Using 3-D printing to fill some really big shoes

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Feetz Broc Brown's size 28 shoes being 3-D printed by Feetz in San Diego. It took 30 hours to print the shoes, the company said.

A lot of people complain that they have problems finding their perfect pair of shoes.

Imagine shopping when you have size 28 feet. That’s an American size 28. For comparison purposes if you’re not familiar with U.S. sizing, an American men’s size 16 is a 49 in European sizes.

For Michigan 19-year-old Broc Brown — who at 7 feet, 8 inches tall was called the world’s tallest teenager by the Guinness Book of World Records until he officially aged out of that category — buying nearly everything is complicated, especially shoes.

So now a California company that specializes in 3-D printing shoes has stepped forward to make a custom pair of shoes for Brown.

“I can walk in a store and walk out with five pairs of shoes if I want to, he can’t,” said Lucy Beard, founder and CEO of San Diego-based Feetz, a company which began 3-D printing custom shoes last year.

Brown, who lives in the small southern Michigan town of Michigan Center, has Sotos Syndrome, which affects his growth. Sotos isn’t expected to shorten his life, but it does mean there’s no sign of when he’ll stop growing.

Feetz custom molds shoes, using photos submitted by their customers. Their men’s shoes typically cost $250. A typical custom pair of shoes for Brown would cost up to $500, Beard said in a Jackson Citizen Patriot story earlier this week.

Feetz not only provided shoes for Brown, the company made them in red and black, in honor of Brown’s favorite NBA team, the Chicago Bulls.

The printing took 30 hours at the company 3-D printing facility in San Diego.

“We’ve never done a shoe this big before, but we’re just excited to get Broc some comfy shoes,” Beard said in a blog posted on the Feetz website. “We’re really just honored to do this.”