If the shoe fits!
How tall are you? 6’10”
How old are you? 14
What size are your feet!?!?! 23...maybe 24?
And therein lies the problem. Although difficult, most major cities can adequately clothe people of above or below average height. Shoes, which to most Americans are a basic necessity, are another matter.
The struggle with finding shoes started early. In elementary he was at an Arizona flea market with his family and heard an announcement for a pair of Crocs in a size 15. They ran to the booth and snatched them up. He used them until they wore through to the ground. Two years ago, as a 7th grader, Eric was wearing men’s size 17. The current average size shoe in the NBA is 14.8. At this point family and friends knew to be on the lookout everywhere they went for oversized shoes. Waiting between finds was cramped and painful but not hopeless.
Last year was a good shoe year for Eric. His family stumbled upon a stockpile of shoes at the Nike outlet in sizes 21 and 22 and bought all 7 pair. For the first time in a long while he had shoes that fit well and looked cool. Excited that this might be the answer to their shoe search, they kept checking the outlets and online….and the outlets again…watching him quickly outgrow the 21s and move into the 22s.
And here we are. After some research, it was discovered that the shoes found at the outlet were made for Tacko Fall, the NBA player with some of the biggest feet in the game. Shaquille O’Neal is the same size at a US 22.
Eric needs a US 23 (maybe 24). The largest feet in the world at the moment are a US 26. According to Guinness Book of World Records the largest feet of any teenager was a 16 year old in a size 20.
Don’t worry, his application is already in at Guinness (for hands too but teenage boys need gloves as much as they need a winter coat).
He’s still in Tacko Falls’ 22s.
They have been professionally stretched.
He’s got blisters and they hurt.
He’s been measured by an orthopedic specialist.
One pair of shoes will cost over $1500 (average US household spends about $400 a year on shoes).
This isn’t a problem just for now. This is a problem for the rest of the time Eric has these feet.
The ultimate goal is to find a company that will help keep him in shoes for the duration. Any leads are appreciated but most companies have likely already been approached. Custom making shoes for an NBA star is one thing, custom making shoes for a growing teenager from small-town USA is another.
Consider donating if:
You want to be part of the journey of a Guinness World Record hopeful!
If you think shoes are something every kid deserves.
You want to see your name added to the donation list with the hopes of your crush seeing your name on the list and falling in love with your generosity.
You hope maybe someone buys Eric a white t-shirt so his mom can put your name on it so he can then walk around like a do-gooder billboard for all the world (or at least his neighborhood) to see.
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