The kids' shoe that grows

Underprivileged Kenyan children are among those from 97 countries who have received the sandals.
Underprivileged Kenyan children are among those from 97 countries who have received the sandals.PHOTOS: BECAUSE INTERNATIONAL

FRANCE • A US-based company has designed sandals that will grow alongside children's feet.

They are called The Shoe That Grows. As simple as that.

These sandals relieve poor families, especially those in African countries, from the burden of buying new shoes often.

"I had this idea 10 years ago, while working in an orphanage in Kenya. One day I saw a little girl walking on a very dirty road, with shoes so small that they were ripped open, revealing her toes. I then came up with this idea of creating a shoe that can adjust to a child's feet," inventor Kenton Lee said.

"Children going barefoot or wearing ill-fitting footwear are susceptible to falls, injuries or soil-transmitted diseases. Some of them are not even allowed to go to school, as they have to wear a uniform with proper shoes. It is also incredible to see how children become more confident wearing nice shoes," he said.

"It took us six years to design The Shoe That Grows. Our sandals are made of a compressed rubber sole and tough synthetic leather straps at the top. They can grow up to five sizes, and last for years. We have two models: one for children aged four to eight and the other for those aged eight to 12," Mr Lee added.

  • 5

  • Number of sizes the sandal expands.

  • 12

    Price in euros of each pair (S$19).

    Underprivileged Kenyan children are among those from 97 countries who have received the sandals.

"Thanks to donors worldwide, we have already distributed more than 140,000 pairs to children in 97 countries. Each pair costs €12 (S$19)."

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 16, 2018, with the headline 'The kids' shoe that grows'. Print Edition | Subscribe