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Did Skechers Just Rip Off TOMS Shoes With Its “BOBS” Collection?

by , 10/08/10   filed under: Eco-Fashion Brands, Eco-Friendly Shoes

Skechers, BOBS, TOMS, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, sustainable style, ethical fashion, fashion philanthropy

Did Skechers just get Single White Female on TOMS Shoes? The same company that foisted shape-up sneakers on us has a new line of kicks, dubbed “BOBS,” which are the spitting image of our favorite altruistic slip-ons. Although TOMS’ signature shoe is based on the traditional Argentinean “alpargata,” and thus isn’t unique to the do-gooding company, BOBS will also donate a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair you buy, which is pretty much a copy-and-paste job of TOMS’ philosophy. While we think it’s wonderful that Skechers wants to venture into socially responsible products, we wish it took the time to create something that wasn’t so blatantly derivative, right down to the three-letter man’s first name. What do you think?

Are Skechers' "BOBS" haute or not?

  • 6,936 Votes Total rip-off! The name, the silhouette, the philanthropy; they're practically twins!
  • 635 Votes Totally ok! TOMS didn't patent the alpargata, nor corporate do-gooding.

View Results

+ BOBS

+ TOMS

[Via Refinery29]

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27 Responses to “Did Skechers Just Rip Off TOMS Shoes With Its “BOBS” Collection?”

  1. mattcsmith says:

    TOMS is actually an acronym somehow standing for Tomorrow’s Shoes not someone’s name. The founder of TOMS is Blake Mykoskie.

  2. kds72 says:

    no one’s inventing the wheel anymore. everyone has ideas; some are the same, some were acquired from others. they don’t look the same to me, and i doubt they are the same quality but if they are, may the best shoe win.

  3. captobvious says:

    I think it’s a rather obvious, and intentional ripoff, so blatant that it’s ironic and probably tongue in cheek. I mean calling them BOBS is a bit too obvious. It’s a joke. Now whether that’s legal or not may be an issue…

  4. wagingpeace says:

    TOMS is more than happy to lead by example on how to do socially responsible giving. If you need help, just ask them! Now if Sketchers truly wanted to enter into philanthropy, they could’ve put 10 minutes worth of thought into their giving model. Unfortunately, the shoes that Sketchers donates are flimsy flip-flops that last 3 weeks tops. End result? Littering the countryside rather than helping kids.

    TOMS, on the other hand, designs shoe based on the specific geographic and social needs of the kids. Plus, they’re built to last! If there’s anything you want to copy, it should be their giving model. It’s published online. Nothing to hide.

  5. lcraig says:

    Lets face it. America is in the biggest economic crisis since the great depression. I personally don’t care if Skechers ripped off TOMS or not. The fact is that they are giving back to people in need. That’s really all that matters. And their shoes aren’t 54 dollars a pair plus ridiculous shipping costs (if ordering from the TOMS website)

  6. nina_bobs says:

    Ok so im 15 years old it probally doesn’t matter to you what i say but to be honest when i found out that sketchers made the bobs it really botherd me at first but then also knowing how young i am style is style and they are also cheaper so what the heck these shoes have lasted me a long time and i have had no problems with them they look exactly like my friends Toms too i mean the only diff. is the side sayings toms and bobs big deal.. but the point i got them for $54 and a whole nother pair for only $1 thats a great deal!!! i love them and will never regret buying them i haven’t been made fun of or anything either because they are a off brand shoe but i’ve kinda made a trend and shown people a great deal than paying 60 dollars!!

  7. bb says:

    My Jaw dropped when I first saw Bobs. But again, skechers is know as the copy whore in the shoe industry. They have never had an original idea in their existence. Recent copies are Fit flops, MBT, and Bobs to name a few. Skechers is a marketing company that illegally profits by using other people’s idea’s and branding concepts. I hope they get sued into oblivion.

  8. HalfGingGhost (@HalfGingGhost) says:

    Like most people, I don’t like that Sketcher’s ripped off the design of Toms. The philanthropy part doesn’t bother, since it is through Soles for Souls, which have been around long before Toms. But the styles and designs are a ripoff. And it is a shame this company is trying to compete with another that makes shoes with a mission.

  9. emily says:

    I never ever plan on buying a pair of bobs, I have been buying TOMS since 2009 and to see a company make the same product but under a diffrent name is just sad skechers could have at least taken the time to design a shoe that makes it their own.

  10. luna Ibiza says:

    Are Bobs Shoes Fair Trade?

  11. Juliblue (@mermaidenspins) says:

    This is SO funny, my 10yr old daughter and I were in Sketchers Outlet the other day and I saw these and immediately knew they were a rip off of Toms style shoes, when I mentioned that to my daughter, she said, “Oh, like they ripped off the Vans style shoes you gave me?”. ( I had just lent her an old pair of my Sketchers she liked w/a day of the dead fabric & Vans slip on look) So, even a 10 YR OLD KID CAN SEE WHEN CLOTHES ARE BEING COPIED…..

  12. Results Inc. (@Resultsinc) says:

    Total Ripoff! Like many people stated, they could have taken the time to develop a more authentic shoe. Is it illegal-no? But that’s how America has been doing business for decades—-if you can make a dollar, it’s ok. Don’t waste time in trying to develop good, solid, UNIQUE, reputable products and services.

