The Shoe That GrowsTM is the first project of an organization committed to practical compassion. Because International was founded in 2009. They are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization headquartered in Nampa, Idaho. They listen to those living in extreme poverty to hear their thoughts, ideas, and dreams for a better life – and then work together to help make those ideas into a reality. Our tax ID # (FEIN) is 26-4190308.
You can find out more about them at BecauseInternational.org.
The Shoe That Grows started when our founder Kenton Lee was living and working in Nairobi, Kenya in 2007. One day while walking to church, he noticed a little girl in a white dress next to him who had shoes that were way too small for her feet. That led to questions about why. And finally an idea: “Wouldn’t it be great if there was a shoe that could adjust and expand – so that kids always had a pair of shoes that fit?” And just like that The Shoe That Grows was born. These shoes are intended and designed for children living in extreme poverty that otherwise would not have access to shoes or only access to shoes in poor condition that will quickly be outgrown.
We currently get shoes to kids in need in two ways:
1. People can donate to fill bags of shoes that we send to partner organizations who then distribute them to kids that need them most.
2. People living in or traveling to areas in need can take shoes to distribute themselves.
So rather than recreate the wheel and create our own distribution channels, we instead partner with those already serving these children and rely on others to deliver shoes to kids that need them most.
Our initial goal is to provide as many shoes as possible to kids in need. Therefore, production started in China where we have been able to get a high quality shoe at an affordable price. We have hired a US based firm to oversee production and we have also visited the factory ourselves to ensure that we understand the process and the working conditions.
We aim to produce as many shoes as possible in areas that not only need the shoes, but need jobs as well! We’re now producing shoes in Ethiopia to supply the East Africa region and also in the beginning stages of potential production in Haiti. Expanding to additional countries will always be a goal.
We’ve created three sizes:
Youth Small = Grows 5+ sizes
Generally fits between about 4 and 9 years of age depending on the child (or about from US kid’s size 10-11 to women’s size 2.5, EUR size 28-34 approximately)
Youth Large = Grows 5+ sizes
Generally fits between about 8/9 and 13/14 years or into adulthood depending on the child (or about from US women’s size 2 to women’s size 8, EUR size 33-39 approximately)
Adult = Grows 5+ sizes
Generally fits adults (US women’s size 8-12, EUR Women’s 41-45 approximately; US men’s size 6 to 11, EUR men’s 38-44 approximately)
We have worked with industry experts to create a simple design with the highest quality materials – compressed rubber (similar to that of a car tire), anti-bacterial synthetic, and high grade, tactical Velcro. No mechanical parts or gears to break. Easy to clean. Easy to use.
Yes! We rely on those traveling to areas of poverty and serving children in need to distribute the shoes. Check out how you can take some here.
Also, we’ve designed the shoe to not only be functional and long-lasting, but to ship and travel easily as well. In fact, 50 small pairs are packed into a standard sized duffle bag (that we provide) that weighs less than 50 pounds. You can take 50 pairs of shoes in a bag on a plane. Awesome.
In addition to buying shoes to distribute yourself, you can donate to fill bags of shoes that we send to partner organizations who then distribute them to kids in need.
You can also donate directly to Because International. One-time or recurring donations are used for research and development of future projects and other expenses that go along with producing as many shoes as possible.
We are! Although we are busy getting shoes to kids in need, Because International is about innovating and we plan to create additional products that help people living in extreme poverty around the world. We want to continue to help in simple, practical ways. Stay tuned with more information about how you can help!
You may also contact us with general inquiries at:
+1 208-697-4417 (call or text)
120 9th Ave. S Suite #110, Nampa, ID 83651
For media requests or speaking opportunities, please contact:
For strategic partnerships, bulk orders, or operational questions, please contact: