Have you heard about The Shoe That Grows? These shoes could change the quality of life of many kids in underdeveloped countries.
In 2007 Kenton Lee, founder of The Shoe That Grows, had a vision of creating shoes that could adjust and expand so that mainly kids in poor countries would always have a pair of shoes that FIT.
These shoes were created 5 years ago, by a compassionate group of people who persevered in making this vision a reality. A noble project that has envisaged to make a positive impact on kids living in hard conditions.
I have been fitting children’s shoes for the last ten years, working in a specialized shoe store that specializes in children with foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fittings as well. When I first heard about “The Shoe That Grows” idea I was thrilled because I knew this idea could help so many families that can’t afford providing their children with a pair of shoes, but at the same time I had my concerns since most kids’ shoes are not made to last for more than a year.
When I was able to see these shoes for the first time, I was surprised by how well-made these shoes are and how easy they are to adjust.
Shoes are a basic need that kids need to be able to walk and do other day to day activities. I am sure that you agree with me that a shoe keeps a kid’s feet healthy as well as their overall health.
Unfortunately, it is a reality that in poor countries many families don’t even have the resources to provide their children with their basic needs, such as shoes. Providing shoes to kids is especially important when they are young because they should be able to grow up having a pair of shoes that fit and going to school without hurting their feet. This would also prevent them from having a lot of foot issues and health problems, as well as making them more confident and happier!
This is why these shoes are a true lifesaver! They make it possible to expand 5 sizes and last for years! They are also pretty affordable at only $15 per pair, isn’t that great?
Three years ago, I created a website called Fitting Children’s Shoes which is committed to help parents find the correct type of shoes for their children (no matter how wide or narrow their feet are), and we are happy to support this project and potentially help all those kids in need of a pair of shoes. My website also helps parents find shoes for their children with foot and leg problems, so if you have a child that is flat footed, has rolled ankles, low muscle tone, or any other issue you might think of, you will find the perfect pair of shoes and orthotics to help minimize the pain or fully eliminate it.
When kids do not wear shoes, they are particularly exposed and vulnerable to soil transmitted diseases and parasites that can cause from minor infections to severe health problems and even death.
In this article, I would like to raise awareness on how many poor countries don’t have the resources to provide their children with basic needs, like shoes and how YOU can help change that!
I also want to tell you that if you want to get involved, you can provide your child with a pair of “The Shoe That Grows” to wear as his or her summer sandals or indoor school shoes. I will tell you more about this idea shortly…
As you know, children grow up so fast that they outgrow shoes within months. Imagine donating a pair of shoes to kids that they could only use for a short period of time versus donating a pair of shoes that could last for years! Of course, any donation is welcome and appreciated but we need to be mindful of which donations can make a bigger impact in a kid’s life.
In addition, this organization works with non-profits, churches, schools, and individuals to get “The Shoe That Grows” to children living in extreme poverty. They are committed to help not only children but also creating jobs in underdeveloped countries.
They aim to produce as many shoes as possible. Currently, they are producing shoes in Ethiopia to supply the East Africa region and are looking to expand to Haiti.
How Can You Help? – Get Involved!
If you are interested in getting involved in this noble project, there is many ways of doing it. Bear in mind that while a I will mention below a few options of getting involved, there is always lots of ways of helping others!
- Wearing a pair for yourself or providing a pair for your child.
- Starting your own fundraiser
- Through church and mission groups
- Raising awareness about this project
I want to expand a little bit more in the idea of wearing a pair of these shoes for yourself or providing a pair for your child, since several parents have asked me if it was possible for their children to wear these shoes.
I am a firm believer that children should wear good, supportive shoes in order to minimize the impact that their feet take every time they come in contact with the ground. While I don’t recommend providing your child with a pair of these shoes to wear for his or her every day’s activities, I do recommend providing your child with pair of “The Shoe that Grows” for them to wear them as their summer sandals or as indoor shoes.
Let me explain you why this could be very beneficial and save you a lot of time and money, while helping this wonderful organization.
Seasonal shoes such as summer sandals or snow boots are meant for children to be worn for 3 to 4 months and then you pass them to another child or throw them out since your child won’t be able to wear them next year. A pair of summer sandals can cost anywhere from 30 to 50 dollars (depending on the style). Imagine providing your child with a pair of shoes that they can wear for this upcoming summer and many to come for only 15 dollars?
Certain schools make parents provide their children with a pair of indoor shoes to wear at school. So instead of having to purchase a new pair of indoor school shoes every 3 to 4 months (that your child will wear once in a while), you can provide them with ” The Shoe That Grows” and save a lot of time and money, and you will also be helping a great cause!
How Does the Shoe that Grows Look Like?
So you might be wondering how this shoe style can “grow” with the child’s feet…
Here is the first place that you need to adjust in order to make the shoe longer:
There is also a buckle in the back of the shoe that you also need to adjust as soon as your child start growing into the shoe:
You will also need to adjust the width area, since when children feet get larger, they do not only expand in length but in width as well. This is what makes ” The Shoe That Grows” so special, since it takes into consideration the length and also the width of your child’s feet.
Do you notice how easy it is for this shoe to expand? You can do this in 3 easy simple STEPS!
The Shoe That Grows – Sizes and High-Quality Materials!
How does the sizing works?
These shoes are available in 3 Sizes that adjust up to 5 more sizes, please read a brief description of each:
- Youth Small (YS) = Grows 5+ sizes
Usually fits between about 4 and 9 years of age depending on the child (or about from US kid’s size 10-11 to women’s size 2.5, EUR size 28–34 approximately).
- Youth Large (YL)= Grows 5+ sizes
Usually fits between about 8/9 and 13/14 years or into adulthood depending on the child (or US women’s size 2–8, EUR size 33–39 approximately).
- Adult (A)= Grows 5+ sizes
Usually fits adults (US women’s size 8–12; US men’s size 6–11; EUR size 38–44 approximately).
While these shoes have a simple design, they are also made with high quality materials that also make them easy to clean and easy to put on and off. They use compressed rubber, high grade velcro, antibacterial synthetic, and no mechanical parts or gears to break.
Moreover, I firmly believe that Latin American countries could also benefit by this project. Especially in the region of Central America, where there are also high levels of poverty in rural and urban areas.
Remember, you can give out this this life-changing resource to help may underprivileged kids throughout the world!
HELP ME spread the word, no child should be walking around barefoot!