The Shoe That Grows With the Kid

An innovative shoe that adjusts and expands protects kids from soil-transmitted diseases.

The Shoe That Grows With the Kid

Three billion people around the world live on less than $2 a day; 600 million children live in extreme poverty and most of them don’t have enough sanitation, enough clean water, enough clothing, or enough shoes to protect them from the environment they live in. Because International is a nonprofit organization committed to "practical compassion," innovation, and simple, focused solutions. Their first project is a shoe that can grow. 


Because International was started by Kenton Lee. After graduating college from Northwest Nazarene University in 2007, Kenton lived and worked in Ecuador and Kenya for a while. One day he noticed a little girl from an orphanage, who was wearing shoes that were insanely too small for her feet. The orphanage director told Kenton that they receive donations from America, but since the kids continue growing, the shoes do not fit after six months. The only choices they have left are waiting for the next donation, or cutting out the fronts of the old shoes to wear them for as long as possible.

Kenton believed that innovation could provide practical solutions to problems like these, so he founded Because International in 2009 with the mission to help people who live in extreme poverty. His first project was The Shoe That Grows — an adjustable shoe that can grow with the kids and protect them from soil-transmitted diseases. He wanted to create a shoe that companies could still donate, but also that didn’t have to be replaced every year.

With the help of snaps and adjustable straps, The Shoe That Grows can grow in the front, the sides, and the back, adjusting to five different shoe sizes. Thanks to quality materials, such as compressed rubber for the sole, high-quality leather and heavy-duty snaps, it lasts for five years, despite the heavy use.

In January 2014, Kenton’s organization managed to crowdsource enough funds to produce and distribute 1,000 pairs of shoes to kids in Kenya. He is currently fundraising for a second shipment of 5,000 pairs and he has already surpassed his goal of $50,000. 

Watch the journey of The Shoe That Grows in the video below: 

Photo: Because International

Live on Thursday: Learn innovation with 3-star Michelin chef Dominique Crenn

Dominique Crenn, the only female chef in America with three Michelin stars, joins Big Think Live this Thursday at 1pm ET.

Big Think LIVE

Add event to your calendar

AppleGoogleOffice 365OutlookOutlook.comYahoo


Keep reading Show less

The world's watersheds, mapped in gorgeous detail

Hungarian cartographer travels the world while mapping its treasures.

Strange Maps
  • Simple idea, stunning result: the world's watersheds in glorious colors.
  • The maps are the work of Hungarian cartographer Robert Szucs.
  • His job: to travel and map the world, one good cause at a time.
Keep reading Show less

New Hubble images add to the dark matter puzzle

The images and our best computer models don't agree.

Surprising Science
  • Scientists can detect the gravitational effects of invisible dark matter.
  • Dark matter causes visual distortions of what's behind it.
  • The greater the distortion, the greater the amount of dark matter. Maybe.
  • Keep reading Show less

    Did our early ancestors boil their food in hot springs?

    Scientists have found evidence of hot springs near sites where ancient hominids settled, long before the control of fire.

    Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
    Culture & Religion
    Some of the oldest remains of early human ancestors have been unearthed in Olduvai Gorge, a rift valley setting in northern Tanzania where anthropologists have discovered fossils of hominids that existed 1.8 million years ago.
    Keep reading Show less
    Videos

    Personal finance: How to save, spend, and think rationally about money

    Finances can be a stressor, regardless of tax bracket. Here are tips for making better money decisions.

    Scroll down to load more…
    Quantcast