The 14-Year-Old Boy Who Needs Size 23 Shoes Will Soon Get Them After Meeting With Under Armour

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If all goes as planned, 14-year-old Michigan football player Eric Kilburn Jr. will soon have himself size 23 shoes that fit and feet that finally aren’t sore from ill-fitting shoes.

The story of the boy who has a foot bigger than Shaquille O’Neal has captivated the Internet as Rebecca, Eric Jr.’s mother, pleaded for help in finding shoes that her son could wear that wouldn’t cripple the family financially. After doing an interview with, the ball started rolling downhill and suddenly brands stepped up to help the 6-foot-10 Goodrich High School 9th grade teen.

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14-year-old Eric Kilburn Jr.’s foot has been wearing size 22 shoes, but they don’t actually fit his growing feet. / via Rebecca Kilburn / Facebook

Under Armour promised fast action and Sunday the company delivered by sending Robb Cropp, Senior Director of Footwear Development at Under Armour, to scan the growing boy’s foot so shoes can be built for the boy.

Cropp told the Kilburn family (mom is 6-foot-2, Eric Sr. is 6-foot-5, Eric Jr’s brother is 11 and stands 5-foot-11) that their son will eventually wear the largest shoes Under Armour has ever created. According to, Under Armour is promising to provide the boy with school shoes, football cleats, track shoes and they are also considering a Kilburn-sized pair of hunting boots.

Needless to say, this is a huge moment for a mother who thought her only options were $1,500 orthodonics.

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Dad Eric Sr., brother Graesyn, Eric Jr., Robb Cropp, Senior Director of Footwear Development at Under Armour, and mom Rebecca Kilburn with the mold of Eric’s growing foot. / via Rebecca Kilburn / Facebook

“What an amazing day, my cheeks are sore from smiling so much!” Rebecca Kilburn wrote on Facebook of the family’s big day. “Thank you to all who have helped us take this dream of footwear for Eric, and turn it into a reality, we would not be here today without all of the overwhelming support. Such an amazing weekend filled with love, laughter and excitement- I will remember it for the rest of my days with true joy!”

Now comes the wait which could be six to eight weeks until the shoe shoes are ready to go. Then Under Armour will start building the football cleats. “I just feel like a huge weight has been dropped off of my shoulders,” Kilburn Jr. told MLive. “This was the first step in getting me some shoes.”

To put it in perspective of just how big Eric’s foot is, you have to consider the foot of Shaquille O’Neal, who wore the largest shoe in NBA history — a size 22.

Robb Cropp, Senior Director of Footwear Development at Under Armour, scanning 14-year-old Eric Kilburn Jr’s foot for what will become the largest shoes ever created by Under Armour. / via Rebecca Kilburn / Facebook

In 2021, Shaq added context to the story of him wearing size 22s.

“My shoe size is 20 but I like to wear a 22 because when I was young we couldn’t afford proper shoes so I had to wear my shoes tight,” he told Footwear News. “[Now] I always get my shoes too big to make sure I have room.”

That’s right, Eric’s foot is three shoe sizes — at least — bigger than Shaq’s foot.

“I’d rather do that than have to bend down and tie my shoe. My workout consists of just cardio and lifting weights. No more running, no more jumping. I’m more of a slip-on guy,” Diesel added.

MLive reports Shaq has reached out to Eric about his need for shoes. Is it possible we could see a Kilburn-Shaq collaboration down the line?

This story is still young. Don’t rule out some sort of meeting with Shaq. This just seems like the type of story Shaq would get involved in to help a family.

Stay tuned.

Written by Joe Kinsey

Joe Kinsey is the Senior Director of Content of OutKick and the editor of the Morning Screencaps column that examines a variety of stories taking place in real America.

Kinsey is also the founder of OutKick’s Thursday Night Mowing League, America’s largest virtual mowing league.

Kinsey graduated from University of Toledo.

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