Product Review: Tom's Black Camila Ballet Flats
Given the amount of time I spend standing and walking at work, I should ideally be setting aside more money on better footwear. However, I'm so bad about replacing my shoes that I've been wearing the same Target flats to work for two years (occasionally alternating a 4 year old pair of Clark's boots and another pair of Aerosoles boots I "borrowed" from my mom). Despite my high pain tolerance when it comes to all things footwear, I figured something needed to change given recent foot and leg soreness after work.
During a recent trip to Disneyland for a friend's bachelorette party, my friend fell in love with a pair of Toms another friend was wearing. During a midday run to the mall to get my friend a pair of her own, I tried on the shoes to discover that they were indeed pretty comfortable. On top of that, I learned that the benefit of buying Toms shoes is that for each pair purchased, the company donates a pair to a child in need. However, I decided to hold off as I didn't have suitcase space, the internet had better prices, and I wasn't 100% on board with the aesthetics.
Upon coming from from Disneyland, I found out that Toms had ballet flats (which are more my style) on sale and purchased a pair of my own. Here are my thoughts so far:
The shoes are pretty cute and go with almost anything. I anticipate replacing my Target shoes with these as my go-to flat for work. However, if you're expecting thick leather, then you might be disappointed as the shoe is made out of a soft, thin leather attached to a canvas liner. Another nit-pick I have is that the right shoe bows out, revealing a little of the leopard print liner. I don't mind so much, as that tends to happen with most flats I own. On a more positive note, I'm glad that Toms replaced the blue tag on the heel with a black one! That means I can now get away with wearing these shoes for dressier events!
Size-wise, this shoe runs a little big, though they probably won't stretch as much as the original Toms. I'd suggest going down one size from your usual, and if you're between sizes I'd go down one size from your larger measurement. When trying on the ballet flats for sizing, I found that my original size fit and was really comfortable, but when I started walking I noticed that the only thing keeping the shoe from falling off was the heel elastic. Next time, I might go up half a size from what I purchased because I added some foam inserts from the drugstore to avoid "Toms stink", which made them fit rather tightly, though not enough to warrant an exchange.
In terms of comfort, these shoes are initially not as comfortable as the original Tom's. This is mostly because of the smaller toe box which rubs up against my pinkie toe. However, I expect this to stretch out as I break in the shoe and not cause me and further problems other than the lack of arch support. In fact, when I went shoe shopping last Friday, I found these pair of Toms to be just as comfortable - if not more so - than brands that cost 2-3 times as much!
Overall, I would not pay $89 for these shoes. Thankfully, I managed to get these shoes on sale and paid significantly less while still allowing a child in need to get a pair of shoes. I'll probably purchase from Toms again for casual/travel shoes due to their comfort, but for the sake of my future leg health I may have to rotate in brands with more arch support for my work shoes in the future.
If you're interested in trying out Tom's shoes, here's a coupon: $5 off any $25 TOMS purchase with code SPRING15 in the promo code section at checkout on TOMS.com! Valid through 5/31.[affiliate link]