Americas Tallest Man Gets New Shoes

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ROCHESTER, MN. (CNN) - Finding clothes that fit can be tough for anyone.  It's especially hard when you're the tallest man in America.  David Wade reports Reebok did a special fitting for the man as they develop a pair of shoes that will cost up to $20,000.

What is it like to be the tallest person in America?

"Seven feet, eight-point-three-three inches tall."

The predictable proverb says to know, you should walk in his shoes. Right now, even Igor can't walk in Igor’s shoes.

(What has life been like for you over the past couple of years, trying to wear these shoes?)

"Even the simplest thing, walking a couple of meters down the hallway, it's just excruciating pain."

Igor is from Russia. He was born with a pituitary gland problem that explains his height. He lives in Minnesota, but he's in Boston to find footwear.

"I've been searching for perfect shoes now for almost 15 years."

Igor has been cramming his sore feet into these temporary post-surgery shoes for six years, because specially made new shoes would cost thousands. When he mentioned it online, strangers started donating, and sneaker-giant Reebok said we'll get you some for free.

(On a personal level, is there some kind of satisfaction here as well?)

"Oh yeah, this is a huge thing, we're gonna be able to make a change in this guy's life."

Igor's shoes will cost 12- to 20-thousand-dollars to make. Why so expensive? I mean Reebok is used to making big shoes for big people, like this size 19 for former NBA star Yao Ming, or back in the day, a size 22 for Shaquille O'Neal. Well, Igor is more likely to be a size 25, and Reebok’s machines simply don't make shoes that big.

So Reebok brought Igor to its canton headquarters, to the most high profile, high tech shoe-fitting ever to handcraft a shoe.

Igor says new shoes will spring him from this chair and from his home.

(What is the first thing you are looking forward to doing with these new shoes?)
"Oh, just going for a walk with my dog, just walking around the neighborhood, just get back to normal everyday activities."

All this for a pair of shoes. In some ways, we now know what it's like to be seven-feet-eight-point-three-three inches tall.

Once Igor tests the prototype, Reebok will probably have to make some adjustments. Igor should have his new shoes in several months.

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