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Just when it seemed like Toms was going to personally wardrobe every pair of feet in America, Soludos appeared on the scene with their own version of the cheerful espadrille to give them a run for their money. Now Soludos are everywhere, collabing with everyone and their moms, and we have a full on battle of the summer slip-on on our hands.
A brief recap of neo-espadrille history: Toms launched in 2006 with their now-famous "one-for-one" initiative: You buy a canvas shoe, a child in a developing country gets one, too. As the shoes grew in popularity, so did the style options: colors went from basic solids to pretty much every quirky shade and pattern imaginable, and with a couple of collabs (Rugby Ralph Lauren, The Row) thrown in for good measure. But enter Soludos in 2010, with a higher style, less philanthropic mission. Their version of the espadrille is truer to the original Spanish shoe and comes in an equally dizzying array of styles, for around the same price ($35 to $50). And they've got powerhouse collabs with J.Crew, Opening Ceremony, and Mara Hoffman in their corner, too.
So what's Toms to do? It appears they will be upping their own collab game. They've just announced a new shoe designed by none other than '90s style icon and current Hunger Games bit-player Lenny Kravitz. The shoe has Kravitz's original "let love rule" lyric scribbled all over the canvas upper, which in no way we could decipher explains the randomness of the partnership.
So, we ask you, readers, does this rando Toms-Kravtiz meeting of minds indicate that Toms has lost its relevance? Is Soludos gaining ground on the espadrille market? If you, like us, owned the "Are You Gonna Go My Way" album back in 1993, is this making you feel seriously freaking old? Share your feelings via the poll below: