TOMS, So iLL & 1Climb Aim To Get 100,000 Kids Climbing


By: Casha Doemland


There's something so beautiful and humbling about rock climbing. The first time you ascend a wall or climb straight up without yelling take (to tighten the rope) or fall because you've thrown for something you can't quite reach, is a glorious feeling. Think, standing on a surfboard for the first time and riding the wave back to shore. It's even better when you've watched your skill level increase several grades over a few short months.

For Kevin Jorgeson, the love for the sport began at the age of nine when he first discovered his local climbing gym and has continued throughout his life. He even founded a non-profit—1Climb—to get kids climbing at Boys and Girls Clubs around the country.

He installed his first climbing wall in 2010 at his local Boys and Girls Club in Sonoma, CA. However, he soon realized that he needed partners to help scale his dream of introducing 100,000 kids to climbing. When he met Dan Chancellor from So iLL, a climbing gear company, at an outdoor retailer show, they got to talking and realized they could achieve his goal together.

Now, they're partnering with Toms Shoes for a limited time only to deliver men's and women's shoes through an Indiegogo campaign.

By backing, you can receive a TOM's x So iLL Chalk Bag, Alpargata shoes, which are perfect for walking to your climb, and of course, their very own climbing shoe decked in teal and black.


The rad thing about the shoes are each sole is equipped with Dark Matter Rubber, which, according to the Indiegogo Campaign, "was originally developed for Navy Seals to ensure foot placement on the most treacherous approaches."

All profits will go towards wall projects costs, while additional funds will go straight to guest passes for the kids so they can visit their local gyms.

"Climbing can be a positive sense of escape and a positive activity that they (kids) build some identity around," says TOMS Founder, Blake Mycoskie. "I'm excited to see and meet some of the kids that will climb for the first time. I'm really excited to see in 5, 10, 15 years who these kids become."

If that's not enough, Jason Momoa has also partnered up with 1Climb to help teach and get kids involved with the community.

As of now, the campaign has doubled its goal with 280 backers and 14 days to go. Will you donate to spread the spirit of climbing as well as the opportunity to transform a child's life?



LA-based and Georgia-bred, Casha Doemland spends her days crafting poetry and freelance writing. Over the last two years, she’s been published in a variety of publications and zines around the world. When she’s not nerding out with words, you can catch her watching a classic film, trekking around the globe or hanging out with a four-pound Pomeranian.