Upbringing kids takes quite a toll on your finances especially during the years when the children are growing up since that grow up fast and many items have to be changed too frequently. Such items mostly include clothing and shoes since they keep out-growing them. Now imagine if you were struggling in a developing country and had to support kids, it would become a nightmare if you had to buy them new items every now and then because of them outgrowing the previous ones. That’s why nonprofit organization Because International has created the ‘Shoe That Grows’. This amazing invention, as the name states clearly, is a shoe that has been designed to ‘grow’ a number of sizes so that kids in developing countries can have a shoe that grows with them thus relieving their parents from buying new shoes every year for their kids.
Soles 4 Souls states that more than 300 million children from all over the world do not have shoes. Something that most of us take for granted actually and although some of these kids receive shoes and clothes in the form of donations, they soon end up outgrowing them. Children who have to walk barefoot in not so favorable conditions usually become infected by parasites and some even contract skin lesions.
The idea for Shoe That Grows materialized when the founder and CEO Kenton Lee was working and living in Nairobi, Kenya back in 2007. He saw a girl that was wearing shoes for which her feet were too big. He thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have a pair of shoes that could adjust and expand? That would make a lot of sense for these kids.”
He then set about working on this innovative footwear that would be able to compensate for the growing feet of kids. It was manufactured by Proof of Concept based in Portland, Oregon. It is offered in two sizes; small and large. The small size is aimed at kindergartners and shall stay with them till fourth grade whereas the large size has been aimed at fifth grade and will be good to go till the ninth grade. It features straps and buckles that allow the shoe size to be increased to 5 sizes and the materials used are sturdy enough to guarantee a 5 year life-span of the show.
Every pair of shoes costs from $12 to $20 and the contributors have the option of either purchasing one pair or one whole package so that it can be sent to developing countries where it will be given to the kids.