This Romanian Cobbler Is Making Size 75 Shoes to Encourage Social Distancing

Ella Chochrek

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A Romanian shoemaker has come up with a create way to encourage social distancing.

After noticing that individuals were not observing social distancing guidelines, Grigore Lup, a Transylvanian cobbler, developed long-nosed shoes. The largest pairs go up to a European size 75.

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According to Lup, when two persons are wearing the shoes and facing each other, there will be 1.5 meters (about 5 feet) of distance between them. Each pair uses one square meter of leather — they can be fabricated in a number of colorways, with either rubber or leather soles — and it takes Lup two days to craft each style. On his website, he charges a minimum of 500 lei, or roughly $115, per pair, with prices going up for extra-long styles.

Lup, who has been crafting leather shoes for nearly four decades and opened his own shop in 2001, depends largely on orders from theaters and operas to keep his business going, according to Reuters. However, with live events cancelled because of coronavirus, he has seen orders significantly reduced.

There have been more than 6.4 million cases reported worldwide, along with over 382,000 deaths as of June 3. Lup’s home country of Romania has seen nearly 20,000 cases of the novel coronavirus, and about 1,300 deaths. After a two-month lockdown, the Eastern European country began loosening restrictions in mid-may. On June 1, Romania allowed non-contact outdoor sporting events to resume with no audience, and it is now permitting outdoor events with up to 500 people. Meanwhile, outdoor cafes are able to reopen with social distancing guidelines and four people or fewer per table, and Romanians are permitted to travel internationally via roadways and trains.

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