Teen With Size 22 Feet Overcomes Struggles to Find New Shoes With Help from Under Armour & Puma

A teenager is going viral this week for his above-average shoe size — and the struggles that come with finding footwear that fits.

In Michigan, 14-year-old Eric Kilburn, Jr. has size 22 feet — which, along with his 6’10” height, makes him significantly taller than his classmates. The teen was revealed to currently wear size 22 Nike sneakers intended for a professional athlete – which still had to be stretched to fit — and has struggled for years to find footwear that fits outside of Crocs or costly orthotics shoes, according to an interview with Today.

“The orthotics catalog was mainly Velcro shoes. Eric was like, ‘I’d rather be barefoot,'” Eric’s mother, Rebecca Kilburn, said. “It’s hard enough to stand out like he does. You don’t want to be the giant kid walking down the hallway in old man Velcro shoes.”

However, since a story on Eric Jr. was released in Hometown Life last week, the teen has received a wide range of support online and on social media. A GoFundMe page has raised over $18,000 dollars for his future footwear and sports equipment, and he’s even been offered custom shoes and cleats by Under Armour and Puma. CAT Footwear has also offered to send him boots.

Despite his past struggles — including his parents calling brands like Nike, Reebok and Adidas to request larger shoe sizes — Eric Jr. has revealed his acceptance of his tall height and shoe size, as seen in a new video from MLive.com.

“It was a weird experience, realizing, ‘Oh, I’m going to be stuck like this forever.’ I’m never not going to see the tops of shelves in a store. I’m never not going to see the tops of people’s heads wherever I go,” the teen said. “Realizing that I was going to be this tall, I was going to be this big for a long time. Forever, actually. It was coming to terms with it, I guess. And I was completely fine with it.”

Access exclusive content