Mar 8, 2017 | By Tess

While many of us do not have to think twice about asking for our shoe size in a store, 19-year-old Broc Brown doesn’t quite have that luxury. Brown, a young adult from Michigan, has Sotos syndrome (also known as cerebral gigantism), a condition that makes him grow continuously, at an average rate of 6 inches per year.

The 19-year-old currently stands at 7ft 8in in height, and has size 28 feet—a size not typically stocked in shoe stores. Up until now, Brown has had to seek speciality shoes out, which usually cost a small fortune to buy. Recently though, 3D printed footwear company Feetz paired up with Brown to make him some custom-fitted 3D printed shoes.

Using a smartphone to capture a custom foot model

San Diego-based Feetz has been around for a couple years and has made quite the impact with its innovative SizeMe™ technology and its custom 3D printed shoes. Brown was able to use the SizeMe tech, which lets users capture scans of their feet using a smartphone (it can capture 5000 data points in just seconds), to send his unique measurements to the footwear company.

Once his data was processed, Feetz got to work 3D printing. The Feetz factory, which is equipped with over 100 3D printers, was able to print Brown’s custom size 28 shoes in just 30 hours, after which Feetz cobblers worked to assemble and finalize them. The shoes, per Brown’s request, were black and red (the Chicago Bulls colors).

Broc Brown's custom shoes took 30 hours to 3D print

Brown was recently presented with his shoes by Lucy Beard, the CEO of Feetz, who personally brought them to Michigan. Upon seeing his new bespoke 3D printed kicks, Brown was overjoyed. In a video by MLive, Brock even expressed his love for them, saying: “Heck, I don’t like them, I love them!”

According to Beard, Brown’s story was inspiring to the Feetz team, since making custom shoes for those who need them is what the company is all about. “Getting shoes that fit should be easy and fun, and that’s what Feetz is all about,” she said. “I can walk in a store and walk out with five pairs of shoes if I want to. He can’t. We've never done a shoe this big before, but we're just excited to get Broc some comfy shoes. We’re really just honored to do this.”

Feetz factory is equipped with over 100 3D printers

Broc Brown, who, up until turning 18 was the tallest teenager in the world, is hopeful that his new shoes will help him get back in the Guinness Book of World Records. “These definitely are the world’s largest 3D-printed shoes,” he said.

Feetz shoes, which cost between $99 and $250 to buy, are 3D printed from recycled plastic materials and carefully padded for comfort. The startup, which in 2015 raised an impressive $1.25 million in seed funding, also partnered with footwear giant DSW to bring custom 3D printed footwear to the masses.

Brown's old tennis shoes with a pair of Feetz shoes



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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