Kenton Lee

Bette Midler once said, “Give a girl the correct footwear and she can conquer the world.” And it looks like one man wants to give girls all over the world the chance to do just that, thanks to his remarkably inventive shoes.

As originally reported by BoredPanda, young inventor Kenton Lee has dreamed up the Shoe That Grows, an actual revolution in footwear. What’s truly fantastic is that these shoes do just as they are advertised to, growing with the wearer over time. In other words, thanks to this guy, a girl (or boy) can get by on ONE incredibly well-made pair of shoes for years and years.

This might not appeal to the Carrie Bradshaws of the world, but it’s something that will really help children in need. To quote the Shoe That Grows homepage, there are over 300 million kids who live sans shoes every single day and “countless more with shoes that do not fit.” With the Shoe That Grows, however, these girls and boys can get their feet in a pair of shoes that will not only last five years, but also five separate sizes.

Apparently Lee came up with the concept for the Shoe That Grows while working in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2007, and seeing a young girl wearing shoes much, much too small for her. He wasn’t even a shoe designer when he decided to create the product. He was just a guy passionate about changing the world for the better, one adjustable shoe at a time. How cool is that?!

With the help of shoe development company Proof of Concept and some high-quality (think tire quality) rubber, Lee was able to come up with the final design. Now the Shoe That Grows is available in two sizes: “Small” for kids from kindergarten to 4th grade, and “Large” for kids from 5th grade to 9th grade. And while they might not be the flashiest shoes in the world, they are what they need to be: Durable.

Lee explains to BoredPanda:

According to Lee, the Shoe That Grows has already been distributed in Kenya, Ghana, Rwanda, Uganda, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Peru, Columbia, Vietnam, and Laos. And with 5,000 more models being produced for the summer, you can imagine the company will keep expanding and making a global footprint, so to speak.

You can help Lee and the Shoe That Grows take the next step by donating a mere $10 out of your pocket. Your money will go towards one pair of shoes, and they only need 50 pairs to fill a duffle bag to send to locations like the ones mentioned above.

And here you thought your perfectly worn-in, $45 Keds were something special.

Images via here, Kenton Lee via here.