In 2007, inventor Kenton Lee was walking to mass in Nairobi, Kenya when he saw a little girl in a white dress wearing shoes so small for her feet, her toes were sticking out. He thought, “Wouldn’t it be great if there was a shoe that could adjust and expand — so that kids always had a pair of shoes that fit?”
Lo and behold, The Shoe That Grows was born.
The Shoes That Grow solves a major problem of donated footwear: children very quickly outgrow outgrow them within a year or two. This means that many children end up wearing poorly-fitting shoes or going barefoot.
Committed to “practical compassion”, Lee created a shoe that can be adjusted so as to accommodate the growing feet of children. Made of high-quality leather and compressed rubber, these shoes are robust enough for long-term use.
Each pair grows 5 sizes and can last 5 years; they come in two sizes: small (from kindergarten to 4th grade) and large (from 5th grade to 9th grade).
“I used to think shoes weren’t a big deal. If kids didn’t have shoes, they’re just running around barefoot and they’re happy and they’re fine,” Lee said.
“But when they’re running around without shoes or with shoes that don’t fit, they’re getting cuts, they’re getting scrapes, they’re getting infections… when they get sick, they miss school, they can’t help their families. A lot of their opportunities are lost.”
All photos via theshoethatgrows.org | Facebook | Twitter (h/t: instructables, demilked)
Watch the video below to learn more about The Shoes That Grow:
If you want to know how you can lend a hand to their cause, head over to www.theshoethatgrows.org.