A Shoe That Kids Can’t Outgrow: More Than Clever, It’s Changing Lives

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(Photo: The Shoe That Grows)

Anyone who has kids knows how much of a pain it is that they outgrow shoes as fast as you can buy them. Now imagine how hard it must be for poor children in underdeveloped countries, where shoes are scarce and families can’t afford one pair of shoes, much less multiple pairs to fit ever-growing feet.

One company has found a way to solve that problem. The Shoe That Grows is a one-size-fits-all shoe for children. Each shoe adjusts to five sizes and lasts five years.

The company makes two shoes: one small and one large. Together, the company says a child have a pair of shoes that fit from kindergarten through 9th grade.

The company’s founder, Kenton Lee, says he got the idea for the shoe when he was in Nairobi, Kenya in 2007. On the company website, he recounts how he was walking to church and he noticed a girl with shoes that were way too small for her feet. 

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(Photo: The Shoe That Grows)

This is more than just a fashion emergency. The company says over 2 billion people worldwide, many of them without access to proper footwear, suffer from soil-transmitted parasites and diseases.

The Shoe That Grows is made with easy-to-clean materials such as leather, compressed rubber and snaps. It’s distributed to countries in need, which include Ecuador, Haiti, Ghana and Kenya. (They’re also available online for purchase for $30).

Now the company wants to expand its mission. “Our goal is to get as many shoes as we can out to as many kids as possible,” employees of The Shoe That Grows say in their video.  They say they’ve nearly blown through their inventory and are now raising money for their next order of 5,000 pairs.  They’re asking the public for donations of $10 a pair to contribute to this charitable effort. 

WATCH: The Shoe That Grows Fundraising Video

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(Vimeo)

You can also buy shoes for yourself online; a single pair costs $30 with discounts for bulk purchases. It’s a good way to help you solve what may be an annoying childhood problem for your family, and an unhealthy one for a poor family overseas.

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