He Wore a Size 37 Shoe

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How do you find a shoe store for hard to fit sizes?

Shopping is something we all have to do, but do not necessarily feel the same way about. For some, it ranks right up there with a root canal on the list of favorite activities, and for others, it takes over their lives by becoming an out-of-control addiction. These are, of course, the extreme ends of the spectrum; most of us fall somewhere in between.

Shopping for shoes is almost an official subset of shopping. For a lot of people, it’s an easy, fun experience that typically ends with a purchase that brings nothing but good feelings and satisfaction. Unless, of course, you take into account the credit card bill shock, but that’s a story for another day. The only difficult part of the process should be having to choose between styles and colors. Unfortunately, that is not the case for everyone. For some, finding shoes that fit, no matter how limited the style and appearance, can be a nightmare.

The center for the Florida State basketball team, Michael Ojo, wears a size 22 shoe, which is the same size that NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal wore. Most athletes do not require anything this large and unless they do custom jobs, shoe companies do not make shoes this size. Nike spent $15,000 having a special machine made for Ojo’s shoes because of his promotional value to them.

Far less well-known but a local hero in his hometown of Alton, Illinois, Robert Wadlow wore a size 17½ shoe when he was only 10 years old. At the time of his death, Wadlow’s size 37 shoes were made for him by the International Shoe Company, for whom he traveled around the country as a goodwill ambassador.

For those who aren’t athletic superstars or, like Wadlow, have their own entry in the Guinness Book of World Records, buying shoes in sizes that fall outside the norm can be a daunting task. This is true whether someone is looking for an especially large size or one that is smaller than normal, or extremely narrow or wide. It is also an important issue for those who have foot problems, like flat feet, bunions, hammertoes, arthritis and other issues that make finding shoes that fit much more difficult.

Shoes that fit properly are crucial for those who are diabetic. Nerve damage that often accompanies diabetes can cause a loss of feeling in the feet so that the individual is not aware of a sore or a blister that develops due to poorly fitting shoes rubbing on the foot. Any wound that is not immediately treated is risky for diabetics, because there is increased risk of a compromised circulatory status that may cause a delay in healing.

Robert Wadlow, who Guinness says had the largest shoe size of anyone on record, was only 22 when he died. He was 8 feet 11 inches tall and 490 pounds, the result of a hyperactive pituitary gland. Nicknamed the “Gentle Giant” because of his easygoing personality, Wadlow did his best to enjoy life and find his own unique place. Other than his glandular imbalance, his health was said to be good, except for his feet. Because of their large size and the weight they were forced to support, he struggled with not having much feeling in them. His death at such a young age was directly caused by an infection that resulted from a blister that he did not know he had.

At Country Foot Care, we combine technology with years of foot care experience to help you understand both the condition that is giving you problems and the holistic treatment we recommend. We understand the importance of properly-fitting shoes. Not only do we offer individualized treatment plans and personal attention in a state-of-the-art facility, but our office locations each include a medical shoe store where we help you find the shoes that are right for you.

To schedule an appoint at one of our two Country Foot Care locations, Mineola or Williston Park, please use our online form by clicking here.

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