A towering 6-foot-10 high school freshman, who has record-breaking size 23 feet, recently met with Under Armour to create custom shoes. Eric Kilburn Jr., a 14-year-old football player at Goodrich High School in Michigan, gained attention when his family shared their struggle to find shoes that fit him.
Nicknamed “Big E,” Kilburn currently plays as a defensive tackle without cleats. He also wears a special Schutt F7 football helmet, as it’s the only brand that offers his size. Additionally, Eric’s father believes that his son’s shoulder pads appeared a bit small this season.
Kilburn has been sporting size 22 basketball shoes, the same as those worn by the 7’6″ NBA player Tacko Fall. A friend found these shoes at a Nike outlet about a year ago. Kilburn nicknamed them “Banana 11s,” and they have been professionally stretched to fit his feet.
On Sunday, the Kilburn family met with Robb Cropp, Senior Director of Footwear Development at Under Armour, at Bridgewood Church in Clarkston. The purpose of the meeting was to obtain a 3D rendering of the young athlete’s feet to create custom footwear for him.
“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.”
“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.”
“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.