Michigan teen gets size-28 shoes, thanks to 3-D printer In a Wednesday, March 1, 2017 photo, Broc Brown puts on his new shoes as Feetz CEO Lucy Beard watches at his grandmother's home in Michigan Center, Mich. (J. Scott Park/Jackson Citizen Patriot via AP)
Michigan teen gets size-28 shoes, thanks to 3-D printer
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A 19-year-old Michigan man who has been in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's tallest teenager has finally found an affordable pair of shoes to fit his size-28 feet, thanks to a 3-D printer.
 
Broc Brown, who is 7-feet-8 inches tall, has Sotos Syndrome, also known as cerebral gigantism, which affects about one in every 15,000 people, the Jackson Citizen Patriot reported.
 
Brown's aunt, Stacy Snyder, said that along with abnormal size, Sotos causes Brown to have chronic back and knee pain, along with other ailments. Snyder said no one is sure when he will stop growing.
 
"I can walk in a store and walk out with five pairs of shoes if I want to," she said. "He can't."
 
California-based Feetz stepped in to help. The shoe company uses an app to convert photos of someone's feet into a 3-D model, which can be measured to create custom-fit shoes manufactured by a 3-D printer.
 
Feetz CEO Lucy Beard delivered a pair of black and red shoes to Brown at his home in Michigan Center last week. The shoes were the colors of Brown's favorite basketball team, the Chicago Bulls.
 
"Whoa," Brown said. "Heck, I don't like them. I love them. Thank you."
 
Beard said it was a first for the company.
 
"We've never done a shoe this big before, but we're just excited to get Broc some comfy shoes," Beard said. "We're really just honored to do this."
 
Beard said Feetz shoes cost between $99 and $250, versus the typical custom-fit shoes that cost a minimum of $400 to $500.
 
Until he turned 18 in 2015 and could no longer qualify, he was considered the tallest teenager in the world. With his new shoes, Brown thinks he can get back in the Guinness Book of World Records.
 
"These definitely are the world's largest 3-D-printed shoes," he said.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why don't more companies make extra-large shoes?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (59)
  • saraip-
    4/18/2017 - 08:40 a.m.

    the main reason why companies don't make extra large shoes because its really rare to have Brown kind of feet.

  • bolivia-dav
    4/20/2017 - 05:41 p.m.

    In response to "Michigan teen gets size-28 shoes, thanks to 3-D printer," I disagree that he has found affordable shoes. One reason I disagree is that these shoes are custom shoes, and having things custom made can be very expensive. Another reason is that these shoes are at least 99 dollars a pair. It says in the article Beard said "Feetz shoes cost between $99 and $250, versus the typical custom-fit shoes that cost a minimum of $400 to $500." A third reason is that the family and Brown are not sure when he will stop growing. Therefore he will have to keep buying new pairs of these shoes when he has a growth spurt. Even though he will be able to wear comfortable, fitting shoes, I think that these shoes are crazy expensive.

  • zlily-dav
    4/20/2017 - 11:17 p.m.

    In response to “Michigan teen gets size-28 shoes, thanks to 3-D printer,” I found this article interesting for three reasons. First, I learned about a disease called Sotos Syndrome. In the article, it states, “Broc Brown, who is 7-feet-8 inches tall, has Sotos Syndrome, also known as cerebral gigantism, which affects about one in every 15,000 people, the Jackson Citizen Patriot reported.” It also says, “Brown's aunt, Stacy Snyder, said that along with abnormal size, Sotos causes Brown to have chronic back and knee pain, along with other ailments.” I had never heard of this disease before and am surprised that there is a condition that afflicts people and causes them to keep growing. I also thought this article was interesting because I learned how challenging it is for people who are abnormally large to find things that I take for granted, like clothing and shoes. The article states, "I can walk in a store and walk out with five pairs of shoes if I want to," she said. "He can't." I never even considered what it must be like for people who don’t fit in standard sizes. Lastly, I also learned some information about new high tech ways shoes can be manufactured. The article says, “The shoe company uses an app to convert photos of someone's feet into a 3-D model, which can be measured to create custom-fit shoes manufactured by a 3-D printer.” I think that is amazing! Next people will be able to purchase clothing made in the same way. People won’t have to go to stores anymore. Even though some people think we should stick to the old school way of designing and making things like shoes, I think that this is a good example of how technology can bring costs down and help people in the process.

  • biancar-ver
    4/21/2017 - 09:15 a.m.

    It's really difficult buying or making a 28 size shoe for a 7 feet and 8 inches tall guy. I didn't know that there's a disease called sotos syndrome that can make you tall and can't stop growing. My question is, if they didn't helped the guy what shoe he was going to wear?, there's no shoes size that is 28. I'm glad they helped the guy and made him his shoe size. They cost a lot of money. Now he can find some shoes and hope he can afford them :) .

  • yovanav-ver
    4/21/2017 - 10:14 a.m.

    I think companies don't make extra-large shoes like sizes 20 and up because I dont many people have that big of a shoe size and considering the fact that the sotos syndrome only affects 1 in 15,000 people.

  • marianov-ver
    4/21/2017 - 10:15 a.m.

    It's interesting that Feetz was able to make these size 28 shoes for Broc. Also that the shoes made for Broc were comfy for him and fit him right. It's crazy thinking that a human can become so tall and have very large feet. I think it was a good thing what Feetz did for Broc, it's nice seeing that Broc was exited about the shoes.

  • xavierw-bla
    4/28/2017 - 12:14 p.m.

    I think that companies don't make extra large shoes because there is only a few people in the world that has shoes sizes 18 and up. I think that it was amazing to see that Feetz can make something so big for Broc's 28 size foot with a 3D printer. Tat was nice to make Broc some shoes that fit perfectly, comfortable and his favorite colors.

  • christianl1-bla
    4/28/2017 - 01:05 p.m.

    Companies do not make extra-large shoes because of the cost and time. It would take probably three times longer the time it makes to make one shoe. Also, it would cost more to make a extra-large shoe then a regular sized shoe. Another reason extra-large shoes are not made is because only one out of 15,000 people have Sotos Syndrome.

  • allisonw-bla
    4/28/2017 - 01:13 p.m.

    Companies do not make extra-large shoes because, "We have never done a big shoe before, but we are excited to get Broc some comfy shoes." They have not had anyone with this big of a foot, so this is like a big deal to them. I like this story because I like to learn about other people and what they have to go through in their lives. This story is a little sad because the boy has a syndrome but its still awesome that there is a company that is helping him and his family.

  • emilih-bla
    4/28/2017 - 04:32 p.m.

    i think that companies do not make extra large shoes because not many people have size 20 and up feet and it probably takes a lot of time and supplies to make that big of shoes. I think that companies should make bigger size shoes because of people like this. I also think that this story is great and i hope more companies are inspired to help people like this.

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