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Made in Kenya: This Mombasa-made shoe expands 5 sizes as wearer's foot grows

This innovative footwear has not only made waves in Mombasa but has also gained recognition in the United States.

Shoes that expand to fit wearer's foot

In a stride towards addressing the footwear challenges faced by children in poverty-stricken communities, Because International, a non-profit organization, has developed The Shoe That Grows—a pair of shoes designed to expand up to five sizes and endure for years.

Crafted with an adjustable design, these shoes have an easy-to-clean structure, featuring a compressed rubber sole, antibacterial synthetic upper, and high-grade velcro straps.

The Shoe That Grows is not merely a footwear innovation; it's a solution aimed at protecting vulnerable children from diseases and parasites prevalent when walking barefoot.

Lack of shows leaves children from vulnerable families susceptible to injuries, soil-transmitted diseases, social stigma, and even denies them entry to places.


Children's rapid foot growth exacerbates the issue, as they often outgrow donated shoes within a year, exposing them once again to health risks.

To combat this, The Shoe That Grows has been designed to adapt to the growing needs of children, providing a sustainable and long-lasting solution.


All pairs of The Shoe That Grows have been locally manufactured in Mombasa, contributing to job creation in the very communities that benefit from its distribution.

This innovative footwear has not only made waves in Mombasa but has also gained recognition in the United States, being featured in prominent publications such as The Today Show, Buzzfeed, Smithsonian, and Business Insider.

In 2018, it received The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Patents for Humanity Award, further acknowledging its impact.

The Shoe That Grows is available in five sizes, catering to both children and adults aged 2 and above.


Kenton Lee, the founder of Because International, came up with the innovation while working at an orphanage in Kenya, where he noticed a little girl with the ends of her shoes cut off and her toes sticking out.

He realized that many children in developing countries outgrow their shoes quickly, and often go barefoot, which can lead to infections and diseases that cause them to miss school.


Lee and his team at first tried to give the idea to companies like Nike, Crocs, and Toms, to no avail. Eventually, they found a "shoe development company" called Proof of Concept who agreed to help them with the design


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