Toms Desert Wedge Review

8.4
8.4 score
[Editors rating (8.4)] = (WalkJogRun) score (8.4)/10


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Editor rating: 8.4 / 10
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Once the favorite of teenagers looking to dip their toes into the fight against poverty, Toms has now blossomed into a worldwide sensation. The brand’s entire platform is based on the idea that capitalism and consumerism can drive good regardless of falling short in other ways. Toms has always donated a pair of shoes for every pair bought from them, making the boastful claim that they have provided more than 20 million pairs of shoes to children in need.

Regardless of your reason for checking out this wedge, we both know you came here for more than just a debriefing on their company. After all, who isn’t aware of their mission statement at this point? It takes more than just the promise of charity to lure people into buying your designs, however. So, what does Toms do in this regard? They kick ass. Their designs are insanely comfortable, perfectly wearable, and always have had a great team of designers.

Keep on reading, because I’m going to break down all of the best, and worst, parts of this style. We’re going to pull it apart and figure out why you want it… and why you don’t.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

Rubber sole for added traction

Soft, textured suede

Lightly structured upper

Incredibly comfortable

Cons

Material will stretch over time

Requires special maintenance

Color

Color

Let's start out on the right foot: color options. After all, what's more, important about your wardrobe than having the pieces match? Personally, I think that's the first step. Maybe it's just me, but if you think along the same lines then you'll fall in love with this wedge... although there is a catch. As you would imagine, the Desert wedge comes in varying shades inspired by the great, dusty outdoors. Gray, beige, taupe, and more are all available. It's quite the selection and, quite frankly, I'm pretty impressed.

However, as I said, there's a catch.

The availability of neutral tones is a double-edged sword. This is a popular pick for the summer season, so it may not be for you if you want a bright pop of color. I rock earthy tones throughout the whole year so it doesn't bother me, but the lack of brighter colors could be a problem for some. This loses it some points in this category, but I'm still giving it a pretty high score.
Heel Height

Heel Height

As you can imagine, this is also a rather important topic to talk about. The height of a heel will determine your interest in wearing it- after all, we aren't all graceful gazelles who can prance around in stilettos. I know I'm not. That's part of what makes the Toms Desert wedge a better choice for those of us who are accident prone. It's all in the name: Desert wedge. This style of shoe offers you the boost of height a heel lends without sacrificing as much comfort.

It measures in at 5" from the sole to the collar. This is a significant height (a little shorter than a pen, for example), but the encased upper and full support will help you out.
Upper

Upper

I know this might seem like a boring topic, but bare with me. In the case of any heeled footwear it's super important to pay attention to the top-most portion of the design. The Toms Desert wedge features a fully encased upper which will lend way more support than a strappier style might. The lacing system isn't great, however, and won't really offer you that "tight" fit that you may prefer in a heeled design.

So, of course, the Desert model loses points for its lacing system. However, I do think it's a little nitpicky. Also, if you'd like, you can always swap out the laces it's sent with for a sturdier, but just as stylish, pair. If you plan on doing that then I would suggest hemp laces (yup, it's a thing and yup, it looks great).

Another great feature of this design is the delicate stitching all throughout the design. They add a light texture and keep the shoe from looking "flat". The overlap from the extended cuff over the upper gives you a more secure fit while also breaks up the otherwise bland design. If it weren't for these features I would be giving it a thumbs down, but the extra care taken really gives it a boost.
Fit

Fit

You'll be surprised at the strangely snug fit that the Desert wedge offers. Because of the panels referenced earlier, a little more structure and padding are present around the ankle as well as the front of the foot. Customers have reported that they're pretty impressed with how well this sandal fits for their feet. Of course, there are always downsides. Because of the material, it's crafted from it can take a little breaking in. You can expect blisters from long-term wear before they're fully broken in. Try to keep the first few wears brief until you feel the material giving a little bit more to the shape of your foot.
Style

Style

Seriously, do we even need to go over this? I'm going to say yes, but that's mostly because I want to gush about how gorgeous this design is. The real attraction here is the beautiful simplicity that Toms brought to the table. While it may seem like a bland choice right off the bat, once you look a little closer you start to recognize the small details that make it stellar.

As mentioned earlier, I'm a huge fan of the overlapping panels they've placed on the upper of the shoe. These serve to help the shoe fit better while adding another dimension to the overall package. There's also some very delicate stitching along the entire wedge which brings some much-needed texture on board.

You can style this wedge with almost anything- it's a timeless silhouette in a neutral shade! There's a lot to love about that. Skinny jeans, dresses, shorts; you name it and you can probably pair them together. Versatility is the cornerstone of a great wardrobe and Toms clearly understands that.
Versatility

Versatility

One of the biggest factors in deciding on a new pair of heels has got to be how well it will complement your wardrobe. Although some people do have a closet to envy, not all of us want excess clutter taking up space in our closet. This translates into the need for shoes that can be used all across the board. The color story presented by Toms for the Desert wedge is excellent in this way. The full range of neutral hues available will give you the comfort of knowing they'll match basically anything.

However, they are towering wedges. This lowers their versatility for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it means they'll be uncomfortable for long nights or days. There are those among us who don't mind being in heels all day, but for comfort's sake a pair of flats would do just fine. These are best suited to somebody who is very comfortable in heels, or just wants to rock a pair for short nights on the town.
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

Toms is a brand that never ceases to impress. From their charitable efforts, which help children-in-need receive a pair of shoes for every purchase. This is undeniably a great reason to support their business model. I'm a huge fan of mixing humanitarian work and fashion, so they get a big thumbs up from me.

However, how does the Desert wedge stand up to closer scrutiny? After all, this isn't a review just on the brand as a whole. Just because they're great doesn't mean they're going to offer an amazing product every single time. Overall? They're a great choice... for a specific type of person. Let's talk about that a little more.

I think that the Desert wedge is a solid addition to any wardrobe that includes heels of the same style. These are absolutely not for beginnings. They say to start with wedges, and that's true, but this is too much too soon. A smaller wedge would do just fine until you work up to these. The extra weight added by the platform will also make them a little harder to walk in.

The colors offered are absolutely a plus, and it's a highly impressive range. There's no doubt that you can find the exact color you're looking for- so long as you're a lover of neutrals. As mentioned earlier, that's really your only option. I don't see it being a huge issue, though. Most people try to stay understated with their shoes. This is especially true for a design that already has lovely detailing, like their delicate stitching and overlapping panels.

Whether or not this is the pair for you is entirely up to, well, you. Your comfort levels will determine your abilty to rock these, alongside your previous experience in heels. They're fairly versatile, and they are also incredibly supportive. Just keep in mind the downsides, too.