Michigan mom searches the world for size 23 shoes for her 14-year-old son
Like most mothers, Rebecca Kilburn wants to provide her children with everything they need, including basic necessities. like shoes.
It has proven to be a fight with her 14-year-old son Eric Jr. The teenager’s size is her 23 feet (for now), and her mother is desperately looking for someone to make shoes that size for her at an affordable price.
“At 14, he’s still growing,” she said. is growing exponentially and has no health problems.”
But Eric Kilburn has had health problems because he can’t find the right size shoes. endured painful surgeries and eventually had the two largest toenails completely removed.
He also sprained his ankle while playing for the junior varsity team this fall, which could have been avoided if he had cleats instead of just sneakers.
Eric hasn’t had Michigan winter cleats or snow boots in five years.
“Just having shoes that fit me makes all the difference,” Eric said.
rely on crocs
When Eric was born, the obstetrician who delivered him turned to his husband, Eric Sr., and told him that his son had the biggest feet he had ever seen in a newborn. I accurately predicted that it would not fit.
Still, Rebecca, 6-2, and Eric Sr., 6-5, didn’t expect to have trouble finding shoes for their first son in the future.
At age 12, Eric Jr., his mother, who wears a women’s size 12, was already able to wear her son’s shoes to the mailbox. By the time she was in seventh grade, her foot size had become a serious problem. Rebecca asked her close friends and her family to find her then size 17 shoes and larger size shoes in anticipation of her future growth.
Eric endured two years wearing Crocs when he couldn’t find any other type of shoe in his size.
He is currently wearing size 22 sneakers that don’t fit. This is what his friend found at the Nike outlet. At the time, Rebecca arranged for him to purchase six other pairs of the same size from the outlet at a bargain price of $25 each. everything is too small.
“We don’t make that size”
Over the past year, Rebecca has spent countless hours searching the Internet, calling shoe companies like Nike, Reebok, Adidas, Under Armor, Red Wing Shoes, and even independent shoe stores in anticipation of her next size need. I came.
Rebecca burst into disbelief and laughter as she explained what shoe size she needed. And she sang “I don’t make that size”.
Rebecca said she spoke with a Nike rep. She said, “The only way to have a size 22 is if it was made for professional athletes and they didn’t use them, and they went back into circulation.
Media representatives laughed when Hometown Life, part of the USA TODAY Network, contacted Nike on Thursday to tell them customers were looking for size 23 shoes. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A representative for Nike told Rebecca that the only way the company is likely to make shoes for her son is if he becomes a professional athlete. However, Rebecca wonders how it’s possible when Eric, who wants to play basketball in addition to soccer, can’t get the proper gear to play high school sports.
Size 22 is also the shoe size worn by the famous basketball player Shaquille O’Neal, which is the largest size ever worn by a professional athlete and her son surpassed even Shaq. I mean
Eric’s size 22 has been professionally stretched but now hurts him and has blisters. You need at least size 23 and sometimes size 24.
“A heavy burden is placed on the heart”
Rebecca says Eric most enjoys being tall, but sometimes living big in a small world, from not fitting into regular seats on planes and amusement park rides to hurtful comments. I said I had to deal with it.
“He’s a great kid and handles it well, but being tall and conspicuous isn’t always a blessing,” Rebecca said.
I never wear shoes that don’t fit.
“As his mother, it’s frustrating not to be able to find shoes, a basic need. I can’t find shoes for my teenager. What if my feet get bigger?”
Rebecca found a company in Italy that might help. She plans to make a cast on Eric’s leg and send it overseas. She doesn’t know how much it will cost yet.
In the meantime, she’s sticking with the only method currently available. These are shoes made to order by an orthopedic specialist. These sneaker-like shoes aren’t as cool as Eric’s size 22 Nikes, nor are they cheap at $1,500 a pair. The Kilburn family’s Blue Cross Insurance will not cover their costs, they said.
compete for the world record
Eric enjoys awkward situations and is vying for the title of teenager with the biggest feet and hands after submitting an application to Guinness World Records.
“I think my chances are pretty solid,” Eric said.
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the current record is German Lars Mozza was 16 in 2018 His feet measured approximately 35 cm each and was a size US 21 (UK 20).
The attempt to break the world record is part of the Eric family’s efforts to raise awareness of their unique conundrum and find someone to create affordable Eric footwear.
“It’s a dream come true for him to get shoes, boots and cleats,” said Rebecca. “That would be great… Not finding such a basic need weighs heavily on my heart as a mother.”
Follow reporter Susan Bromley on Twitter @Susan Bromley10.