  13. chileanjewboy says:

    ALPARGATAS RUEDA EST.1885 ARGENTINA

    ALPARGATAS IBERIA EST.1888 CHILE

    ALPARGATAS GALA EST.1900 CHILE

    TOMS EST.2006 U.S.A

    ALPARGATAS PAEZ EST.2007 ARGENTINA

    BOBS EST.2010 U.S.A

  14. santi says:

    I think it’s nice the shoes go to a child in need or whatever it is, but really? is that legal? they could’ve at least made the name a little more unique.

  15. rosean says:

    this style has been around for 30 years, nothing new or innivaative

  16. believer says:

    Why would it matter? BOBS might be copying TOMS, but when purchasing the shoe it is in interest of the philanthropy iniative… The brand should not matter. I personally hope more shoe companies would follow this trend so we can help as many children as possible!

  17. Niall Horan says:

    this is stupid TOMS were invented way before BOBS

  18. Martine says:

    Its not like TOM’S shoes are some sort of invention. Are you stupid? TOM”S ARE ESPADRILLES!!!! JUST SPENDY ONES! THERES NOTHING TO RIP OFF!

  19. Kimmie16 says:

    It really shouldn’t matter who copied who. But I do like the fact that at least BOBS is giving back to kids in the U.S. also. Not that I don’t think that other kids in other countries need our help. But I think that to often we spend so much time taking care of others eveywhere else that we forget about all the kids here that need our help. So why should it matter who copied who. If more companies would copy it only means that more children will be helped. So are we really worring about what really matters.

  20. New York Built says:

    Corporate philanthropy comes from monopoly profits. The profits come from you, the consumer. Reduce the price and allow me to choose where to direct my own donations. And real men wear espadrilles!

  21. Eadame says:

    It is hard to say if Skechers is in the wrong or not. On one hand they are copying TOM’s business model, philosophy and products, on the other hand they are also donating shoes to less fortunate kids for every pair that they sell of BOB’s shoes. What it really comes down to is that there is now another company willing to donate shoes to deserving kids which is a win-win for the children.

  22. roadrunner27 says:

    There is a HUGE problem in the fashion/arts world currently, where no one has any respect for other peoples ideas. It is one thing to be inspired, it is another to copy. The whole “there are no new ideas anymore” it total BS and a cop out for people who do not want to think past someone else’s idea. It is unfortunate that this exact thought is being fostered by sites like Etsy, Cafepress, etc etc. It is totally a monkey see monkey do kind of thing. Just becasue you can copy someones idea doesn’t make it ethical.

  23. heatherc says:

    I bought a pair of both to compare them and truth be told, the Bobs are way more comfortable and substanially made. The sole is thicker and there is a cushioned arch support insole in them. The price difference was not much of a factor for me. When I buy shoes, I want them to be comfortable and well made. Even my daughter who told me she would disown me if I bought Bobs (she’s a loyal Toms wearer) tried on the Bobs and begged me for a pair. I wore a Toms on one foot and a Bobs on the other and there was no doubt the Bobs were more comfortable. It would be nice to be a part of the flock and follow the crowd of Toms wearers, but at the end of the day, the Bobs were just more comfortable and that means more to me than the name on my shoe.

  24. sweetsandyc says:

    I’ve been looking into getting Toms, but the price tag has definitely put me off. And to be honest, my friends who buy them tell me that they hurt their feet and are often wearing band aids on their heels. But I like the looks of them and I’m glad that Bobs are available in the style I want, but without the ridiculous price tag. They are also giving back to the needy kids, just like Toms, so that’s good enough for me. Yes, they are a knock off, but it’s my dollar and I want to get as much bang for my buck as possible.

  25. joyeliya says:

    The second that people start worrying about “Who’s copying who” or whether they’re “Original or not”, those people have already forgotten the purpose of the shoes in the first place. So what, if a big corporation is a copy cat? At least they’re helping people in the process. Anyone that cares who created the shoes first, cares more about the trend than the charity… ridiculous.

  26. collette says:

    Forget being a blatant, unoriginal, cheap knockoff, unlike TOMS, BOBS doesn’t even share giving information. Since 2006 TOMS has given away 10 Million pairs of shoes to children in need around the world. Read the text on the BOBS website closely, they only claim to have helped give away shoes, without disclosing an actual number— but I bet they know how much profit they’ve made. Also look at the pictures on the site closely, most of the pics don’t even feature BOBS. Not only does TOMS donate shoes but they also pay for the shipping costs from factory to giving site. They partner with local non profits who not only give away shoes but use them as incentive to attract people to health clinics and other educational sessions helping to create a bigger impact. Furthermore, TOMS also creates local jobs. They are currently building and renovating factories in giving countries. Soon all giving shoes will be produced locally. BOBS doesn’t even disclose where they give. TOMS has an entire team dedicated to giving and designing shoes to fit specific regional needs. BOBS doesn’t even have a picture of the shoes they donate. It’s great that more companies are striving to be charitable but it’s an insult when it’s used as a marketing ploy.

  27. lbsports17 says:

    i was in a store one time looking for TOMS and when i saw the BOBS i thought they were TOMS. I almost bought them. They are a complete copy. same colors, looks, and what did bother me the most was that they put BOBS on a tag and put it on the back of the shoe just like TOMS. that is how i tell the difference between BOBS and TOMS.

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