Mom Goes On A Global Search To Find The Shoe That Will Fit 14-Year-Old Son Who Has Size 23 Feet(video)

It's not unusual to encounter men with large feet, a trait often associated with the general taller stature of men compared to women. Meeting someone with a shoe size of 13 or larger is relatively common. However, the notion of a size 23 shoe may sound astounding, but it is a reality for 14-year-old Eric Kilburn Jr. from Goodrich, Michigan. His mother, Rebecca, embarked on a global quest to find shoes that could accommodate her son's extraordinary foot size, demonstrating a mother's unwavering commitment to her child.

Standing at an impressive height of 6 feet and 10 inches at the tender age of 14, Eric's potential for further foot growth is not to be underestimated. Despite lacking internal health issues, he has undergone numerous painful procedures to address in-grown toenails, resulting in the permanent removal of the nails on his two largest toes.

The challenge faced by Rebecca and her family in finding affordable shoes that fit Eric's unique foot size is considerable. They explored international options, even reaching out to shoe stores overseas, including one in Italy. While an orthopedic specialist proposed custom-made shoes, the exorbitant cost of $1,500 per pair proved to be a daunting hurdle.

At one point, Eric had to endure wearing Crocs for two years due to the scarcity of suitable footwear. A family friend's discovery of a pair of size 22 sneakers prompted Rebecca to purchase six additional pairs at a discounted rate of $25 each. Unfortunately, all of them eventually became too small for Eric, underscoring the ongoing struggle to meet his exceptional footwear needs.

Faced with the unavailability of suitable footwear from major brands like Nike, Reebok, Adidas, Under Armour, and Red Wing Shoes, Rebecca reached out in vain, encountering disbelief and laughter as they all echoed, "We don't make that size."

In a positive turn of events in March 2023, a family friend initiated a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for purchasing everyday shoes for Eric, who had not worn them in years. The campaign has successfully amassed over $23,000 as of March 29, 2023.

The Kilburns received notable responses from various shoe brands, including Under Armour, which not only pledged to visit Michigan to scan Eric's feet for cleats and shoes but also expressed a commitment to growing alongside him. Brands like Puma and CAT offered to create shoes and boots, respectively. City Slicker Shoes expressed their intent to craft Mauri shoes for Eric, while Pingree Detroit disclosed plans for 3D-printed footwear.

Kara Pattison from GoFundMe remarked, "The success of this fundraiser is well beyond what was ever expected."

Rebecca expressed deep gratitude for the overwhelming support, acknowledging that the experience has been unprecedented for their family.

As Eric aspires to secure the title of the teenager with the largest feet and hands in the Guinness World Book of Records, he believes his chances are substantial. Beyond the pursuit of a record-breaking title, Rebecca hopes to raise awareness among shoemakers, emphasizing that individuals like Eric should have access to affordable footwear without concerns.

"It's a dream for him to have shoes, boots, and cleats," Rebecca emphasized, highlighting the broader significance of their efforts.

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