Thursday 12 December 2019

Tallest man in long-range shoe hunt

Igor Vovkovinskiy is the tallest man in the United States (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Igor Vovkovinskiy is the tallest man in the United States (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

The tallest man in the United States travelled from Minneapolis to Massachusetts today for a custom shoe-fitting he hopes will help him live a normal life.

Igor Vovkovinskiy has had 16 operations in six years to fix problems created by shoes that did not fit. He's 7ft 8ins tall with a US shoe size somewhere between a 22 and 26.

Mr Vovkovinskiy said his only shoes have no traction, making it "suicidal" to leave his home.

"I haven't been able to go for a joyful walk for six years now," he said. "I look forward to just going for a walk with my dog, just walking around the neighbourhood."

Mr Vovkovinskiy was at Reebok headquarters in Canton for a complex shoe-fitting.

Reebok said it is building the shoes at a cost of up to 20,000 dollars (£12,300). It has helped Mr Vovkovinskiy before and hopes to again, the company said.

It will take the company up to six weeks to create prototypes for him to try out.

The 29-year-old is originally from the Ukraine, but at the age of seven moved with his mother to Minnesota for treatment of his condition, known as pituitary gigantism.

Mr Vovkovinskiy said his life changed when the operations started. That forced him to spend three years on bed rest, during which time his muscles weakened and he gained weight.

"Living the last six years has been a nightmare basically," he said. "Basically, I'm a prisoner in my own house. Where am I going to go with shoes that are painful?"

PA Media

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