You won’t be able to even imagine ever, but there are over 300 million children in this world who do not have shoes. And to add to this number, there are countless more with shoes that do not fit. Even though at times, some of them receive shoes as donations, they being small kids, their feet size outgrows the size of the donated shoes pretty fast. And they are back to where they were, without a footwear. Also, over 2 billion people suffer from soil-transmitted diseases and parasites. Many of these diseases and parasites get into their body because people don’t have shoes.
Meet Kenton Lee, the man behind a shoe that lasts five years and grows five sizes. With this shoe, a kid can always have a pair of shoes that fit. They can stay healthy and happy, ready to take the next steps to their future.
Lee, who loves to call himself a very simple and practically compassionate person, lives in Nampa, Idaho with his wife Nikki, son Kenny, and his new little daughter Rosie! He loves to do things that can help people have a better regular and everyday life.
The Shoe That Grows – The Idea
“One day when I was living and working in Nairobi, Kenya at an orphanage with about 140 kids, I was walking to church with all the kids. I looked down at the little girl in a white dress next to me and was shocked to see that her shoes were way too small. They were so small she had to cut open the front of her shoes to let her toes stick out. That was the day when the idea for The Shoe That Grows was born.“, passionately says, Lee.
He further said, “Fast forward through six years of hard work, failing, designing, failing some more, and ultimately creating a shoe that grows 5 sizes and lasts up to 5 years. And we proudly call it – The Shoe That Grows”
“The design process was interesting because I am not a designer, and I knew nothing about shoes. I was just a normal guy with an idea”, said Lee in an interview with BoredPanda.
Lee found an equally passionate company, Proof of Concept in Portland, Oregon, who believed in his idea and the vision. He is very confident about the durability of these shoes as they are made with a sole purpose of its functionality, and not for fashion.
“We didn’t care at all what they looked like (even though we are happy with how they turned out). We just wanted to make the longest-lasting shoe possible. Purely functional. We did not cut any corners with the materials that we used. The sole is compressed rubber – very similar to a tire rubber. The rest of the shoe is a high-quality leather. Just quality, solid, long-lasting materials“, says Lee.
The design of the shoe is patented.
This shoe is available in two different sizes of Small and Large. The Small size generally fits between the ages of 5 and 9 years and the large is for ages between 10 and 14 years.
The Shoe is made with simple materials like leather, compressed rubber, and snaps. No mechanical parts of gears to break. Easy to clean and easy to use.
These life-changing shoes are distributed globally through their partner organizations that work around the world.
His Words Of Wisdom
“Hard work. Hard work. Hard work. I am not the smartest or most charismatic. I rely on hard work. Be nice. Those are the two things that I always tell others. Those are the two things I believe in.“, says Kenton Lee with all his humility.
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