, wear thicker socks, such as crew types, to avoid painful blisters.
What Does the W Mean on Toms Shoes?
In Toms shoes, there’s generally a letter next to a number on the insole. The figure shows the size, but the letter indicates which size group it belongs to.
This is quite confusing, seeing that, usually, “W” stands for Wide size. However, Toms shoes are only available in medium width, so if you notice a “W,” know that it indicates a woman’s size. You’ll also see “M” for men and “Y” (youth) or “T” (tiny) for children.
How Can You Tell If Toms Are Fake?
Fake Toms shoes are everywhere. To spot whether they’re original or not, inspect the following areas:
- Check where it’s made. If it’s anywhere other than China, Ethiopia, Argentina, Kenya or India, it’s fake.
- Find the One for One label. This should be included on the insole, where your heel sits.
- Ensure that the interior lining has stripes or animal prints. If it’s plain or any other pattern, it’s not the genuine article.
Bobs shoes vs Toms was an interesting comparison—it’s clear that Skechers was inspired by Toms, both with style and concept. This did hurt its reputation among consumers and probably wasn’t its best move. However, both contribute to worthwhile causes, and both brands offer comfortable and stylish shoes.
We hope you found our comparison helpful. Please leave us a comment or question below and feel free to share our guide with other Toms or Bobs lovers.