In some places, shoes for children are objects of fashion, while in other places, shoes are necessities that do not come by easy. It may sounds fictional to people living in comfort, but that’s the truth and it is this truth that drove one man by the name of Kenton Lee to invent The Shoe That Grows. The Shoe That Grows is exactly what it sounds like. It is a pair of low cost footwear that grows as the child feet expand in sizes.
Thanks to an ingenious design which allows adjustment in three places (namely, toe, sides, and heel), The Shoe That Grows can expand up to five sizes and lasting up to five years, thereby providing underprivileged children the necessity they once being denied off as they grew older. Not that they don’t have shoes. Some of them do, but they soon outgrow the only pair they had and they are subsequently force to go barefoot or make do with undersized footwear. Both of which are obviously not good for a growing child.
Undersized shoes or barefoot are detrimental for obvious reasons. The former can injure feet, cause deformation et cetera while the latter exposed them to soil-transmitted diseases and parasites which can lead to illness and worst, even death. That’s not to mention the other risks like cuts, burns and blisters. The wonder of The Shoe That Grows is, the expansion is customizable in accordance to the child’s feet growth. If he or she grew quicker width-wise, simply by adjusting the sides allows width-wise expansion.
If length is the constraint, the toe section and the belt buckle-style heel allows for length-wise expansion. Being expandable is cool, but it is even cooler that it can customized to the child’s feet. Construction-wise, the shoes is made to last. I know, 5 years doesn’t sound like a long time, but considering that a young one probably has only a pair with no other choices, he or she could be wearing it day and day out.
Moreover, the lack of transportation means he or she may have to walk a lot more than kids in developed countries and thus wear and tear comes more quickly. As such, the shoes has compressed rubber sole and leather upper to stand up to the rigor.
The Shoe That Grows is available from non-profit organization Because International where you can acquire it or choose to distribute the innovative footwear. Whether you choose to purchase the shoes or distribute, you’d be doing good. If you have never done anything good or charitable, perhaps this is might be a good place to start.
Images: Kenton Lee.
Animated GIF and source: Yanko Design.