Health & Wellbeing

Shoe That Grows gives poor kids footwear that fits for years

The Shoe That Grows is available in two sizes that last five years each from kindergarten to fourth grade and from fifth grade to ninth grade respectively
The Shoe That Grows is available in two sizes that last five years each from kindergarten to fourth grade and from fifth grade to ninth grade respectively
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The Shoe That Grows is available in two sizes that last five years each from kindergarten to fourth grade and from fifth grade to ninth grade respectively
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The Shoe That Grows is available in two sizes that last five years each from kindergarten to fourth grade and from fifth grade to ninth grade respectively
A perforated strap at the front of The Shoe That Grows helps to adjust its length
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A perforated strap at the front of The Shoe That Grows helps to adjust its length
A buckle strap at the rear of The Shoe That Grows helps to adjust its length
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A buckle strap at the rear of The Shoe That Grows helps to adjust its length
Snap button straps at the side of The Shoe That Grows adjust its width
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Snap button straps at the side of The Shoe That Grows adjust its width
Children living in poverty often have to make do with shoes that are too small for them
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Children living in poverty often have to make do with shoes that are too small for them
The Shoe That Grows allows children to adjust its size as their feet grow
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The Shoe That Grows allows children to adjust its size as their feet grow
Because International says The Shoe That Grows is designed to be robust, easy to clean and easy to use
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Because International says The Shoe That Grows is designed to be robust, easy to clean and easy to use
The Shoe That Grows is light and able to be compressed for transportation, meaning lots of pairs can be delivered at the same time
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The Shoe That Grows is light and able to be compressed for transportation, meaning lots of pairs can be delivered at the same time

For children living in poverty, footwear is one of many problems. Almost as soon as a child has received shoes to wear, they're likely to have grown out of them and have to make do with them being too small. The Shoe That Grows changes this. It allows children to adjust its size as their feet grow.

Shoes are hugely important for protecting our feet, especially in places where healthcare provision is limited. In bare feet, an innocuous cut or graze can easily become infected or pick up soil-transmitted diseases.

Unfortunately, shoes are not always readily available for those living in poverty, let alone shoes that are the right size. Kenton Lee, founder of poverty charity Because International, saw this first-hand during a trip to Nairobi, Kenya, in 2007. Lee says he saw young children wearing shoes that were way too small for them, with their their toes poking out of the ends.

The experience led to the development of The Shoe That Grows. The shoe has a flexible compressed rubber sole and adjustable leather straps that fit over the top of the foot and around the rear of the heal.

The Shoe That Grows allows children to adjust its size as their feet grow
The Shoe That Grows allows children to adjust its size as their feet grow

The size of the shoe can be adjusted in three places. Straps at the front and rear of the shoe alter its length, with the rubber sole bending up as required. The front strap has perforations along it into which a popper is secured, while the rear strap is adjusted using a buckle. Straps up the sides of the feet, meanwhile, adjust the width of the shoe using snap buttons.

The shoe is available in two sizes, small and large, that are said to last five years each, from kindergarten to fourth grade and from fifth grade to ninth grade respectively. Because International says the shoe is designed to be robust, easy to clean and easy to use. It is also light and able to be compressed for transportation, meaning lots of pairs can be delivered at the same time.

The first prototype of The Shoe That Grows was created in 2012 and the first completed batch of the final design began being distributed late last year. A crowdfunding campaign is currently underway to help produce and deliver the next batch of shoes.

The video below provides an introduction to The Shoe That Grows.

Sources: The Shoe That Grows, Because International

5 comments
Keith Reeder
Now that's bloody brilliant. I'm off to the "kickstarter" site right now.
Dan Lewis
It's a fine idea, that needs further development. I see nothing about adjusting the worn soles. The soles, as shown, look rather thin to start with, especially in light of their long term goal. We have individual wear patterns that wear the soles and heels at angles specific to our posture/structure.
HerrDrPantagruel
If you've ever had kids you would probably see like we do that their shoes wear out by the time they outgrow them, probably well before. Kids are very hard on shoes. And if they are poor they probably only have the one pair or maybe two, so they would wear out even faster. Any shoe that is well made enough to last through growth stages would likely be far too expensive for the poor. What kids really need IMO is the cheapest pair of shoes possible that will last a 12-18 mos.
Keith Reeder
"If you've ever had kids you would probably see like we do that their shoes wear out by the time they outgrow them" Stop buying such cheap shoes, then...
pabichhaiya
i think its a good idea to solve some problems. and also good pattern. we also selling some comfortable kids footwear online from infibeam.com
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