A 6-foot-10 high school freshman — with record-breaking size 23 feet — met with Under Armour for custom shoes on Sunday.
Eric Kilburn Jr., a 14-year-old football player at Goodrich High School in Michigan, went viral after he and his family told The Flint Journal earlier this month that they’ve exhausted multiple avenues trying to find him shoes that fit.
Kilburn, who also goes by “Big E,” currently plays defensive tackle without cleats.
The teenager also wears a special football helmet, a Schutt F7, as it’s the only company that manufactures his size.
His father, Eric Sr. also believed his son’s shoulder pads looked a bit small this season.
Kilburn has been wearing size 22 basketball shoes — the same ones as 7’6″ NBA player Tacko Fall — that a friend discovered at a Nike outlet about a year ago.
The shoes, which he calls “Banana 11s” have been professionally stretched.
On Sunday, the Kilburn family met with Robb Cropp, senior director of Footwear Development at Under Armour, at Bridgewood Church in Clarkston to get a 3D rendering of the teenager’s feet.
“This is my biggest foot ever, that is for sure.” Cropp said while sizing Kilburn’s feet.
“Been worried for so long what I would do if I grew out of [size] 22′s, but Under Armour has come up with a solution,” Kilburn said.
“It means everything to me, just having shoes that don’t cause blisters or just pain on my feet would mean everything. It would mean the world.”
Kilburn’s parents, Rebecca and Eric Sr., went public with their son’s story — with his permission — after multiple attempts working with shoe brands fell flat.
Nike told them that unless their son is a professional athlete, the company cannot help them, Rebecca said.
An Adidas customer service representative told them their only shot at size 23 shoes is to go viral.
“I just want shoes,” Kilburn said.
“There’s nothing else behind it. I just need shoes because once I grow out of these, I’ll have nothing to wear – no sandals, no crocs, no anything.”
Kilburn’s feet have also been measured by an orthopedic specialist — and the family recently found discovered an option for custom-made shoes that would cost more than $1,500.
“It was a weird experience realizing like, ‘Oh, I’m going to be stuck like this forever.’ Like I’m never not going to see the tops of the shelves in the store,” Kilburn said.
“I’m never not going to see the top of people’s heads wherever I go. It just kind of sat with me and settled for a bit after realizing that I was going to be this tall. … I was completely fine with it.”
Kilburn, who played three games this past season at Goodrich High School, is currently recovering from a high ankle sprain that kept him out for the remainder of the campaign.
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